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Tuesday 22 March 2016

Review: Not Just a Piece of Cake

Anecdultory is how Hazel Edwards describes storytelling. This is exactly what this fascinating memoir is filled with – lots of stories about her travels through writing and life. Its light-hearted and humorous tone invites the reader into all the stages and places that Hazel has ventured.

She shares her creative process and progress through children’s books, and reveals the questions that kids frequently ask, and her answers to them. This part is highly entertaining reading. Her curiosity and uninhibited ability to question anyone and everyone is often the source of many ideas that become books.

The hippocampus is where Hazel’s memories are stored, and her recollections are fresh and detailed. She comments on memory and recollection, and has an interesting view on the importance of collaboration.

Hazel is an adventurous traveller and her definition of research is being there and experiencing things first hand. An expedition to Antarctica, a trip to Nepal, and crossing the Great Wall of China, have all been quests to personally view and understand the subjects for books.  Her insatiable desire to create something valuable to offer readers has seen her explore diverse areas of social, cultural and ethnic importance.

Hazel’s memoir is comprised of 28 chapters. The first half is dedicated to her children’s writing, her school visits and interaction with the students, their response to her kid’s books, and what it takes to be a children’s author. In the second part the narrative continues to be rich and warm as if she is holding a face-to-face conversation with the reader. She talks about her adult life and writing in detail. There are wonderful photographs to accompany the narrative taken by her daughter Kim, Mich Layet and Mary Broome.

Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author is a valuable resource for those interested in the lifetime and work of Hazel Edwards OAM, and how she repeatedly challenges herself and refreshes her work with new ideas.

Title: Not Just a Piece of Cake Being an Author
Author: Hazel Edwards
Publisher: Brolga Publishing, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: December 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781922175809
For ages: All ages
Type: Memoir