August 15, 2007

Moriarty Madness for Aussie Day

Dear Readers:

Since our recent interviews at 7-Imp, we here at Finding Wonderland are probably a whole lot less mysterious and exciting. You probably feel like there's not much about us you don't know. Well, here's one thing you probably didn't know: a.fortis has a sister from the land down under, a genuinely Aussie half-sister, not to mention a brother-in-law and an adorable niece and nephew. Therefore we're awfully excited about today's One Shot World Tour: Aussie Day, which highlights an Oz-some array of fantastic Australian authors of children's and young adult literature.

For our part, we at FW will be talking a little bit about two authors whose work we enjoy—Penni Russon (see post above…or below, as the case may be) and, in this post, Jaclyn Moriarty: author of Feeling Sorry for Celia, The Year of Secret Assignments, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, and the upcoming Spell Book of Listen Taylor.

The amazing thing about Ms. Moriarty, besides the Ph.D. from Cambridge, is that she is also a practicing media and entertainment lawyer! What an impressive woman. We are floored. We are in awe. We cannot believe that Feeling Sorry for Celia was rejected ten times (according to the wonderful and informative interview on However, in that same interview, we really resonated with Ms. Moriarty's insights into the annoying little voices that appear in writers' heads, telling us all manner of discouraging things. "I have to just keep writing until the voices go away and I start listening to the characters instead," she said, or until her husband tells her to quit doubting and start writing. Sounds all-too-familiar to us.

But now her books are published by the also-fabulously-funny Arthur A. Levine; and if you haven't had a chance to read her work yet, we recommend starting with Feeling Sorry for Celia--though her books don't need to be read in a particular order, there are overlapping characters in all three already-released books, and each successive story takes place during the next consecutive school year. All three take place at Ashbury High, Sydney, Australia (where Moriarty lives part of the year—Sydney, anyway, not Ashbury High), and follow the various troubles and adventures of students whose stories are told via diaries, letters, e-mails, notices, etc. Moriarty does an amazing job of conveying her characters' unique voices and telling suspenseful and fast-paced stories using solely the epistolary form. The first two are riotously funny, while Bindy has a slightly darker tone, offering a bit of a mystery. Her new book, Spell Book of Listen Taylor, is coming out any day now--and we can't wait to read it.

In fact, we enjoy her work so much that we've written this little thank-you note over there on the right. And with that, we'll leave you to read about the rest of the fantastic Aussie authors on the tour.

Yours sincerely,
TadMack and a. fortis
Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog


Jackie Parker said...

Adorable. Simple Adorable.

Kelly said...

Great piece, guys. And I love your personal stationary.

Anonymous said...

So. Great.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and I want some 7-Imp stationery.

Nice touch!

Anonymous said...

Clever - I like the letter too. And I really enjoyed The Year of Secret Assignments. I agree, it was both hilarious and poignant.

Another great Aussie Day post! Ya'll are rockin' da house!

Erin said...

Loved this post. You guys rock!