Child­hood mem­o­ries in­spire mag­i­cal book

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - ARTS & ENTERTAINM­ENT -

A Rip­ple­brook res­i­dent has re­leased a chil­dren’s book filled with mag­i­cal ad­ven­tures of four farm kids and quirky Aus­tralian an­i­mal friends.

Jour­nal­ist turned au­thor Karen Casey has pur­sued cre­ative writ­ing since child­hood.

De­spite pro­duc­ing sev­eral manuscript­s for not-yet-pub­lished adult books, Karen was in­spired to turn her fo­cus to writ­ing a chil­dren’s book with “The Ex­tra­or­di­nary, Unor­di­nary Gum Tree” her first at­tempt.

The book con­tain­ing par­al­lels to Enid Bly­ton’s clas­sic se­ries “The Far­away Tree” will also see $1 from ev­ery book sale sup­port­ing farm­ers via Aussie Helpers.

Whilst read­ing books to her three chil­dren, Karen said she came across The Far­away Tree books and lovely mem­o­ries from child­hood came flood­ing back.

It cer­tainly pro­vided ini­tial in­spi­ra­tion to write a chil­dren’s book.

Whilst her boys had been read­ing books filled with potty hu­mour, Karen said “I want to write a story that’s not old­fash­ioned, but just nice.”

“The Ex­tra­or­di­nary, Unor­di­nary Gum Tree” is cer­tainly mag­i­cal. It cen­tres around four farm kids climb­ing up a tree and their ad­ven­tures in the Aus­tralian en­vi­ron­ment along­side some quirky Aus­tralian an­i­mal char­ac­ters.

The 145-page book rep­re­sents years of work, with Karen able to step up her writ­ing ef­forts this year.

“Ob­vi­ously pur­su­ing a cre­ative writ­ing ca­reer is a big call,” said Karen. “It’s a hard in­dus­try to break into.”

“I have the op­por­tu­nity now to do that with the kids off at school.”

The book is il­lus­trated by Garfield artist Guy Price who has pre­vi­ously cre­ated CD cover art and a mu­ral at In­ter­sport War­ragul.

“I was re­ally ea­ger and im­pa­tient to see what he came up with. It was fun, I loved it.”

Due to the na­ture themes of the book, Karen wanted to gen­er­ate sup­port for farm­ers who have faced hard­ships, in­clud­ing the dairy cri­sis and drought.

Although not farm­ers, Karen said friends and neigh­bours were and “it’s just the world we live in”.

“I had writ­ten most of the man­u­script be­fore all of the trou­bles and hard­ships with farm­ing were be­ing high­lighted,” she said. “Although there is no magic that can re­lieve them of that hard­ship, the book can pro­vide some heart-warm­ing en­ter­tain­ment and some sup­port via the char­ity (Aussie Farm­ers).”

Karen has al­ready started work on a pre­quel and is fi­nal­is­ing a non-fic­tion travel man­u­script based on her blog about an ex­tremely blotched at­tempt to take the fam­ily on a car­a­van hol­i­day around Aus­tralia.

The self-pub­lished “The Ex­tra­or­di­nary, Unor­di­nary Gum Tree” is now avail­able at Need2Read in War­ragul, The Wil­low Branch in Drouin, The Three Cheeky Mon­keys in Yar­ragon, Im­podimo Liv­ing and Gift­ing in Garfield and Va­ri­ety Book­room in Moe as well as an eBook avail­able on­line.

Rip­ple­brook res­i­dent Karen Casey has re­leased a chil­dren’s book, “The Ex­tra­or­di­nary, Unor­di­nary Gum Tree”, filled with magic, ad­ven­ture and quirky char­ac­ters.

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