Margaret Pearce is a prolific Australian author with over 50 published books, and a fantastic sense of humour. We are very excited to announce that her latest book, 'Augustus Brown', will be released by Turner Books this coming August!
'Augustus Brown' is a fun, spider-filled picture-book, written by Margaret Pearce, and illustrated by Xanthe Turner. It is not recommended for parents with arachnophobia, but brave young children will love the sweet story and imaginative illustrations.
We had a chat with Margaret Pearce about books, which you can check out below.
What inspired the story of Augustus Brown?
I had a pet spider as a child. A large black and friendly spider who emerged from his web in the corner of the neglected back room window whenever I dumped a blowfly in his web. I do remember I seemed to have a nice relationship with him.
Is Augustus Brown very different from your other books?
I have done a few books about pets. 'Secret in the Compost Bin', 'Wanted! A Horse', 'The Circus Runaways', ' Missing! A Horse', 'Marmaduke', 'For Pete's Sake', and a few others not yet published. First spider pet I have written about.
Are you more of a cat person, a dog person, or a spider person?
I cope with whatever. It is the animals that home in on me. Cats, dogs and horses seem to find me very acceptable to be around.
What do you most love writing about?
I enjoy fantasy, but children and pets are the easiest. Animals are so interesting and individual that you never run out of material with them.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm halfway through a sequel for my adult fantasy 'Mission Perilous', and a quarter way through a middle grade book about a determined cat owner trying to protect her cat’s execution from unproved misbehaviour concerning dead chooks and a doctor’s bill for stitches for the Ranger and a Vet bill for a beaten up small dog.
What has been the most defining moment of your life, up until now?
Once upon a time I had a mid-life crisis which drew my attention to the fact that most of the problems of life are trivialities and should be ignored. This was a very helpful insight as I keep travelling through life.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Sometimes I think I sense presences but never actually seen one, so not sure how to answer that question.
What’s more important - process, or outcome?
As how you handle stuff affects any outcome so I would choose process.
How many books have you written, and do you have a favourite?
Get muddled counting them from when I started, but must be over 50 – a lot of them are ebooks though.
My favourite was the 'Belinda Anne' trilogy. As my daughters rushed home from school they kept demanding the next chapter. So it ended up as too long for a primary and too primary for an adult book. I had a stand-up, knock-down fight with an editor about tightening stuff before I realised she was right and I learned so much about writing. It is published in print with writers-exchange.com as a trilogy. 'Belinda and the Witch's Cat', 'Belinda and the Missing Will', 'Belinda and the Holidays it Rained'.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?
If the person reading this interview were to buy just one of your books, which book would you recommend they buy?
As I write primary, teenage, romance and fantasy it would depend on their age and tastes.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me at my website, or on Facebook.
We will be speaking to Margaret Pearce again before Augustus Brown is launched this August. To stay updated, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.
Limited signed copies of Augustus Brown can be pre-ordered from the Turner Books online store.
Margaret Pearce was a sickly child, and an omnivorous reader. This made for a harmonious and successful substitute for education, as she didn't spend much time at any of the schools she attended. She took to writing (instead of drink) when raising children, and completed an Arts Degree at Monash University as a mature age student. Margaret lurks in an underground flat in the Dandenongs, still writing.
Xanthe Turner loves drawing so much, she has developed callouses on her drawing hand, and is rarely seen without a sketchbook. Her natural habitat is a novel-filled bedroom.
In addition to illustrating (and publishing) books, Xanthe enjoys creating comics, fan art, sculptures, cosplay, and paintings. Xanthe plays guitar and piano (not at the same time) and her life goal is to befriend a sentient robot.
Margaret Pearce (pictured below)