My Books

My Books

Friday, 26 June 2020

Kitchen gardens, pear pies and drawing - what Covid 19 did for me

As a childrens' author I am constantly thinking of cool ideas to write about. Sometimes there's a bit of a traffic jam in my head as all the ideas start shouting at once! That's when I have to get organised.

I used to write everything in notebooks. Then I filled 18 of them and couldn't remember where I wrote things! So I switched to a totally different system - index cards. whatever idea that comes to me is jotted down, whether its a story idea, a character, a scene or random stuff i don't know where to put. If I can't sleep  because an idea is buzzing inside my skull I reach for a pen and a card, which are next to my bed. Then the next day I file them with similar ideas. So far its working really well! If I have ideas about the book I am currently writing, the cards help  me keep important bits of information close by, where I can access them, rather that hunting through all those notebooks!

So, being a bit organised helps me keep all these exciting little tidbits handy for when I want to use them. Try it!

So, living through Covid 19 has been interesting hasn't it? Some families have unfortunately suffered from a parent losing their job. Other families have had to adjust to working from home, with all the distractions and jobs to do! PLUS kids being home schooled! What it unique is that every country int he world has been experiencing this together, AT THE SAME TIME. Never have we all been so closely connected by experiences.

Lots of new music and films and books have already begun to emerge from this interesting period. I have gone back to serious drawing, which I used to love so much! I completed the eagle drawing, then a horse and now I am working on a tabby cat. (somewhat ambitious I think, because it's a lot harder than I thought!).

We live on a beautiful 100 acre farm in Tasmania, where there is always lots to do! In a few months we will have lambs popping out, so things will get VERY BUSY! (see my other blog about the farm )

During isolation we home schooled our daughter, so that took up lots of writing time. I also had a very productive kitchen garden (not a garden in the kitchen, silly, a garden FOR the kitchen!) and was cooking, bottling and chopping all sorts of yummy stuff. I cooked pies, bottled pears and tomatoes, made jam and all sorts of things. It was all very exciting, but there was little time to work on book 2 of my FLIGHT trilogy. Remember book 1 - Rebel?

Isolation made things very difficult for my publisher too, Shooting Star Press. Consequently Rebel is only an ebook at the moment. Print version will be available soon. We've all had to change how we do things,  haven't we? Except Harry, of course. He just does what he pleases most of the time, which generally involves sleeping. I bought him a harness and we go for walks outside now. He is a little scared of the sheep! But quite happy to sniff noses with Polly and Flossie, our border collies. Sometimes he 'helps' me in the kitchen. 

apple pies!

Harry 'helping'

Harry and Flossie pear picking

some produce from my kitchen garden

Harry on a day trip to our bottom 50 acres to pick rosehips
As we all start to get back to the 'new normal' I find myself quite keen to get moving with new projects. So I am working on the tabby portrait, AND book 2 (called Runaway) AND planting out vegetable seedlings in my garden AND planning what flowers I want for spring. Phew! Covid 19 has made me very busy.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

2019 - surprises right til the end!

Well, we're nearing the end of 2019! I think I will concede defeat and start saying 'twenty...' instead of 'two thousand...' It seems simpler and less tongue twisty! What did you get up to over Christmas? We had a couple of gatherings and lots of great food! Harry loved his new toys. And the dogs' toys too!

We swam in the big dam for the first time since we moved here last year. That's now possible because of all the work hubby has done to clear away nasty thistles, bracken and bulrushes, so there's less places for snakes to hide... The water is so deliciously cool! next I'm going to buy some old pallets and make a sort of platform and then a floating raft thing you can swim out to. Won't that be fantastic?

So what's new?
I'm in my studio, facing its first summer here on the farm and its so far been pretty cool inside. The Lithuanian pine log cabin style seems to keep the heat in nicely in winter the cool inside in summer. I have been working very hard in my garden since the weather improved. Such lovely days we have now! Sunny, gentle breeze and around 25 Celsius. That's a Tassie summer for you! I have some gorgeous colours to gaze at while I beaver away at the keyboard and watch the birds splashing in the birdbath, catching insects on the fly and hopping about.

Superb Blue Wrens
Speaking of birds, the Superb Blues wrens are nesting in my big flower bed, among the pansies! If you look at the photo below you can see some red and yellow flowers. The wrens are nesting somewhere between them, quite low to the ground. I only found this out because I was hauling out the ridiculously long and overgrown pansies and came across the nest. The female takes 3-4 days to build it. Unfortunately the three chicks in the first nest died so this is her second attempt. Good luck Mrs Wren!

In other news, we have a beautiful new girl in our lives - Kelly. She is a three year old palomino, quarter horse/warmblood. She is stunning! And has a sweet temperament. She's only very young (horses can live to 40 years old) and full of mischief! Adjusting to life here on our farm has been different for her, because she had never left the stud where she was born. Kelly is learning lots every day and getting on with the sheep and our border collies Polly and Flossie.

Kelly the palomino

You can see more of all of them on instagram @mytasmaniangarden.
Kelly has her own hastag - #kellythepalomino
So does Harry #harryatcrumbletonmanor

For my new book coming out soon, a young adult fantasy novel, Rebel, I have finished drawing a white eagle, which is one of the characters in the book. Everyone who pre-orders a copy through the publisher's website Shooting Star Press will receive a copy of Freya, the giant white eagle! Here is the finished drawing:

New Book
In other news, I have started writing my next book! All you mid graders out there may be interested to know that I'm working on a farmstay series called Hartfields. The first book is called The Foal of Emerald Queen. Chapter one is complete and now chapter two is coming into life. It's about Jessica Jane, called JJ by her friends, whose family decides to up and move to Bear Island. Lots of chaos and fun! And horses. So if you are interested in how horses think and feel and act, this book will be great! If you're into adventure you'll love it too. I'd love to tell you more but... not yet.

Well, that's it for now. I have to get  back to writing. Have an excellent New Year's Eve and many warm wishes for fun and excitement in 2020.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Dawn Meredith's new book - REBEL

Things on the farm have been SO BUSY lately, with 89 new lambs born this season, but I can stop a moment to tell you some exciting news - my new young adult novel REBEL is finally here! pre-orders are now available at

buy here!
So what is it?
REBEL is book one of the Flight trilogy. It is an epic fantasy novel, with flying people, amazing creatures, a beautiful setting, a truly creepy evil dude you won't forget, torture machines, humour, myths and legends, a lost language, lots of action and brilliant characters who will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

So what's it like?
If you love Lord of the Rings, Thor, Avatar or Ironman you will love this book.

So, what's it about?
A young rebel is called upon to lead… with a broken wing and absolutely no idea what he is doing.

A wounded flying hero struggling to accept his destiny, a shy girl of dark, mysterious secrets unaware of the power within her and a lonely youth out to prove himself worthy of his warrior father.

A race with dragon DNA suffer under malevolent overlords, dreaming of a hero to set them free. But what they get is a handsome young joker more interested in breaking the rules than breaking free his people.

What else is new?

progress of the drawing - see updates on my insta account,s @mytasmaniangarden or @dawnmeredithwriter

As an  incentive to buy your own copy of REBEL I am offering an original portrait of a white eagle to the winner of the prize draw. Everyone who buys a copy goes into the draw. Just send me a copy of your receipt from the shootingstar website, your name and contact details. If you win, I will post the portrait to you direct. YAY!

The launch will held November 14th and the raffle drawn and filmed on instagram. Good luck!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Christina Booth - Australian Author/Illustrator of fabulous stories!

Christina Booth and me
Recently I attended a CBCA (Childrens Book Council of Australia) function here in Tasmania and met Christina Booth, author/illustrator, who was the guest speaker. Not only is she an amazing and talented author and illustrator, but a really nice person to boot! And quite funny! I can see why she enjoys writing for children so much and why they enjoy her workshops/visits.

Christina has written, authored and illustrated many books for kids, some winning awards, such as The ANZAC Tree, which won a Notable award this year.

"The Anzac Tree is the story of those left behind at times of war. Inspired by the true story of two brothers who planted two trees before departing for The Great War, The Anzac Tree follows the stories of the children left behind in each generation as Australia faces a new conflict. After one hundred years of Anzac Commemorations and war history, we journey through the changes in attitudes, events and circumstances looking through the eyes of Phillip (WW1), Kenneth (WW2), Sophie (Korea), Emily (Vietnam), Chris (Iraq) and Jack (Afghanistan). Presented like a scrapbook of memories and notes, this story is suitable for younger children through to adults." (from Christina's website: click here

One of her favourite books is Too Many Sheep, which is such fun!

"When Grandpa Jack can't sleep, he counts sheep, and off to sleep he goes. So what happens if you can't find any sheep to count? you invite them to your house of course. Follow the antics of too many sheep and how they can't help you sleep, or can they?"
(click here)

Other titles include: Kip, Welcome Home, Purinina and Potato Music. At the CBCA function Christina unveiled her newest book, which hadn't been released yet, about the last Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, as they are officially called. I will freely admit we were all affected by her reading of this story. Beautiful detail in her artwork and a very moving and sad tale of the life of the last female tiger, inaccurately called Benjamin, who died in Beaumaris zoo here in Tassie in 1936.

Christina is not afraid to tackle these hefty subjects. She has written about war, whaling, forgiveness, the environment, family and more.

The SCBWI conference is in Hobart soon and I look forward to catching up with Christina again!

Monday, 2 April 2018

Wing's Wildlife Park - fabulous family day out

We finally got to visit Wings Wildlife Park today. Its been owned and operated by the Wing family for 31 years and proudly has 8 generations of the family associated with it. It's a beautifully set out place, very professionally organised and the animals are in the absolute best care. Makes me worry sometimes that animals are kept for or amusement, but Wings has mostly surrendered or injured animals which cannot be released back into the wild.

Fern the orphaned wombat
In recent years they've expanded their collection and now have everything from standard Aussie animals such as wombats, kangaroos, koalas and Tasmanian Devils to American Buffalo, miniature horses, reptiles of all sorts, fish, huge bird aviaries, goats, frogs, deer, alpacas, Marmoset monkeys, an albino magpie and meerkats! I'm sure there are many I've forgotten. There's something cool everywhere you look. Also the food in the canteen is fantastic. Hubby and I shared a massive Buffalo burger with crunchy potato circle thingies and salad. They employ two chefs and about 20 staff. There are plenty of souvenir options for tourists.
Wings Wildlife Park is situated in the lush and gorgeous Gunns Plains valley, along the River Leven. Idyllic location with wonderful views. The animals are so lucky! There are lots of different types of tours and interactions you can choose from. We paid for the guided tour which included special cuddle sessions with baby Tassie Devil, a baby wombat and a young koala. Magic! We also hand fed the Marmoset monkeys, kangaroos and emus. Everywhere we went there were little kids running around with food sacks dishing out grain to animals, in total safety and supervision.
Lottie the koala

Kidlet signed up to become a member of Kids Club, which gives her access to events, workshops, half price entry any time for 12 months and lots more. She can't wait!

young Tassie Devil hand raised

albino magpie


very friendly goat

Chloe the gorgeous wombat

Saturday, 24 February 2018

What are your favourite books to read over and over?

I have to admit I was a huge Enid Blyton fan as a child. I even bought the entire set of Famous Five for my daughter. She gobbled up all 23 books in four months. We are now watching the TV series. Hopelessly addicted to jolly adventures and lashings of good food.

I also enjoy reading other children's authors' work, especially Cornelia Funke. Many try to emulate her and don't quite hit the mark, in my opinion. Perhaps it's that slightly different flavour due to being written in German and translated to English, I don't know, but her use of language is absolute magic.

In adult literature I enjoy pretty lightweight stuff - Jeffrey Archer and Elizabeth Peters. Read all 19 books in the Amelia Peabody Egyptian mystery series twice over. I also enjoyed a good many of Susannah Gregories Matthew Bartholomew Medieval murder mysteries. I do own weightier tomes, but these help me cleanse my writerly palate, so to speak, so I can get on with my own writing. I hate books where I have to anaylse too much or wade through and remember minute or obscure details. I want to enjoy the banter between characters and have a real sense of who they are, not just what they're doing. Perhaps that's the secret to good writing? Connection with the characters is vital, otherwise why continue?

Enjoyment! That's what its all about. And if you find yourself drawn to read books more than once its a very good sign they made an impact upon you in some way. If you find yourself reading them again as an adult and they are still fun, that's even better.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Happy Christmas! Families are mad, mad, mad

Yup, just stop expecting that perfect family Christmas experience. It doesn't exist! Families are made of humans, after all. We all have our own interests at heart, even if it's just wanting some peace and quiet or for everyone to 'just get along.'

Instead, embrace the chaos! Plan what you can, but on the day just let the dysfunction happen. It's not about being the perfect host or providing the perfect food or the perfect presents. It's about enjoying each other's company. Here's a few silly ideas:

1. The old desert island game. Only this time you have to choose something christmassy. Three things only. To last the whole year. What would you choose?

2.  Celebrity Head. Two people are guessers. Write the names of two famous people on separate bits of paper and stick them to the wall behind the players. The rest of you can reply yes or no to their questions as they take it in turns, ie: "Am I a female?" If they guess correct they get to ask an other question. If wrong, the turn goes to the second player. YES or NO only! Whoever guesses the correct person first wins.

3. Silly Family Portrait
Come up with ideas for a silly family portrait for next year's Christmas card. The sillier the better!  

Don't take it too seriously! Have a fun time!
best wishes,

PS For last minute shopping, see my full range of books HERE Dawn Meredith's books 

Read my article on Avoiding Christmas tantrums HERE 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

DOUBLE BOOK LAUNCH! Dawn Meredith's 2 new books, one for kids, one for adults

I am SO EXCITED to tell you all that I am releasing 2 BOOKS at once! After years of work, they are ready to be released to the world. Just click on the jpeg below to save/print. Both will be available on Amazon and other places later this week. If you can make it, I'd love to see you at the launch. It's going to be awesome fun!

So what are these books about?


Thursday, 12 October 2017

SUPER CHARLOTTE my new novel with Inkitt Publishing - Get feedback on your work, one chapter at a time

Super Charlotte ch 1
SO, I decided to try something different yesterday. Inkitt are calling for new work and I decided to upload one of my YA novels, Super Charlotte.
Ever wished you could get back at those bitchy girls at school? Imagine you suddenly develop a super power, then discover you're a a dying clone, falling in love with a geek and running out of life...

So how do you do it?
The deal is this - they release one chapter and see how it goes. If there is enough interest they release another and so on. Eventually they decide the work is worth publishing and BINGO! You have a book deal. You don't need an agent. You don't need an illustrator.

So come with me on this journey!

Read my first chapter. Won't take long. Leave a comment and watch my progress. I am hoping it inspires you too!

Here is the all-important link. Super Charlotte ch 1 Click and read!

Wanna try it too?
If this sounds like something you'd like to try, drop me a line and let me know how you went -

Here are my pre-upload tips.
I know its super exciting to think your work could be 'out there' being read, but before you press 'send' take a moment to read through my top tips. Make a good impression by being professional Ok?
  • you must be the original creator of this work.
  • proof read your work, the whole thing, thoroughly.
  • get someone else to proofread your work OR use a program to read it to you while you check. I use 'Natural Reader'. Its brilliant! Finds mistakes I've overlooked hundreds of times because I'm so used to looking at it I don't see them anymore.
  • read through the Inkitt guidelines thoroughly and make sure you understand them
  • make sure its in an acceptable font, black (no colours!)
  • remove title page, contents page, acknowledgements, bibliography etc. Just leave the chapters of your work in a single document.
  • remove all those creative line breaks and rows of stars etc. Inkitt has its own page thingies. They don't like ours!
So there you have it. Once you sign up and log in, follow the prompts and you'll be fine. You will get an email from their team. Make sure you reply because they won't go ahead unless they hear from you. If you have any concerns of confusions they will clear it up for you. Once you've uploaded, share the link on social media.

Good luck! But above all - have fun with it!