Author Has Motherly Focus

Susannah McFarlane at Fullers Launceston. Photo by Phillip Briggs.You Can’t take the mother out of the publisher
By Brianna McShane, The Examiner
24 Mar, 2012

Melbourne publisher and author Susannah McFarlane was at Launceston’s Fullers Bookshop yesterday talking to parents and teachers about age-appropriate reading and writing for kids.

With more than 20 years’ publishing experience, McFarlane became a children’s author after her son Edvard was a reluctant reader.

She co-authored Boy Versus Beast, a series of books with no more than 2000 words and with subjects Ms McFarlane said often reluctant readers were interested in, such as Pokemon and video games.

McFarlane also created the original concept of tween fiction series Zac Power. After having her own daughter Emma and watching girls in her son’s class, McFarlane also wrote the EJ12 Girl Hero series.

She said she saw young girls were competent yet had no confidence.

“As a mother I wanted to write something that would give them confidence,” she said.

Instead of writing about shopping and boys, she wrote stories of adventure. “Sometimes girls want to be pretty and sometimes they also want to climb trees,” she said.

Ms McFarlane expressed concern about the over sexualisation of girls in literature and advertising, which she said meant girls were growing up too quickly.

Today, McFarlane will run a free fun writing workshop called Code-breaking and Beast Making for children aged six to 10 at Fullers Bookshop.