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Sue Elvis

Sue Elvis

Australian blogger, author, podcaster and unschooling mother

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The Angels of Abbey Creek FREE on Kindle

Have you read my children's novel The Angels of Abbey Creek? If you haven't, would you like to? For free?

The Kindle version will be available for free on Amazon for three days starting on Friday 5th February and ending on Sunday 7th February.

This free offer begins approximately at midnight Standard Pacific Time. I just did some Googling and found out that NSW Australia (where I live) is 19 hours ahead of Pacific Time.  It'll be 7 pm on Friday before Australians will be able to download a free copy of my book. (If I have done the maths correctly!)

I love sharing my stories so I hope you'll take advantage of this offer. Perhaps you can share this news with your friends. And if you enjoy my novel, please let me know!

The above photo is of my youngest daughter, Gemma-Rose. Of course, she's holding a copy of The Angels of Abbey Creek. Gemma-Rose took my book down to the bush. Her sister Sophie went with her. Sophie, who is passionate about photography, took her camera and then captured this photo (and lots of others.) I'll show you more of them another day!

PS If you'd like a free copy of the Angels of Abbey Creek paper dolls to go with your book, please email me.

The World of The Angels of Abbey Creek

In my last post, I told you how I wrote my very first children's story and then sent it to Father James Tierney, author of the Bush Boys book, for his opinion. And Father sent back a message: "Write some more!" Of course, I felt very excited as I headed back to my computer. What would I write next?

I wondered if I could write another story about the characters I'd invented for my first story. Could I write a whole book of stories about this family? Maybe I could write a novel for my Goddaughter, Elizabeth.

I decided I would set my stories in Elizabeth's world. I wanted her to read about familiar places and events and children who might be a bit like her. I happen to know Elizabeth's world very well. I live in it too!

So what's our world like? Well, we both live in Australia. We know all about enjoying life with lots of brothers and sisters. We celebrate birthdays, go on picnics, visit the beach and do lots of other things families around the world like doing. We know all about hunting for the perfect First Holy Communion dress, how wonderful it is to have three mothers, and how exciting it is to go out in the middle of the night to attend Midnight Mass. We've seen bounding kangaroos, strolled under shady gum trees, woken up to the sound of chuckling kookaburras, and admired the beauty of golden wattle flowers.

My novel The Angels of Abbey Creek is set in a village nestled among the gum trees. I know this place very well because I live there. Of course, I changed the name of the village before I put it in my book, but all the details belong to a real place: my home.

I love writing about things I know about. I often take an event that has really happened and turn it into a story to share with other people.

"Did that really happen, Auntie Sue?"

"It's mostly true," I say. "I just sprinkled in some imagination."

Is the Angel family really the Elvis family? Yes and no. None of the characters corresponds directly to anyone in my family, but I did have fun making them just a little bit like us. For example, whenever the Angel family leaves their house, Mr Angel always returns to check if he locked the front door. My husband Andy does that all the time! Even when someone tells him they saw him turn the key in the lock, he still has to check for himself. (I wonder if you know anyone like that.)

So that's a little bit about my Angels of Abbey Creek world. I'm sure I'll share more details with you in future posts. I'm also likely to share some stories of my own family. I won't be able to help it. The Angel world and the Elvis world often overlap!

I took these photos some time ago when my daughter Gemma-Rose and I went for a walk around our village.

How I Came to Write My Very First Story

I write stories for children. (I write a lot of other things too!) They’re set in the world I live in. My Goddaughter lives in a world just like mine.

I mention my Goddaughter because she's a very important part of my writing story. If it weren't for Elizabeth, I probably never would have written my children's novels.

It all began when Elizabeth's mother said something like, "Sue, you should write a story for children."

Now I knew how to write interesting letters to children. At least, Elizabeth thought my letters were pretty good. But stories? I didn't think I could do it so I said, "I can't write fiction." And that might have been the end of it, except I couldn't get Elizabeth's mother's words out of my head. Around and around they went until one day I announced, "I'm going to write a story. It might be awful, but what if it's not? I won't know until I try."

So I tried. I opened up my computer and began. I found myself in charge of lots of characters. I chose their names and decided what they were going to do. It was a lot of fun. When I'd typed the very last word, I was very excited. I couldn't wait to share what I'd written. I shouted, "Hey girls, do you want to listen to my story?" Of course, my daughters did, and so I read it out loud. "Well, do you like it?" I asked. They did! There was just one problem: Perhaps they liked it because I'm their mother and not because it was good. I needed another opinion. And I knew just the person to ask: Father James Tierney.

Father Tierney is a priest, an author, and my friend. He knows all about children's fiction because he's the author of the very successful Bush Boys books. I decided to fax my story to Father Jim. Perhaps he'd read it and then give me some feedback.

After my story had disappeared down the phone line, I paced up and down, thinking, "Will Father like my story?" I didn't have to wait long to find out. A few minutes later, I received the words: "Write some more!" So I did. I wrote story after story. (I did a lot of rewriting too.) I wrote enough stories to fill a book.

And that book is called The Angels of Abbey Creek.

If you look in the front of the book, you'll see the words:

For My Goddaughter Elizabeth.

Now you know why Elizabeth is an important part of my writing story.

I write about the world Elizabeth, and I live in.  But what sort of world is that? I'll tell you more in my next post.

Perhaps I Should Introduce Myself...

Welcome to my blog!

Please come in. Take a look around. There’s not a great deal to see at the moment but that will change. Oh yes, I have big plans. I’m going to fill this blog with lots of things I hope children will like. I want to share my stories: some excerpts, some complete ones, even some in the process of being written. And I have lots of associated things I want to post about too.

But first, just in case you don't already know me, perhaps I should introduce myself.

I’m Sue Elvis. And I’m a Catholic author and blogger. I'm also Australian.

Yes, I live in a village somewhere south of Sydney. This village is surrounded by the beautiful Australian bush. When I look out over our backyard fence, all I can see is the bush. So what is 'the bush'? It's native forest. There are gum trees and wattles and all kinds of native plants. Kangaroos and koalas and echidnas and other Australian creatures live there. There are trails where we can walk and run. It's my favourite place in the whole world. And it's just like Abbey Creek where my fictional Angel family lives.

I have a family too. I live in my house on the edge of the bush with my husband, Andy. We have eight children though only 5 of them still live at home.

We have three cats: Poppy, Sammy and Jenny, and one dog called Nora. Do you like her name? She came with it. We got her from the animal shelter.

What do I like doing when I'm not writing or blogging? I love taking photos and running through the bush.

So that's a few facts about me. I'm sure to tell you more as I'm writing my posts.

What shall I write about next? Would you like to hear more about how I came to write my very first story? Yes, I shall tell you about that next time!

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