The book launch for the junior fiction novel Sam’s Surfboard Showdown took place on Wednesday at the Robe primary school hall.
Sisters Allayne L Webster and Amanda S Clarke put the book together with Allayne writing the story and Amanda illustrating. School principal Chris McLay welcomed the crowd and a welcome to country was presented by Kingston elder Aunty Penny Bonney who spoke in her traditional language.
The launch had a lively atmosphere as refreshments were available and eager children lined up with their parents to get their copy signed by the sisters. Amanda’s Aboriginal Artwork was on display around the hall and the book was available for sale thanks to Collins book shop of Mount Gambier.
Illustrator Amanda said she was surprised with how great the response had been to the official release of the book.
“A few more people that I didn’t think were going to come came so that’s been good. It was pretty hectic setting everything up,” Amanda said.
Author Allayne spoke about the moral of the story and what the children can take away from the novel after reading it.
“It’s about friendship and helping out your friends as well as winning and losing,” Allayne said.
Allayne also went to the classrooms at Robe primary earlier throughout the day and spoke to the kids about what her experiences have been in getting her books published and what she has had to go through to be successful in the industry.
“We spoke to Years 4 to 7 and we spoke to them about writing for publication. The kids had a lot of questions about how to become an author,” she said. “The kids were really fascinated by the whole book industry and all the jobs on offer.”
Allayne also told the Leader about what inspires her to write and what she would like to see more of in the children’s fiction genre.
“I think it’s important for children to have stories that are set in their own backyard and to have more rural stories. So many stories are set in the city. I think it’s important to be telling stories that are set in rural locations because the challenges that kids face are different.”
The sister duo are hoping to release a sequel if the novel sells well.
Allayne had a lot of people to thank on the day for making the book launch so successful.
”It’s been fantastic to have people turn out and the school has been so supportive. Collins book store from Mount Gambier has also been great. Everyone has been really supportive and wonderful.”