Video transcript
2017 NSW PRC author interview - Kate and Jol Temple

Back to video Back to NSW Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) 2017 author interviews

[music playing]

- Welcome everyone to Session 4 of Book Fest. It's fantastic to have your company this afternoon. We're well into Day 1 now. It's very exciting times. I know that you cannot wait to see the next guests we have. It's a very serious session, so I just want you to keep your thinking hats on.

And I just want to give a shout-out to the 40-plus schools we've got watching right now. That means we've got 250,000 kids right across New South Wales, beaming in on video conference to watch this, as I said, super serious, important session about books and why we love them, coming to you live. I want to thank the teacher librarians for joining in.

And I want to thank, most importantly, the readers who are taking part in the Premier's Reading Challenge. And if I put my serious face on for just one moment, I just want to mention, this is the is the Premier's Reading Challenge Book Fest. I'm Yvette Poshoglian, and I'm about to introduce some fairly important people to today's session. So without further ado, I'd like to welcome Kate and Jol Temple, authors of some of our favourite picture books. And as you can see, they've worn their most serious outfits to convey their import messages about literature to you today.

- Of course.

- Thank you guys for being here on this austere occasion.

- Thank you for having us.

- It's wonderful to have you here.

- Thank you, Yvette.

- I can see that you're ready for business, and I'm going to leave it to you.

- I think so.

- Over to you guys. Thank you so much.

- Thank you.

- Thank you so much. Thanks, Yvette.

- Jol, look, 40 kids-- 40 schools.

- 250,000 kids, look at them all.

- Hi. I can see you down there.

- There's one with a beard. How old is that kid? Too old.

- Jol, we're here for Book Fest. We're here to read some books to kids. We're here to talk about some books. But before we start, I have to ask you something.

- Yes, what?

- Why are you wearing a chicken suit?

- This?

- Yeah.

- It's because we're talking about that book that we've written.

- Jol, we've never written a book about a chook.

- Yeah, we have.

- No, we've never written a book about a chook. These kids have read some of our books, and they know we've never written a book about a chook.

- Kate, of course we have.

- No, we've written this one. This is called 'Parrot Carrot,' and 'Parrot Carrot' is about a parrot that looks like a carrot. You don't look like a parrot. You don't look like a carrot.

- Not that one, not that one.

- Not this one?

- What other books have you got?

- Some kids might know this one, 'Mike I Don't Like.'

- He wouldn't like chickens.

- This is about a kid who doesn't like anything. There's no chicken in this book. There's no chook in this book.

- No chook in that book. Look, I'll take your word for it. What about this book?

- What about this one? Does anyone know this book.

- 'I Got This Hat.' I got this hat from a chicken.

- There's no, 'I Got This Hat From a Chook.' Chooks don't wear hats. We haven't written a book about a chook.

- I got this hat from Colonel Sanders. This book, 'Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade.'

- Captain Jimmy Chook? It's about Captain Cook. That's why I'm dressed like this. 'Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade.'

- Oh, boy. So all right, OK, I'll take your word for it. I hope I get my money back.

- I'd like to read some of this book to some of the kids out there. This is a new book. We actually have two of these. This is the first one, and there's another one that's just come out called 'Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers X Marks the Spot.'

- Just to clarify, Captain Jimmy Cook, not Captain Jimmy Chook.

- No, Captain Jimmy Chook didn't discover anything. So 'Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade' is about a boy who has the same name as Captain Cook, but he's also a famous explorer. He's a kid who does a lot of exploring and has some pretty big ambitions about what he wants to discover. So I might actually read a little bit of this to the kids so they can see what we've kind of done inside the book.

So can we get a picture of the inside of the book up? This is from our brand new book, the one that's called 'Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers X Marks the Spot.' And I'm going to read a section of this. This is Day 8. Now, every single one of Jimmy Cook's books starts with the weather, because he's an explorer.

Today's weather, Day 8, low flying birds. Inventory, one coin, possibly Mongolian. Can we say that there, Jol? Can you point that Mongolian coin out? That way, that way. One very speckly feather. Have you got the very speckly feather? There it is.

- That one.

- And this is Jimmy. Aha, just what I've been waiting for-- school. Word is really getting out about this dinosaur bone, and I can't really blame people for being excited. It's a pretty huge find. When I got to school today, Lucas Terrazzo came straight up to me and said he wanted to help find the dinosaur, too.

I asked him who told him. And he wouldn't say, but I'm pretty sure it was Conrad. Anyway, I told him, as long as he doesn't tell anyone else, he could join in the expedition to find the dinosaur bone.

So at lunch, we all went to the dig, and that's exactly when we realised we had a problem. Actually, we had two problems. First, a very large, fat, old, smelly cat-- uh-oh, there it is-- was sitting in the hole and seemed to think it was his new home. I don't even know where this cat came from, but it was sitting right on the dinosaur's skull and wouldn't move. I tried to push it away, but it sort of vomited at me, so I just left.

Second, we don't have enough digging equipment. There's four of us now-- me, Casper N., Conrad, and Lucas Terrazzo-- and only one spade. I don't really need one exactly, because I'm directing the dig and cleaning up the fossils with mum's makeup brushes, but everyone else really needs to chip in. So the first order of business was to find something to dig with.

There's a couple of good sticks floating around at school, but they're hard to get your hands on. Teachers are always picking them up and throwing them over the fence, because of the no sticks rule, which really has to be one of the most boring rules ever. But apparently, one time a kid was running with a stick, and he fell over, and the stick went flying.

And a dog that was walking past saw the flying stick, and it ran into the school to get it. And it was a dog that had rabies, which is a deadly dog disease only found on the equator, and the dog grabbed the stick and slobbered all over it. And then a teacher shooed the dog out of the school, and a kid picked up the stick and forgot to wash his hands, and got rabies, the deadly dog sickness, and actually turned into a dog and started trying to bite everyone.

And all the people he did bite started acting like deadly dogs, too. And the next thing you know, the police came, and ambulances, and everyone had to go to the hospital. So ever since then, no sticks. I will say this, though, they never found the stick with the deadly dog sickness in it, so it could happen again any time.

Anyway, we had to find something else to dig with, since Conrad was the only one who brought his own spade. The good news is I actually know of one place where there are a few spades at school-- the maintenance shed. Strictly speaking, you're not allowed in there. But I think that's one of those rules that's more of a suggestion.

I've actually already been in there a few times anyway. Because the last term, Miss Fennel started a herb garden so that kids could find out where they food came from. It was a nice idea, but it didn't really work out, because we were growing things like parsley, thyme, and chives. That's not really stuff anyone eats. If they had a Strawberry Sour Blast bush or a Corn Twist-O tree, that might have worked, but growing chives just confuses people.

Anyway, they have spade's for that sort of thing. And they're in the maintenance shed, so that's where we went, and I'm sure glad we did. I told Lucas Terrazzo to stand guard while we went into the shed to check things out. I gave him a crash course in Morse code, so that if anyone came along, he could let out an SOS. Three short beeps-- beep, beep, beep-- three long beeps-- can you do to the long beeps?

- (VOICE CRACKING) Beep, beep, beep. Like that?

- That was terrible.

- It's not my forte.

- And three more short ones.

- Beep, beep, beep.

- I told Lucas Terrazzo to give it a try, but he just started beeping away like a broken microwave, which wasn't going to be much help. So I told him he may as well just come in, too, and we'd have to just risk it. We found the space pretty easily in a bucket marked Spades. And I reminded Conrad and Casper N that we were just borrowing them, and we would return them as soon as we are finished. I'm pretty into the law and crime and stuff, so I'm not about to become a robber anytime soon.

We were just about to leave when I noticed something strange. I've got a pretty good eye for unusual stuff, and I guess that's one of the reasons I'm a natural explorer. Well, anyway, most people wouldn't have really noticed it. It was just a dusty old map pinned to a wall. Nothing too interesting about that, but something made me stop and check it out, something I've read about in my explorer books, but never seen in real life, something that made this map very, very special. I recognised it straight away-- an X, an X that marks the spot.

And that's Day 8 of Jimmy's adventure, and it only gets more outrageous and dangerous after that.

- But Kate, kids aren't really explorers are they? Kids don't actually find stuff, do they?

- Kids are some of the best explorers there are. A lot of people think that adults are the ones that are out there doing all the exploring. But a lot of the time, kids are the ones who think, hm, maybe there is a dinosaur bone at the bottom of the swimming pool.

- Do we have any examples, perhaps?

- Well, it's funny you should mention that, Jol. We do have some examples. So I want to show one of my favourite things that a kid found when they were exploring. There's a kid in Canada who actually found an entire lost city, an ancient city.

- A lost city in Canada?

- No, not in Canada, he found the city in the jungle, in the Amazon. But he was from Canada. And he use Google Maps to look through the satellite image and found this lost city. Have we got a photo of that? Here we are.

- Oh, there he is.

- There we are, this kid here, he did it. That's a professor that went, oh, my goodness, I can't believe you did that. And now he's showing the professor where this is.

- What about another one?

- Well, I've heard of some kids in France who uncovered some prehistoric caves. It was the kind of place where cavemen used to hang out.

- These are some of those pictures.

- Look at that. Looks like a goat or something.

- These four boys, four kids were just running through the forest. They found a little cave. They like to go in there, and they discovered these ancient cave paintings. And it was their secret hideout for a really long time before they even let any adults know about it.

- It would have been good if they'd done a chicken.

- Well, you're here. You might be dressed like a chicken, but you sure look like a goose. What about another one? There's a three-year-old boy who found a $4 million piece of gold treasure. This is a picture of the treasure. He went out with a metal detector that he got for his birthday and just discovered this in the ground. And he got his dad to help him dig it out. One more.

- I should be so lucky.

- What about that kid in Denmark?

- The kid in Denmark? You mean the kid in Denmark who found a World War Ii fighter plane in a swamp.

- Have we got a picture of this kid? This kid, how good is this?

- That's not bad for a kid.

- He went out with his dad for a walk. And he thought, I heard there was a story about a plane that landed here many, many years ago. And he started digging and looking around. And he found this, and it's going into the National Museum. So Jol, what do you think about all these kids who find cool stuff and explore where adults are not exploring?

- Well, I think that's great. I think kids are natural explorers. And I think Jimmy Cook is one such natural explorer. He's curious about the world, and that's the benefit of being a kid, I think. You're far more open to new ideas than sometimes adults are.

- And I think we take a lot of inspiration from these kind of stories of kids finding things, and even just the little things that kids find everyday. For example, I think, you saw in the Jimmy Cook book-- can we get the picture up?

- We might have one here.

- Oh, we've got one here of some of the inventories. So Jimmy has, at the start of every book, he starts in with an inventory, because he's always finding stuff, little objects, not necessarily $4 million gold coins. Ah, here we go.

So this is Day 8 from the first book, not the second one that I just read you. And this is what Jimmy has in his pocket. So it says, weather, sunny, inventory. And an inventory's whatever you have on you. And what Jimmy has on him is one empty box of wheat blocks and three full boxes of wheat blocks.

Oh, don't show them that one. Oh, no. So Jimmy here has, weather, cold, wind blowing, and a very good drawing of a bum doing a poo.

- We can pixelate that later, eh?

- No, that's a treasure he's got there.

- Well, this one--

- What about that one, Jol?

- --a rare animal trading card featuring the rare nose fish. Oh this one, a monster who eats deadly fish, I don't know how that would get in his pocket, but apparently it did.

- Maybe it's very, very small. So Jol, we have a little boy who's seven years old, and he has a lot of cool stuff in his pockets. And I bet you guys sometimes have some good stuff in your pockets. But I want to show you what my inventory for today is, because I've got some good junk in my pockets today.

- What have you got, Kate?

- Well, first of all, I've got one of these.

- Ah, they're always good.

- I've got one of those. I've also got a lucky rabbit's foot. This is just in my pocket.

- Just happened to have it there.

- Just happened to have it. One milk bottle, you can eat that. One little Merry Christmas badge, I don't know where I got that from. Oh, you'll like that. Do you want to show that one? Yeah, it's a little soldier.

- Toy soldier.

- Yup. Here you go. Here's some more cool stuff.

- Pterodactyl foot.

- Pterodactyl foot.

- Can we get a closeup of that? Beautiful.

- And a teensy weensy little tiara. That just looks worse.

- Thank you.

- And a small plane. So these are all the kind of things that you might find around the place, just little found objects, and that you put in your pocket, and they can be a source of inspiration.

How about we read one of our picture books? I would like to read 'Mike I Don't Like.' Can we get a picture of 'Mike I Don't Like' up?

- It's going.

- Ah, here we go.

- So Mike, Mike is the guy who doesn't like anything, right? I'll just show you what he looks like. There he is, that little guy there. Kate, take it away.

- 'Mike I Don't Like,' now, the problem with this book is, sometimes when you write a book, they say something really nice about you in the beginning. Unfortunately, in this book, it says, if you only read one book this year, make sure it's not this one. And it's from this guy Mike. He's got a very bad attitude.

Hey, Mike, want half my sandwich? No, I don't like it. How do you know? You haven't even tried it. I don't like the way it smells, and I don't like the way it looks. I don't like your lunchbox, and I don't like your books. I don't like that milk. I don't like that juice, and I don't like antlers on a moose.

I don't like lizards, big or small, and I don't like barky dogs at all. I don't like wearing my hat. I like wearing my hat. I don't like the sound of a cat. I don't like-- what even is that? I don't like washing my hair. I don't like going anywhere.

I don't like worms. They're slimy. And I don't like bugs, too grimy. I don't like redback spiders, not nice. And I definitely don't like having lice. I don't like baths, and I won't have showers. I don't like any kind of flowers.

If you give me cheese, I'll sook. Have we got that one? There we go. Jol, there's some cheese. If you give me cheese, I'll sook. And don't smile at me. I won't even look.

Did I mention I don't like pickles? And don't touch me. I don't care for the tickles. Jol, your bottom is on top of his head.

- Sorry, I'll just move it around. My bad.

- See that cute doggie? I don't like that. And did I mention I don't like vampire bat? I don't like my shoes, and I don't like having a snooze. I don't like the smell of kangaroos.

- Plop, plop.

- Carrots--

- (BOTH) Yurk. Green things--

- (BOTH) Yurk.

- And is there such a sound as blerk?

- (BOTH) Blerk!

- Can you say blerk out there? Blerk! You can do that a bit louder. Blerk!

- Perfect.

- I don't like going up a hill. I don't like plankton, and I don't like krill. I don't like it when you're talking, and I don't like the sound of gibbons squawking. What sound do they make?

- The gibbon, well, now, which kind of gibbon are we talking? Are we talking an Eastern Cape gibbon--

- Yeah, to be specific.

- --or a lowland long-limbed?

- What's the difference?

- Oh, a world of difference, world of difference.

- I don't like kisses.

- I won't get into it now. We don't have time.

- No, no to a snake that hisses. Here's our snake. Here he is.

- That just goes [hiss] like a regular snake.

- I don't like an angry crab. There's a very angry crab up there. And I don't like an itchy scab. I don't like five snails, and I don't like blue whales. I don't like princesses or the queen. I don't like frogs. They're green.

I don't like scratchy towels, or spooky barn owls, or anything that meows. I don't like 'pack away,' and I don't like--

- 'How's your day?'

- I don't like pirate parties.

- And I don't like 'arr, me hearties.'

- Arr. Because I've got the hat, that's why I did that.

- Yeah, it works. It doesn't work so well for a chicken, does it?

- I'm Mike I Don't Like, and I don't like that. Jol, will you move to the side so the kids can see this kid? There he is. He's just not happy. He doesn't like anything. Uh-oh, what happens on the next page?

I'm just going to move to the side. Can you see this guy here? This is his friend. And his friend has what? A very, very, very big ice cream, and Mike is looking at the ice cream, because he wants it.

Hey, what's that you got? What? This ice cream twinkle tot?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, can I have some? Nah, you wouldn't like it. Do you think Mike would like that ice cream? I think he would.

So Jol, where did we get the inspiration for a book like this?

- Well, all our books, most of our inspiration, it comes from our kids, I suppose.

- I think so.

- We have two little boys who always are telling us some crazy stories, and sometimes we put them down.

- Well, this one specifically, though, I was in the car with our seven-year-old boy. And I know we've got a few seven and eight-year-old boys out there at the moment, and girls. Oh, I see a few hands up. Yes, there are.

So some of you might relate to this. More hands, I can see them. All your hands are up now? Are you all seven and eight years old? No, there's a few bigger kids and a few littler ones.

- And that guy with the beard.

- That's not a kid. That's a teacher.

So I was in the car with our son. And I was saying, oh, I'm going to make you something to eat when we get home. He said, I don't want anything to eat. And he didn't like anything. He didn't want to go home. He didn't want to put his shoes on.

I turned around to him and said, stop being a Mike I Don't Like. And he laughed about that, and then we started making a few rhymes up. And that's how that book came about. So you might like to think about that next time something funny happens in your car with your mum and dad.

- That's right. There's a lot of books out there. I can see a lot of budding authors and illustrators out there.

- Now, we were hoping to read another book to you. It's a quite large book. Jol, I'm going to hand that one over there to you. This book's a bit special. Some of you know this book already, I think, because this was the National Simultaneous Storytime book.

Have you read this book before? Yes, I think some of you know this book. Yes, a lot of you know this book. OK, take it away, Jol. Can we get a big one up here? Yeah, because it's got green in it.

- Has it? Goodness me.

- You've got it behind you.

- 'I Got This Hat.'

- You might need it.

- Give me the book back, Kate. Here we are. Here's the mini version, the iPad Mini version. Hats off to Arlo and Clancy. Those are our boys I was talking about.

I got this hat in China.

- You can get the one behind you in China.

- I got this hat from a miner. I got this hat from a deep sea diver. And I got this hat from a racing car driver. Even better. I got this hat from a pilot. And I got this hat from a pirate.

- It's a bit like my hat, isn't it?

- It's a lot like your hat. I got this hat on a tropical island. And I got this from the Scottish highlands. I got this hat for biking. And I got this hat from a Viking. I got this hat from an Eskimo.

- That looks warm, that hat, doesn't it?

- Cosy, it would go well with my chicken suit.

- And I got this hat in Mexico. But to bed, I'll wear which one?

- Do you wear a hat to bed?

- Let me see. I'd probably wear a fireman's hat, maybe.

- I think I'd wear the fez. I like this one here.

- That's more your style. But to bed I'll wear which one? None! You don't wear a hat to bed. That's crazy, absolutely nuts.

So inspiration, a lot of people ask us about inspiration, don't they?

- Well, let's let Yvette ask us about inspiration.

- Fantastic. There she is.

- Well, it's time to come back. And I am feeling a little out of place, because I don't have a hat.

- You don't.

- I don't have a chicken suit. But what I am here to do is ask you some very important questions.

- I can remedy that.

- This is the magic of live TV, people.

- Live TV, anything's possible.

- It's all good. It's all good in the hood. I feel ready now, ready to rumble. That's fantastic. Back to what we're here to do, which is to talk to Kate and Jol about the Premier's Reading Challenge, because your books are well-loved and a big part of the challenge.

And I know lots of the students out there have been reading your books in preparation for today. And now that you've just read one to us, that's made the job a lot easier for me. I can say I've read one now. For today's session, I want to ask you guys some very quick fire, rapid round questions about how you guys work.

So I've had some very serious author discussions here today. I won't lie to you. There were some very regimented, disciplined authors with us, so I want you to build me a picture of how your day works. And are you writing slavishly from dawn till dusk, or are you talking to your kids and getting ideas from them? Because it sounds like they are quite an inspiration.

- It's a little more the latter, isn't it?

- Yeah, it is a little more the latter. I think, for us, the writing process is about enjoying ideas. We write books that we like. We write books that we find funny and that make us laugh and make our kids laugh.

So I think, we often, because we write together, come to it from an ideas perspective. We look for an idea that we both like. Sometimes we argue about that idea a little bit. Jol has a baboon book that I'm just not going anywhere near at the moment.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: It's not welcome. I'm glad you didn't bring it.

- It's going to be good, kids. Wait for it.

- So we start with that, and then we start the business of actually typing and writing. But we're quite organic with our writing. We don't necessarily plan out every element of it before we start. We have a loose idea where we're going.

- No. When you're writing about a character sort of off the cuff as Jimmy, you never know quite where he's going to go.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: Well, you see you obviously love history.

- History is a big one. We have a lot of Vikings and so on and so forth.

- Are we going to keep seeing more of Jimmy Cook's adventures?

- Well, we might. But at the moment, we've been to a lot of schools where girls have said to us, because Jimmy has a very serious nemesis. His enemy, Alice Toolie, is really a force to be reckoned with. And we've had a few girls say to us, what about an Alice book?

- I see where we're going.

- Jimmy will hate this.

- Yeah, he won't be happy.

- But we're maybe thinking about that.

- This is why we love our books. When there's a complication, that's when we get right into the storyline. Now, the other question that I know a lot of the students have been asking is more practical stuff, not only what you're working on now, but where do you keep your books at home?

- We have a lot of books, don't we, Jol?

- Just list some of the places that you may have books in your home.

- Let me see. Bookshelf.

- Fairly standard.

- That's it?

- That's it?

- No.

- By the bed by the bed I live with now we're getting somewhere we've got them in the Wendy house, in the garage. We've got them in the kitchen, we've got them in the toilet. No, we have books everywhere.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: That's always good. That's a fairly standard response.

- They get wet in the toilet.

- They do.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: But they dry out.

Now, other questions for you. I'm going to put you on the spot.

- That's all right. We'll wing it.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: If you're ready to wing it, can you tell us some of your favourite stories from when you were growing up, and have they influenced the way you write?

- Good question. A lot of the stories that we read as kids, we're rereading to our children at the moment, everything from Richard Scarry or the Berenstain Bears.

- Yeah, you love Richard Scarry.

- He's fabulous, those little worlds that he created.

- Other classics, my favourite old kid's book is a book called 'Go, Dog, Go!' by PD Eastman. And that's a fantastic book. I could read that a million times.

- That's terrific. And all the rhyming ones, obviously, the Dr. Seuss classics.

- So lots of these books you can find on the Premier's Reading Challenge list. I'm getting to a very important question. Just to set the scene for you, the students who are watching today are halfway through the challenge. So it's high stakes.

- Well done.

- We're at the halfway point of the marathon. We're stopping at the drink station. Book Fest is the drink station. We need to keep going. What is your advice for these readers who are out there, desperate for advice on what to do next with the challenge? Some of them might be part way. Some of them might be nearly at the end. Some of them might have already smashed that finish line.

- I think when I run out of books, when I've read all my books, and I think, oh, what will I read next, I need a really good book. I think it's a good idea to ask your friends what the best book that they've read in the challenge is, and then start from there.

- So you're somebody that reads, both of you. You read lots of different kinds of books. Because we were talking to some other authors, and some of them love mysteries, and some of them love sports biographies, and some of them love historical fiction. What are your favourites?

- You like history books.

- Yeah, history books, nonfiction books, sci fi novels, a lot of kids books. We love buying or borrowing lots of kids books.

- Buying, borrowing, stealing kids books.

- We're not talking about the stealing today. But we will give a big shout-out to the teacher librarians who do watch their shelves with eagle eyes. I know that much. So thank you very much to the teacher librarians out there.

Look, a lot of the students who are watching today are also budding writers. I won't lie to you. You've got a lot of competition out there. They're coming up. They're getting older as we speak. They're talking to publishers. Kids these days are very proactive.

Have you got some tips on how to create a good story? We kind of already mentioned the idea of a complication in a story. But whether you're writing a picture book or a middle reader or even something for young adults, there are some common ideas behind writing. Are you able to shed any light?

- I think you shouldn't do anything that you think you have to do with a book. I think the thing is, if you've got a good idea for a book, it's probably an awesome idea for a book, actually.

- Yeah, people want to see something original, too, don't they? I think that's important.

KATE TEMPLE: And buddying up, too. You might have a mate who's a good drawer. We do.

- That's right. So we work as part of a team with, our Illustrator Jon Foye. We will write the book together. And then we will present him with a list of crazy things that we need him to draw, like a very good picture of a bottom doing a poo--

- Yes, he did a very good job of that.

- --things like that. So yeah, you kind of play to your strengths.

- But I think the best piece of advice I've ever had as a writer about writing and becoming a good writer is to just write. It seems really obvious. But if you actually get a pen out or get your word out and start writing things, that's actually the best way to write. Just actually do it. It doesn't matter what the result is and if it's perfect or whether or not the story works out, but just to actually write.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: That's really good advice. Because sometimes people can get stuck with writing the perfect first sentence or first page. In the last session, we heard from a student at Kingsgrove who's on to his second novel. He obviously doesn't have any problems, really, with drafting. But can you maybe explain the idea of a draft to the students and how important that might be?

- So a draft is your very first go at telling your story. I need some water, excuse me.

- So do you work on lots of different draughts, or do you feel like you write something perfectly the first time?

- Well, I do think I've written it perfectly the first time. But then my publisher tells us that we maybe have another look at that. And they're usually right.

- And I probably mention it, too.

- Yeah, and this guy, as well. So I think you got to have confidence in what you write. But the draft process, you should feel like it's pretty good, the thing you've written. Then maybe just put it away for a little while, go back to it. And then when you go through it again, you'll find things that maybe you wanted to change or things that could be better.

Jimmy Cook is written in Jimmy's voice. So that's an interesting draft process, because it's not written from a distance We're not telling somebody else's story. Jimmy's telling his own story.

- Which makes it more immediate.

- So the issue for us is always, is the voice right? Is that something Jimmy would say? Does he talk that way? Are these the kind of jokes he would make or the observations that he would have? Those things are really important in the draft process for us when writing Jimmy's voice.

- Well, just on that note, we've had lots of discussions today about the way we can conceive different books. We've been lucky enough today to see you read out loud from a giant-sized version of your book. We heard from another author who says they love to listen to audiobooks. And we spoke to another author whose book has been turned into a movie.

So there are lots of ways to tell stories. And the thing that I loved hearing, and I know the students-- because I can see them on the screen-- loved as well, is the idea of hearing your book and your story read out loud, particularly when you're writing a picture book.

And maybe could you give some advice to the students who might see your book on the shelf and pick it up? Are they going to be reading it in a loud voice? And can you maybe just give us some tips and pointers in how to read out loud?

- I don't think it's, again, important to be perfect when you present something and when you read out loud. I think it's really important to have fun with it. So sometimes when I'm reading Mike, I'll do a really silly voice. I've got a few different voices I liked to do.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: OK, go for it. We've got three minutes for silly voices.

- Three minutes? I do, (IN A FUNNY VOICE) Hey Mike, do you want half my sandwich? I like to do this kind of thing.

- Do I have your answer in that voice?

- Yeah, now we're going to talk like this the whole time.

- But that helps with actually getting the story out do you think?

- Yeah, get stuck into it. Just do a silly voice.

- The other thing that helps our books is the way that they're designed. So words will wrap around pictures, or they'll be isolated by themselves, which will help the reader understand that this word needs more emphasis, which kind of helps with the performance of how a child would read it.

YVETTE POSHOGLIAN: Well, I'm just going to ask you one last sneaky question. And you can answer it or not, but I'd love you to answer. What are you working on next? You did kind of mention it a little while ago. But are you allowed to tell us a little bit, or are you the kind of people that are always working on a million different projects?

- We got so many projects on the boil at the moment. There is a picture book coming out early next year.

- Yes, a new one.

- A new one, can we mention it a little bit?

- A lot of animals in our books at the moment. We've got animals. There may be some bears involved in our picture books. But in terms of some chapter books, I think that we might see Alice cause some trouble.

- On a standalone adventure.

- Yes, she sounds like she's ready for adventure in her own series. Look, guys, we're going to have to leave it there, because students are showing us some love. I'm just going to get every single student out there to now give Kate and Jol a massive wave. They can see you. Give them a massive round of applause. Show them some love, guys.

- Thank you.

- We're coming at you, all from New South Wales, Kate and Jol. And thank you so much for being a part of the Premier's Reading Challenge.

- Thank you for having us.

- And thank you so much for the wonderful costumes and the ideas and hearing your stories today. It was fantastic. Oh, there's some amazing dancing happening there.

- I like that on.

- Bit of a chicken dance.

- We need to just dance this off, guys. This has been Book Fest Session 4 with Kate and Jol Temple. Thank you so much, and keep on reading. Take care.

- Thanks, kids.

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