Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interview with Australian Author Sheryl Gwyther

Interview with Australian author Sheryl Gwyther, author of several short stories, a novel for 10-13 year olds titled Secrets of Eromanga, a chapter book for 7-8 year olds, Princess Clown, released in May, and another chapter book, Charlie & the Red Hot Chilli Pepper out in August.

She was awarded a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Residential Fellowship, as well as an Arts Queensland Individual Professional Development Grant. She is also a recipient of two Australian Society of Authors Mentorships.

Thank you, Sheryl, for coming over to chat on my blog. Congratulations on the launch of your new book Princess Clown.

Q: Tell us a little about the Secrets of Eromanga? 

A: Secrets of Eromanga is a novel set on a dinosaur fossil dig in western Queensland, my home state in Australia. It’s an adventure. Twelve-year-old Ellie is caught up in a dangerous fossil smuggling ring. Another story weaves through Ellie’s story – that of a young ornithopod dinosaur who lived beside the inland Eromanga Sea in Australia, 95 million years ago.
Q: Princess Clown is an unusual title. What is the concept behind it?

A: I wanted to write a story using two opposing words and asking ‘What if?’ It worked. Click on this link to read a blog I wrote about the experience. http://sherylgwyther4kids.wordpress.com/.

Q: Do you have a favourite writing ritual?

A: No, not really. But I do sometimes write my first drafts in a leather-bound, blue-lined, smooth paper journal occasionally. It seems to coax the words out.

Q: You write short stories as well as novels. Which form do you enjoy more?

A: Both present challenges! But I do like writing something that I can ‘get my teeth into’, with research etc.

Q: How do you tackle your writer’s block?

A: I’ve never had writer’s block (touch wood! That’s an Aussie expression meaning to keep away bad luck). I always have several stories going on at the same time – so if I am stuck on one story, I put it away for a little while and work on something else. Seems to work.

Q: Any daily writing goals you follow?

A: This depends on whether I have set a deadline for a particular work-in-progress. I am about to enter the first 50 pages and synopsis of one of my junior fiction novels into a Manuscript Development Program, run by an Australian publisher. They will only choose ten people, so the writing has to be perfect! Then next week, I’m flying out to the Australian bush to run writing workshops for a group of writers in a small bush town. That should be lots of fun!

Sheryl’s webpage: http://www.sherylgwyther.net/
Sheryl’s blogs: http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com/


Secrets of Eromanga – Lothian/Hachette Books Australian ISBN 0 734409125

Princess Clown – Blake Publishers Australian ISBN 9781741 646481


  1. I love the idea of two stories from different times interweaving. And I love a good mystery. So, I'm going to have to get that book for sure!

  2. What a great idea to have a couple projects going at one time!

  3. Great interview! So funny we both have one up right now. ;D Thanks for coming by to visit.