Local debut author earns a two-book contract

By Kirra Livingstone

MOUNT Mellum author Kerri Day has a busy year ahead as she promotes the publication of her first children’s book, Beside the Sea, and continues work on a second for release later this year.

The former primary school teacher reignited her passion for writing following her retirement and submitted a number of her stories into writing competitions.

She won the CYA Conference Category 2 Picture Book competition in both 2015 and 2021, which included the opportunity for an assessment session with a publishing editor.

“My session was with a publishing editor from Windy Hollow Books in Melbourne, and she got me to submit two manuscripts, one from the competition that I won,” Kerri said.

“The editor provided me with feedback and decided to publish both books… honestly that was beyond my wildest dreams, I was so pleased to get that tick on my list, I’m very happy about that.”

Following this experience Kerri has just published Beside the Sea, with a second, Run Pups Run, due in October 2023.

Beside the Sea is a fictional narrative about a grandmother and grandchild helping save turtles disorientated from light pollution and ends with the community coming together.

“It’s all about community care and protection for the environment and people working together and the lovely relationship with the grandchild and grandmother in there,” she said.

Kerri said the book was illustrated by award winning illustrator Jess Racklyeft and the collaboration process was enjoyable. “It was a lovely creative collaboration, and it was very generous of her to share her work during the process,” she said.

Run Pups Run, will be published later this year.

While she was keeping details close to her chest, we were told it is a completely joyful story about kids and their dogs who spend a hot day at the beach where “silliness ensues”.