Warragul & Drouin Gazette
Childhood memories inspire magical book
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.