'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Event: Almost Dead Book Launch

I first heard Kaz Delaney speak at the Newcastle Writers’ Festival in 2013. Kaz was part of two different panels, one on romantic fiction and the other on crossover fiction (books that target both teens and adults). I loved Kaz’s insights, attitude and approach in both sessions, so I was keen to pick up a copy of her YA novel Dead, Actually, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading (see our KBR review here).

Since then, my 12-year-old daughter has attended one of Kaz’s writing workshops with a friend. Both girls came out of the two-hour session chattering enthusiastically about the things they had learned and talking almost non-stop on the trip home about how interesting and exciting Kaz’s presentation and writing exercises were. I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

It is therefore no surprise that my daughter and I were both very excited to discover that Kaz Delaney would be launching her latest YA novel, Almost Dead, locally. At almost 13, my daughter is at the lowest limit of the target audience for the book, but her enthusiasm for Kaz had her saying ‘Yes!’ to the possibility of attending the launch before I had even finished sharing the details of the invitation.

With a large crowd of family, friends and fans in attendance, Almost Dead was launched by local journalist and Newcastle Writers’ Festival organiser Rosemarie Milsom. Rosemarie praised Kaz’s wonderfully genuine writing style and the way she creates characters that readers can truly relate to and connect with. Kaz then spoke about what the creation of Almost Dead has meant to her – the highs, lows, triumphs and struggles. As always, learning about the journey taken to produce the story added to my enjoyment and appreciation of the book itself.

Kaz Delaney has an incredibly warm personality that draws you in and creates an instant connection, something that goes a long way to explaining how she manages to create characters that readers can connect with so easily. We were very excited to have our copy of Almost Dead signed by Kaz and we picked up two more copies as gifts for friends of my daughter.

I’m sure that Kaz will spend the coming months focused on promoting Almost Dead as well as running her writing workshops, however I’m hoping that she will be able to set aside a little bit of time to start sketching out her next YA novel. Kaz’s name is now firmly on my ‘must read’ list of authors, so I’ll be keeping an eye on her website for any updates on future projects.

Kaz Delaney is an Australian author of more than 65 titles for children and teens. Her YA novel Dead, Actually won Favourite Paranormal at the Australian Romance Reader's Association Awards and won an Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2012. Her latest novel, Almost Dead, is a companion book to Dead, Actually and was published by Allen & Unwin in January 2014. Visit Kaz Delaney's website to find out more about her books and writing tips or check out her Facebook page for more information.

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