I recently chatted with UK children’s author Anthony Burt about his new book, The Animal Lighthouse, and what a serendipitous meeting it was! He writes STEM stories; I write STEM stories (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Maths). He lives in Frome, the location of Chicken House Books, who are publishing my upcoming middle grade novel, The Remarkables. And we both love animals and appreciate lighthouses. What fun!
The Animal Lighthouse is the perfect way to celebrate the wonder of a lighthouse. You can’t beat a rollicking adventure with shades of Treasure Island, pirates, talking animals, mystery, and more! It has a gorgeous, old-school map and Wanted posters. It’s a brilliant story, published by Guppy Books.
My instincts were good. Anthony was a wonderful guest and an enthusiastic advocate of children’s literature – and lighthouses! I thoroughly enjoyed our talk, and I gave him some homework: when he passes the Chicken House Books building, he’s to wave and shout, “Yoo-hoo! Ali says hi!” to my publisher and editor.
Our Lighthouse Chat
I think you’ll see how much I enjoyed talking to Anthony. We had a grand time, chatting about everything from lighthouses to slime to the necessity of persistence as writers. Don’t forget to leave a thumbs up!
A big thanks from me for a fabulous wrap-up to a wonderful residency. I wish him ALL the best with the release of The Animal Lighthouse. My copy has been preordered. I hope you’ll buy one too!
The Lighthouse Thing…
So how did I, hardcore landlubber that I am, end up in a lighthouse?
I’m the leader of the Queensland branch of SCBWI ANZ (The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), and I organised a deal with the Sunshine Coast Council to offer creative residencies to five local kidlit creatives over three months. I’m so grateful to the Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses for welcoming us.
I was one of five Sunshine Coast-based, SCBWI-member kidlit creatives who used the space between February and the end of April. The photo above was taken at the beginning of the residencies, when we got together for celebratory pizza. Shown are all the residents: Christine Cornwall, Kristy Bushnell, Caroline Magerl, and Cindy Darabi. That’s me at the far right.
I’ll close with a special memory of my time at the lighthouse. I had the honour and thrill of sitting for author-illustrator and friend, Caroline Magerl.
Her portrait of me is a special memento of my time in the Caloundra Lighthouses.
Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council for making the residencies possible.