Archive for March, 2009

rondas-gang-and-the-stolen-walletIt’s great to welcome inspiring and extremely busy 12 yo author Brenton Cullen back to my blog to talk about ‘Ronda’s Gang and The Stolen Wallet’ the first book in his mystery series for kids,.


1.       Brenton, Is your character Ronda based on anyone you know?

No, my characters are all completely made up. rondas-gang-and-the-stolen-wallet


2.       Have you ever had your wallet stolen?

Fortunately, never, but I have found a wallet!


3.       Where did your idea for the series come from?

I tried out an Agatha Christie when I was 12, but couldn’t get into it as it was just too British and outdated. So, I tried to write one that wasn’t quite like that.


4.       Who is your favourite mystery author? Why?

I don’t really read mysteries, unless you count Goosebumps, by R.L. Stine, and that is because they’re so spine-tingling!!


5.       What can you tell us about the members of this mystery solving gang?

rondas-gang-and-the-stolen-walletThere are four members, Ronda, James, Melanie, and Michael. They are all 11, except for Ronda, who is 12, and since she was the eldest, she was the leader. This is also because she invented the club.


6.       Where is your story set? How did you decide on a location?

Ronda’s Gang is set in the made-up town of Risson. I can’t even tell you HOW I decided on the location name, it just flew into my head, as they usually do.


7.       What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

Getting the next book in line finished and making I it good!


8.       Can you tell us a little bit about the story and why it would appeal to kids?

Yes, I think it will appeal to kids because what child doesn’t like curling up with a good mystery, and, maybe, just maybe, rondas-gang-and-the-stolen-walletgetting SPOOKED!! The story involves Ronda’s Gang getting a phone call from a lady named Mrs. Kratzman, , saying she has been robbed of her wallet. So, the Gang has to investigate the “crime scene” ,and finds some startling clues that just may lead to the suspect ….


9.       Where can readers buy a copy of your book?



Thanks Dee!


Thanks Brenton. It’s been great to have you back with us. Hope you’ll call in again.


While Brenton is in cyberspace he will be visiting the following places:


rondas-gang-and-the-stolen-wallet18 March   https://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

19 March  http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com
20 March  http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

21 March  http://belka37.blogspot.com



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Young writer, Brenton Cullen will be back for a visit next Wednesday 18th March to talk about his book, ‘Ronda’s Gang and the Stolen Wallet’.

Drop in and get some great info on how he writes.

See you then.

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Here’s another competition for enthusiastic writers to enter.

Passion for Prose/Poetry Writing Competition. Closing: 17 April (4pm). This competition is organised as part of the annual Bayside Literary Festival being held 22–31 May. Prizes for each of the prose (to 1500 words) and poetry (to 40 lines) winners: first $250, second $100, plus two local awards of $50 for Bayside residents. There are also junior and teenage categories for grades 5/6 and 7/8. www.bayside.vic.gov.au/literary_festival_2009_competitions.htm.

DEE’S TIP: – Remember to read and re-read your work before you send it to make sure it’s as good as it can be.

Good luck!

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Get those fingers tapping, and those stories coming. There are two great writing competitions for young Australian writers closing in April.

  1. Henry Lawson Society of NSW Literary Awards – Student. Closing Date: 9 April. Primary and Secondary prizes for poetry and short stories. For guidelines and entry forms, send SSAE (Stamped Self Addressed Envelope) to Henry Lawson Society of NSW Inc, PO Box 235, Gulgong NSW 2852 or email henrylawsongulgong@yahoo.com.au
  2. Woorila Poetry Prize – Closing Date: 10 April. Youth section: Prize $100. Entry fees apply. For more information, email woorila@tpg.com.au

Good luck and Happy Writing!


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Nicholas White is an award winning ten-year-old writer who writes because he enjoys it. He is currently working on a humorous fantasy trilogy with a very unlikely hero.

 He asked me some interesting questions about the way I write.

 family-tree1Nicholas:      Where do you get your ideas from?


Dee:             I get my ideas from everywhere. I keep a notebook next to my bed, and in my handbag and…..wherever I might need to write down an idea so I don’t forget it. Ideas can come from songs, words, people, animals, television – EVERYWHERE.


A lot of my ideas come from newspaper articles. I read one about a man who came home and found an elephant stuck in his driveway, and that became the plot for my story, ‘Elephant Trouble’.


My novel ‘Letters to Leonardo’, that’s coming out in July is based on a mixture of someone I know, and a true story that someone told me. If you want to be a writer you have to keep your eyes, ears and even your nose open.


Nicholas:      How do you write to a certain length? How do you make sure your story is not too short and not too long?


Dee:             I’ve found the trick here is to plan it out first. If I just start writing, and keep going until I stop, the story always ends up being the wrong length. I have to work out my beginning and my end before I start. The middle bits seem to happen as I write.


Then I go back and rewrite and rewrite, until I get it ‘right’! If I know how long the story has to be (for a competition for example) I go back and cut out words or add them to make it fit.


Nicholas:      Why did you start writing?


Dee:   One day a poem popped into my head, and my teacher liked it so much she got me to read it out at assembly. That was fun! I’ve been writing ever since. And I still think it’s fun.


Nicholas:      How do you find time to write?


Dee:   Every week, I plan when my writing days are going to be. That’s the only way I get anything done. Otherwise I’d get distracted playing with my pets, working in the garden or visiting my friends – and then I’d never get anything finished in time.


If you’re busy with school and sports and things, it can be good to set aside one day each week after school and make THAT your writing day. If you stick to it, you’ll find you get a lot done.


Nicholas:                Do you prefer to write by hand or straight onto the computer?


I usually write straight onto the computer. But when I edit, I often do that by hand because I find it’s easier to find bits in the story that don’t make sense or are in the wrong place.


Thanks for dropping in Nicholas. I’ve enjoyed talking to you today. Hope you’ll come back and visit my blog and tell us how your big writing

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