Awesome Animals Blog Tour

awesome cats I’m thrilled to welcome an author whose life-long dedication to children’s literature is inspirational. It was my privilege to give the introduction speech when she was so deservedly given the Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children’s Literature.

Di Bates taught me most of what I know about writing and impressed upon me the importance of being an active contributor to the cause for child literacy. She’s a brilliant mentor and a much valued friend.

But today is about her latest publishing success – two new books with striking bright covers and wonderful stories about cats (my favourite pets) and dogs (my second favourite pets).

1. Tell us about yourself. 

I’ve been writing books for over 30 years and have published 120+ titles. Living near Wollongong NSW, I have the great fortune to live and work with my prize-winning husband YA author Bill Condon. We share the website

2. What is your book about?

Awesome Animals (Big Sky Publishing) is an entertaining new non-fiction animal series for kids – a Guinness Book of Records meets Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Awesome Cats and Awesome Dogs, the first two books in the series, are each an entertaining new read — a Guinness Book of Records meets Ripley’s Believe It or Not! which features fascinating stories about animals from all over the world. As well, there are relevant book lists, jokes and even humorous animal verses. Each beautifully styled book contains true stories and amazing photographs and quirky, illustrated break-out boxes, introduced by funny cartoon animal characters. The book is best suited for Children aged 8 to 11 years, but there’s no doubt older readers will love the books, too.

5. Why does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects? awesome dogs

Before writing these books I searched all over the market for something similar, but found nothing. Yes, there are books about cats and dogs, but certainly nothing presented in this way. Take cats, for example: in Awesome Cats there are hundreds of short stories about cats in history, cat adventures, famous cats and famous people’s cats, working cats, spoilt cats, and cats in fiction and in TV, on stage and in movies. Here’s just a little ‘teaser’ from the book: In 1976 a mystery cat in Hong Kong killed more than 20 dogs. According to local people it was about four feet long and black or gray in color. It was never caught. Imagine that, a dog-killing cat; certainly not a lap cat!

6. How did the idea for this book come about?

As a full-time, professional children’s author, I am always searching around for an idea which will result in a book that any child would love to read. The three books in the Awesome Animals series are dogs, cats and horses: it would be impossible, I’m sure, to find one of these animals that any child didn’t love, much less cherish. My quest for unusual animal stories began when I found the story of Old Shep, a dog that maintained a five year vigil at the train station in Fort Benton, Montana, America after seeing the coffin of his master loaded onto a train. How faithful is that? Next thing I was finding amazing dog stories everywhere! (I just love dogs and really miss our last beloved dog, Sassy; she has been irreplaceable since she died two years ago of old age.)

7.  Where can people buy Awesome Cats and Awesome Dogs?

The books retail for $14.99 each. Here’s where you can get Awesome Cats … and Awesome Dogs.

Awesome Animals Blog Tour:

  1. 5 October Di Bates Article: Working with Big Sky Publishing
  2. 6 October Karen Tyrrell
  3. 7 October Dee White
  4. 8 October Clancy Tucker
  5. 9 October Susan Whelan http://
  6. 10 October Elaine Ouston
  7. 11 October Sandy Fussell
  8. 12 October Alison Reynolds
  9. 13 October Kate Foster
  10. 14 October Robyn Osborne
  11. 15 October Sally Murphy
  12. 16 October Georgie Donaghey
  13.  17 October Melissa Wray

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