Hey cHEwY gum gums! Happy (belated) Lunar New Year? Yes, I’m still here. I’ve had a nice break, playing Xenoblade Chronicles X (33 hours and still going strong). I had all these wild dreams of finishing manuscripts and other things, but it all took a back seat to just relaxing and hanging out with friends and family. I did enjoy watching the tennis in Melbourne over Australia day weekend. I guess I work like Channel 7, everything happens after the tennis.

Now that the kids are back at school and MKR is on screens again, I’m ready to tackle 2016! Last week I went to the Penguin Random House offices for an afternoon tea with some children’s authors from the Penguin and Random House stables. I’ve met a lot of the Random House authors such as Belinda Murrell, Jacqueline Harvey and Tristan Bancks over the years through festivals and events. Plus I used to review Random House books for Buzz Words, an online children’s author magazine. So it was a pleasant surprise to be all under the same roof now.

I got to catch up with some old friends from Team Penguin too, namely my publicist and sales representative, along with my publisher and editor…and I knew some of the other Random House team through various events too. There was only a few people that I didn’t know such as Julie Burland, the CEO of Penguin Random House haha. She wanted to touch my hair and I said sure, why not, because she is the boss after all hehe. I have a new book, The Other Christy out this year, so it was a good reminder of why it’s great to be backed by a big publisher like Penguin Random House.

We sat through a brief presentation about last year’s book sales and children’s books are still leading the way.¬†They introduced their combined sales and publicity team who will try their best to promote our books. I know it’s up to the author as well, and social media has made it easier (I’ve finally got my andriod-powered Blackberry Priv, so that means I’m on instagram and pinterest now haha @oliverwinfree), but still you can’t beat a dedicated children book’s publicist…and I can’t wait to go plug The Other Christy in June. And I’m going to go all out too…cupcakes for everyone haha. So as 2 big publishers come together to share expertise and ideas, it’s the best of both worlds. I’ve always admired the way Random House presented their children’s authors at various events with their cool banners and now I get to have one (hopefully haha).

Plus I can still give penguin slaps to people, gimme five!

O.W

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books are Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd and Punchlines :-)