With all my attention on getting Dragon Moon finished, I haven’t mentioned my latest book: Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter. This is the second book in black dog books’ series called True Tales. [For readers outside Australia, Ned Kelly was a bushranger (outlaw, bank robber, cattle thief) who is nevertheless something of an Australian hero.]
So if Ned wrote the letter and Dean drew the illustrations (I hear you say), why is my name on the cover of the book? Well I edited it, took out the repetition, added some much-needed punctuation, clarified a few points. The original letter is a rabbling rant. I tried to make it easier to read. Ned had a real way with words, so I tried to retain his wicked sense of humour and wonderful turn of phrase. The letter gives us a window into the mind of this (in)famous Australian. Gives us an idea of what made Ned tick.
This is what the cover looks like. There are some illustrations from the book on the black dog books site. The State Library of Victoria owns the original letter. On the library website, there is a soundscape that enacts the activities at Jerilderie when Ned wrote the letter.
PS Garden of the Purple Dragon was published in UK on 2 Feb, along with the paperback version of Dragon Keeper.