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Andrew McDonald is an author of books for young readers. He has visited many primary and secondary schools to talk about his writing and conduct workshops. His novels include The Greatest Blogger in the World and Son of Death. Andrew has a diploma in Creative Writing from RMIT University.
I was born in Melbourne, in a suburb to the north called Watsonia. As I grew up I spent my time reading indoors and kicking a football around outdoors. I was just an average kid who dreamed of being either an author or a football player. Happily, one of those dreams came true.
During my teenage years I was a cook at the Pancake Parlour. I still make pretty good pancakes (the key is to sour your milk with lemon or vinegar).
Since then I’ve worked as an editor and freelance writer. I’ve also worked for Readings in Melbourne and as a children’s bookseller at the Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London.
My books all seem to follow characters who are trying their best to succeed and often failing, but learning how to fail well. Which is definitely a success in itself.
Humour is a big part of my writing too. That’s probably because I write jokes to entertain myself as I write. But readers love funny stories so the jokes end up staying and becoming a big part of the story.
I’m also a sucker for a good plot twist and an adventure that rollicks along, while also having something important to say. In this way The Greatest Blogger in the World explores ideas of online etiquette and privacy, while Son of Death explores ideas about mortality.
The absolute highlight of writing books for children is when I get to go out to schools and meet the young readers who have read my novels and are interested in books and writing. Usually we end up talking about Roald Dahl or Skulduggery Pleasant or Harry Potter afterwards when the students should be getting along to their next class. Sorry teachers!
Books. North Melbourne Football Club. Avocados. Writing. Tintin. Crunchy peanut butter (smooth is for suckers). Reading.
You might remember me from a blog post that went viral a few years ago called A Pictorial Guide to Camera Loss.
We have had some great feedback from the kids – they really loved your visit! Your books are all the craze and many are waiting to borrow them.
Andrew had a fantastic rapport with the kids, and a really great gift for communicating important ideas about writing, while keeping them thoroughly entertained.