Yvette Absalom, the author of Alex and Sally, see the galaxy, released her book in April 2019. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life had been treating her since she was published.
- Did you always dream of becoming an author?
As a child, I loved writing and won a lot of creative writing competitions. I always thought I would be an author when I grew up. As an adult, I had a lot of ideas for novels but found it difficult to get motivated and find my voice. Once I began working as an educational designer, I found my motivation again. I realised I could combine my love of design and science with writing, to produce books that will get children excited about STEM subjects and learn while reading engaging stories.
- What was your first job?
My first job at high school was working on an after school TV show, speaking to callers and occasionally acting in the show’s skits. It was a great first job!
- How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I started off reading the Encyclopaedia of Space to my four-year-old son. He was fascinated with everything space-related, but we could only find children’s books that talked about planets. I started coming up with ways to paraphrase the encyclopaedia, to make it more easily understandable for him, and the writing started from there.
- What was your life like before you became an author?
My life has been interesting – I’m a single Mum and work as an educational designer. I absolutely love both. My son is amazing, and a big supporter of my writing. My work is also really engaging. I design content for online learning, virtual reality simulations, learning apps and print books.
- Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
I’ve had a few health issues, including a brain tumour, but thanks to the support of my family I got through it and am all clear now. As a single Mum, I don’t have a lot of spare time, so I wrote a lot of this book while I was recovering from surgery, then on public transport to radiotherapy, and now that I’m back at work I do most of my writing on public transport to and from the office.
- Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
As my first book was released very recently, the only change so far has been attending book readings here in Melbourne and going around independent bookstores to see if they’re interested in stocking it.
- Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
A typical day in my life involves getting up and packing lunches for the day, waking my son and getting him ready for school. After dropping him at school, I grab the tram into the office, and if I can get a seat, I work on my next book, scribbling notes in a notebook I keep in my handbag. After an eight hour day at work, I head home again and write more on the train, then pick up my son and head home for dinner and bed.
- What is the most memorable moment of your life as an author?
Reading Alex and Sally See the Galaxy in a two-hour workshop at my son’s school. The kids were all engaged and asked me a lot of questions about my writing process. Then we mapped out the structure of the book, and they had a go at writing simple explanations of topics they know about in the form of a narrative. They came up with some fantastic stories, on everything from cats to football!
- In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
I am a very fussy person, and Pegasus did well to put up with all my requests! In the end, we got there, with a final book I’m really proud of, thanks Pegasus for all your support!
- Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I considered several publishers and had a look at the authors signed with them. I approached many authors asking what their experiences had been like with their respective publishers, and the author I approached who signed with Pegasus provided a glowing recommendation. So that made my decision very easy!
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