KB: I’m an Australian children’s author, a freelance writer, a review and a blogger. I’ve been a bookworm as long as I can remember, and am thrilled to have just released my first book.
Cloud Conductor, a picture book, is about using your imagination to deal with tough times. It is published by Wombat Books, and beautifully illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn.
In the story, Frankie loves to just sit and watch the clouds. She conducts symphonies in the sky and listens to the melodies that only she can hear.
As the seasons pass, Frankie is taken away from her bedroom on the tales she creates. Even when illness means she can’t leave her bed, she can still escape to the beach with shimmering waves or the outback with thundering horses.
KB: Cloud Conductor was one of the first stories I came up with. It was inspired by an article I read about a sick child. This got me to thinking about how difficult and draining it must be for kids when they’re ill and can’t do the things they normally do.
Being someone who has always had my “head in the clouds” quite a bit, I considered that a child’s imagination would be one of the best tools they could use to cope with illness, or at any other tough time. The idea of looking up at the clouds came to mind, and then, when the title ‘Cloud Conductor’ arose, I knew this was a fun way into the story.
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
KB: Frankie is positive, determined, resilient, inventive, dreamy and creative. She loves hanging around with her dog and her friends, and immersing herself in nature.
She doesn’t give up, even when things seem dire, and she is happy to share with and support others.
BBB: What other books have you written?
KB: My next picture book, titled Yes! No. is coming out next year. It will be published by Little Pink Dog Books, and illustrated by the incredibly talented U.K. artist Gabriella Petruso. It’s worlds apart from Cloud Conductor in style, and is a humorous tale about some escapades cheeky animals get up to.
I’ve also written numerous other picture books, plus a junior fiction novel, and am working on other ideas all the time. Too many stories, not enough time!
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
KB: Readers can head to my website, www.KellieByrnes.com to learn more about me and my work. On the site you’ll find my blog, too, where I review children’s books and interview other creatives.
You can also connect with me on Twitter at @KellieJByrnes and on Facebook at KellieByrnesAuthor, amongst other places.
I’m available for school talks and workshops too, and as a writer-for-hire for publishers, businesses, and individuals. More details are available on my website.
Cloud Conductor is for sale online and in Australian bookstores. My publisher, Wombat Books, ships the book internationally for the same price as Australian shipments, which is fantastic. Booktopia is another great online outlet that’s stocking the book.