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A slice of life memoir of the process of creativity for a longterm author who also has a family.'Not Just a Piece of Cake’ takes the reader behind the books, including the classic 'There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake' Hazel Edwards has a cake-eating hippo on her roof, an OAM for Literature and thousands of book-children, as well as a real family, Plus the HazelnA slice of life memoir of the process of creativity for a longterm author who also has a family.'Not Just a Piece of Cake’ takes the reader behind the books, including the classic 'There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake' Hazel Edwards has a cake-eating hippo on her roof, an OAM for Literature and thousands of book-children, as well as a real family, Plus the Hazelnuts she has mentored and a readership in thirteen languages. Using ‘anecdultery’, Hazel explains why writing, longterm, is mentally risky but vital culturally and contributes to a non-boring life. The hippocampus is where memories are kept, even those of Antarctica, where Hazel was an expeditioner. She shares her author quest and the quandary of how much to reveal.Collaborating with illustrators, performers, co-authors and even family. Heart tugging fan mail. Literary speed dating with characters. Dealing with the Plateau of Boredom and the Map of Serendipity. But also sharing 'the process of the process of writing' and why storytelling matters culturally, and personally. And why a 6 year old knew she wanted to be an author....

Title : Not Just a Piece of Cake; Being an Author
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781922175809
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 180 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Not Just a Piece of Cake; Being an Author Reviews

  • Juliet Sampson
    2019-05-24 18:35

    A review of a most valuable resource for aspiring writers.As we all know it is not just a piece of cake in any profession, yes it is hard work… I remember someone once telling me that if someone who has succeeded in life tells you it has not been hard work they are lying…Not Just A Piece Of Cake Being An Author is a true account of Hazel Edwards long spanning career as an author. Now at the age of 70 she continues to be passionate about what she does.Hazel’s book starts with her memories of reading. This is an interesting point for everyone to think about. Who fostered your love of reading? Was it your grandparents or mother?Deadlines are also a part of the world of a writer. Hazel discusses the importance of taking your writing seriously and setting goals, time limits and cut off dates. I have observed this with other writers who work on their manuscripts for years. Yes, I believe in editing and getting to know your characters but there is a time when you need to let go. Nothing is ever perfect and I still find mistakes in professional novels I read.Criticism and risk taking are also mentioned. Yes all authors get rejections and rejection can be for many reasons. For example, a story of a similar nature has just been published or the budget does not allow for a new book. Do not always take the path of thinking my writing is crap so that is why it was not picked up by a publisher. Seek path B if you want to really write, re edit or start a new story, there are so many options to success.Hazel stresses the fact about being different. It is a ‘strength’ rather than a ‘weakness.’ Another chapter discusses Literacy Speed Dating, interviewing your characters and getting to know their viewpoint. I loved reading this chapter and learning about the hippopotamus. I think if you know your characters well this will come across in your story.As Hazel mentions, I also do not believe in writer’s block. She states ‘I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it is self-indulgence by those unwilling to discipline themselves. Routine writing can be produced to a deadline by a disciplined professional and the quality will be acceptable.’These are wise words from an experienced author.Not Just A Piece Of Cake Being An Author also discusses Fan Art, Fan Mail, Witty Women Lunches, Author visits, What happens on a National Book Tour and how talk back radio draws interesting questions.Hazel discusses the influence family and friends have had on her writing. The trials and tribulations of writing, time management, less sleep and compromise just to name a few.In her long spanning career, Hazel has taught professional writing, adult education courses and mentored others. She discusses how she wanted to be an author from the age of six but never personally met a writer till aged 23. I learnt Mintee is the name for ‘those who are mentored.’ But Hazel also has her own self named group ‘Hazelnuts.’I also loved reading a section that mentioned the difference between ‘an amateur writer’ and a ‘professional writer’ but will let you read the book to find this out for yourself.Just to summarize location, settings, travel, research and how she has developed ideas for story writing are also included in the book.Final reflections for aspiring authors.Why do I write?Is this something I want to do?Nothing is easy and as Hazel says it is not just a piece of cake being an author.

  • Megan Higginson
    2019-04-29 19:34

    Hazel’s memoir is engaging, ‘non-boring,’ and not set out like a normal memoir. There are many anecdotes, or as Hazel calls them, ‘Anecdultery,’ ‘embellishing and re-telling stories.’ For a reader who is an aspiring writer, these anecdotes make you realize the great impact a good story can have on a child. In reading her memoir you discover what it takes to be an author. The time and energy required. The preparation for author visits. There is so much involved after your book has hit the shelves. Yet it so rewarding to hear that your story has impacted and made a difference in the lives of your readers.There is an incredible amount of satisfaction in writing. There is even more when you send ‘your babies out into the world’ (Hazel Edwards) and the readers make the characters their own, especially the rooftop cake-eating hippo. And for an aspiring writer, ‘Not Just a piece of Cake: Being an Author’ gives a realistic view of a creative workstyle, long-term.

  • Anne Ryan
    2019-05-23 18:18

    Hazel’s memoir ‘Not Just a Piece of Cake – Being an Author, reveals how her quest to master the art of intrinsic motivation, so vital to a creative life, drove her career throughout her colourful life.This open, honest and authentic account of her career is an inspiration and a gift to our country’s future creative talents.I thoroughly enjoyed her conversational format so consistent with Hazel’s signature voice.Hazel is a master at adding value to the hard copy format for her readers, due to the ease of returning to the conversation at any point that resonates with current musings. I love that I can always pick up her books and start reading from anywhere in the text. A true sign of an abstract creative thinker!

  • Felicity Marshall
    2019-05-23 20:37

    Hazel Edwards has a unique voice and it shines through in her memoir 'Not Just a Piece of Cake; Being an Author'. This book is a rich tapestry of her experiences from a childhood growing up in her parents' General Store in rural Gippsland through her years as a mother and a teacher to recently being awarded an OAM for services to literature. It is an author's practical guide to surviving days on the road doing school visits and writing festivals when things can go wrong - bad directions, technical glitches, keeping a large salmon in a motel room with no fridge and losing your voice. Hazel's writing has taken her from outback Australia to China, Europe and Antarctica. Being an author with an inquisitive mind, she delves into topics as diverse as lifestyle on an Antarctic base to family history research and the difficulties of gender transition. Her works embrace fiction and non-fiction for both young children and adults and she is one of Australia's most prolific and much loved authors. She discusses the practicalities of juggling family life with creative time and gives down-to-earth advice about the perseverance needed to succeed as an author. Hazel's gift for teaching is apparent throughout 'Not Just a Piece of Cake' and her tapestry of anecdotes is sewn together with the threads of humour and compassion. This is a generous book that is a great read for both established and aspiring authors as well as for mature fans of that very famous hippo on Hazel’s roof.

  • Mich Layet
    2019-05-10 21:39

    The generosity of this author shines through in such a quiet manner. Hazel Edwards gives of her time all the time. Reading to children , travelling and encouraging writing and friendships with-in the book world.This book threads many parts of Hazel's work and travels. Chapter 21 is my favourite.Hazel is a force of nature as is her story a must read for all of us. Long may she keep writing.

  • Susanne Gervay
    2019-05-11 18:35

    This memoir is also an author's life on the road. She’s ‘been everywhere man (or more appropriately woman)’ from a Nepali Montessori School in Kathmandu reading hippo; Nanjing School for the Blind; the mining settlement of Mt Newman in the heart of the East Pilbara. There have been times of exhaustion and exhilaration adventuring on the road as an author speaking at schools, literary festivals, libraries and community events for all ages. Everything that can goes wrong did go wrong from Hippo the huge stuffed hippopotamus splitting at the seams; to losing her voice; to a helicopter crash in the Antarctic. But then everything that can go right did go right from a standing ovation at St Kilda Film Festival premiere of the Pocket Bonfire film version of Hazel’s Hippo eating that cake; being in Paris and seeing Hippo displayed in the Australian Bookshop; to Alice the Country Women’s Association ‘best cook’ making Hazel 24 profiteroles in Condobolin in exchange for writing ideas.It is heart-warming, to read the fan mail Hazel receives from children and adults. Writing is more than a book. It is a full life that includes working with Auslan, Australian Sign Language and Braille, being a National Reading Ambassador and supporting literacy in a myriad of ways.Hazel also translates her experiences into practical writing advice. How to embellish and retell stories, maintaining integrity in what you write, writer’s block, developing characters, getting ideas, how to develop them and a host of invaluable insights into the writing process.‘Not just a piece of cake: Being An Author’ is a delightful insight into the life of a much loved author. It inspires those who wish to begin the author’s journey and those on the journey. It’s also a book with a special quirkiness that once you have finished reading it, you want to drop in again and again. Highly recommended.

  • Ryan Kennedy
    2019-05-13 16:26

    Reading Hazel's memoir is like meandering joyfully through a garden at just the right pace. The standard chronological sequence of time is thrown out, in favour of something that resembles how memories really surface, pose questions then disappear. It's a delightful exploration of the facets of a hugely productive and successful writer who continues to question, suggest answers, then question some more, for the love of thinking. Well worth reading.

  • Anna Ciddor
    2019-05-07 23:22

    Reading ‘Not just a piece of cake being an author’ is like sitting down in a comfy armchair and having a chat with a fascinating companion. Hazel Edwards’ memoir contains a fount of interesting anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, all shared in a friendly, natural voice. This is a light, easy read but with lodes of underlying depth that make you want to keep on reading to mine all the gold.The book is neither a strict ‘how to’ book on being an author, nor a chronological autobiography, but rather a useful and appealing combination of both. For those interested in a writing career there are anecdotes that give a clear picture of life as author – informative for budding writers and a source of delighted moments of recognition for fellow writers. There are poignant and inspiring stories, such as thank-you notes from parents who have shared the Hippopotamus books with very sick children. And there are a multitude of generous tips on writing, including how to make non-fiction interesting, and ‘10 diet ingredients for a Memorable Story Recipe.’ The book also works as a highly enjoyable and enlightening life story to be read by non-writers. The typical image of an author as an introverted hermit living alone in an ivory tower certainly does not apply to Hazel Edwards. The list of her experiences reads like one of her own mystery stories: camel rides in the Australian outback, helicopter crashes, getting ice-bound in Antarctica, trekking in Nepal, coming near to death with a rare disease… to name but a few! And many of these adventures Hazel Edwards did not undertake till she was well into her fifties and beyond!The book also reveals the important contribution a writer can make to the world and to individual lives. Hazel Edwards maintains a strong conscience with the topics she chooses to write about, using her books to break down stereotypes and bring hidden issues into the spotlight. She also spends a large part of her life visiting outback communities and helping children in remote areas connect with literature and learn about the wider world. Her descriptions of this part of her life are touching as well as entertaining. Any person who led such an extraordinary, action-packed and public-spirited life would be an object of admiration, but the fact that Hazel Edwards has managed all this as a married woman raising a family, while at the same time teaching, studying and writing is incredible! ‘Not just a piece of cake being an author’ is an inspirational book, and shows that anyone can achieve anything.

  • Lynette
    2019-05-22 19:36

    As the author opens up on her childhood, lifestyle and influences, you care that little Hazel was called a liar in primary school for being a fast reader. Maybe you can even relate this to a similar incident at your own school…and Edwards still became a teacher and a teacher of teachers!Her humour and generosity is evident throughout as she shares her history, family secrets, joys and motivations along with the tricks of her trade – how to overcome writer’s block; how to find inspiration. An author of over 200 books for both children and adults, Edwards is best known for her “There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof” collection which has now reached the 30 year anniversary mark. This particular collection has been at the centre of many invitations to speak all over Australia and the world having been recently translated into Chinese.As Edwards invites you into her fascinating world, you want to ask questions: What did happened when you miscalculated daylight savings? No broadcast that day? Are you glad that you made that trip to Antarctica? It sounds scary. What was the email story that you send to Lachie that would work for any child’s name to be inserted?Not a long book at 178 pages, but read it once for story and if you are interested in writing, read it again for tips on process.

  • Bronwen
    2019-05-12 20:29

    Hazel Edwards can't help being a generous and big-hearted author, who even in her memoir, 'Not just a piece of cake: Being an Author', has effortlessly woven her mentorship of other authors into her own story. Her story is one of resilience and creativity drawing from anything life brings her way.For aspiring authors, I would highly recommend reading this in conjunction with Authorpreneurship: The business of Creativity, as 'Not just a piece of cake' fleshes out the personal background to many of the examples she uses to guide authors. One can't help but gain inspiration from Hazel, and she has written a completely non-boring memoir here.

  • Hazel Edwards
    2019-05-23 18:40

    Errol Broome's Review: This is much more than a memoir. The intriguing title hints that it is also about a famous Hippo, and it comes with useful advice, from experience, to aspiring authors, i.e. take note of the workload involved in being an author. Hazel Edwards tells her story with humour and her own inventive knack with words. She mixes aspects of her life in writing with being an advocate for and supporter of children's literature and her adventures with child readers all over the world.Recommended to both readers and writers.

  • Susanne
    2019-05-04 19:33

    Reading Hazel Edwards' memoir is like chatting with a good friend. It's a wonderful collection of anecdotes, ideas, and experiences, all shared in a wonderfully informal and conversational style.There is so much to glean from this memoir including insights into writing, the creative process and the way a sharing a story can impact generations. With Hazel's book 'There's a Hippo on the Roof Eating Cake' so familiar to many children and parents, 'Not Just a Piece of Cake' is a rare and fascinating opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the life of a well-known author to learn about Hazel's experiences as a writer, her approach to writing and creativity, and her wonderful interactions with her fans (of all ages).'Not Just a Piece of Cake' is ideal for anyone who is interested in insights into the life of an author and will particularly fascinate emerging and new children's authors. Amongst the anecdotes, there is a wealth of information to inspire and inform anyone who dreams of a career as a children's author.A thoroughly enjoyable book that I know I will return to again and again.

  • Deborah Benson
    2019-05-08 23:26

    Hazel Edwards has not just written an everyday memoir. She has also shared her passion for writing. At an early age she was drawn by an inquisitive nature and keen observational skills to make the most of whatever situation she found herself in. Her flamboyant character embraced life by living in the present. ‘ Not Just A Piece of Cake, Being An Author’, is an insightful collection of ‘anecdultery’ for writers of any standard as Edwards covers all aspects of creative, imaginative and factual storytelling, including promotion, publication and problems with publishing a book.Very easy to read, with humour so natural to Edwards, makes this book a pleasure to read as well as inspirational.

  • Louise Wilson
    2019-05-17 18:29

    Hazel is a powerhouse of energy in real life - and on the page too. I loved this quirky account of a life well led, a practical life but often played out of left field. The book's full of insights and useful tips for anyone trying to make a living as a writer. We can't all be like her, but I'm one of many who has benefited from Hazel's sound advice. Thank you, Hazel.