WS_thumbnailI’d heard of tag teams in racing but I’d never heard of being tagged to take part in an author blog hop – until my writing colleague Pauline Montagna told me about an informal program called The Next Best Thing, for writers to promote their upcoming book. The idea is for authors to invite other authors to follow them from blog to blog. It sounded like a lot of fun so I decided to take part. Pauline posted her blog on January 9, 2013 – check it out http://paulinemontagna.net/ to find out about her Next Best Thing.


Ken Sheerin, one of the members of her tag team, tagged me, so now it’s my turn to reveal a few details about my next book.

First, a little about Ken…

Ken grew up on the outskirts of Geelong in the post WWII era. His early years were spent travelling around the Australian countryside, working in places as diverse as wool sheds, meat works, car factories, fishing boats and mines of WA. He also spent some years in the RAN. Ken draws on his early experiences when writing which, coupled with a fertile imagination and library filled with facts and figures, fuel his short stories of which he has many. Now he has graduated to fantasy and sci-fi and the much shorter verse, ballads and prose poetry. As well as Young Adult science fiction, Ken has published Against all Odds, a book of verse. To find ’s out about Ken’s latest book visit http://www.armchairpublishing.com.au/bloghop.html

And now for news about my next publication…

1)      What is the working title of your next book?


2)      Where did the idea come from for the book?

I thought it would be funny if a couple of inept crooks tried to steal a Lotto winner’s cat and were foiled by her menagerie of pets.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a short illustrated chapter book for children aged seven to nine years.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Animation would suit Catnapped! perfectly…something in the style of Toy Story or Ratatouille. I’d cast Drew Barrymore as the voice of Cass.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Mrs Horgan wins Lotto and her menagerie of pets foils an attempt by two bumbling burglars to steal Oscar the cat and hold him to ransom.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Catnapped! has been accepted by an American publisher and is presently in production.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’ve been writing for many years and often return to early manuscripts to revise them from a fresh perspective for a different market. Catnapped! started out as a picture book text for junior primary-age independent readers. Some years later I turned it into a short story to submit to magazines. Neither version sold so I put them both aside and turned my attention to other story ideas. In 2005 I adapted a picture book text called Getting Rid of Wrinkles into a short chapter book and it immediately sold. I decided Catnapped! might suit that genre too, so gave it a similar treatment.  So much time has passed since I wrote the initial picture book draft that it’s hard to remember how long it took. Usually I work out the story mentally before I commit any words to paper so by the time I get to the writing it might only take 20 minutes. There’s a lot of polishing after that, though, even for a 100-word picture book. Catnapped! was long for a picture book to start with and when I decided to turn it into a chapter book I had to think about character development from a different perspective.

8)What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Probably some of the Blake Education Gigglers Series, because it’s a bit of a wacky tale.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The real Oscar belonged to friends of ours, who had adopted him from the Cat Haven. He was an enormous, marmalade-coloured creature that did little else but snooze and eat all day. I’ve always loved cats and Oscar was such a personality I briefly considered stealing him myself. Instead I created a story around him.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The way a house full of pets managed to foil a catnap attempt is sure to make young readers giggle.

My Blog Hop Tag Team

Read about The Next Big Thing my Tag Team are working on in their answers to these questions on their own blogs. Why not visit their websites to find out who they are and what they write…

Rosanne Dingli


Dale Harcombe




I write tales to entertain children of all ages and my publications include poems, short stories, picture books and novels. I also present 'meet the author' and creative writing sessions.