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Friday, 6 March 2015

Reflective Entry from "You Choose" Young Adult Fiction Author George Ivanoff: " An Author for All Seasons" - 11am, Saturday, 13th December 2014

Left to Right: Joe Bosa, Jessi Hooper, George Ivanoff

On Saturday 13 December I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Mentone Public Library as part of their An Author For All Seasons finale and Christmas Celebration. This was my fourth year on this speaking programme and I am very chuffed at being asked back.

I do a lot of speaking gigs at libraries and schools, but most of these are targeted at specific age-groups. So speaking to a general audience is a little different for me. After four years, the Mentone Public Library has become a very comfortable space, and the volunteer staff always make me feel so very welcome. As a result, my approach to the talks here is much more off-the-cuff than those I’ve given at other venues. Rather than preparing too much, I simply jot down a list of things that I think might be good to talk about and then wing it… adapting to the audience as I go. So far, it seems to have worked well.

At this latest session I discussed my new series of children’s books, You Choose — talking about the planning and writing process, the inspirations behind and the response to the books. These books are interactive, placing the reader into the stories with a second person, present tense narrative, and giving the readers choices that have the potential to take the stories along different paths.  As usual, I probably babbled on for too long, but despite this, there were lots of interesting questions at the end… which kept me talking even longer.  :-)  But it’s this discussion at the end of a talk that I enjoy most — interacting with the audience and getting their perspective on things.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the event for me, was not my presentation, but those of the other two guest speakers. Given that I write for young people, the library invited two high school students with a flair and passion for writing to come along and share some of their work.
Jessi Hooper from Mentone Girls Secondary College and Joe Bosa from Mentone Grammar (my old school, incidentally) were both quite impressive, speaking with an obvious enthusiasm and reading some of their writing. It was an honour sharing the proverbial stage with them.

I’d like to say thank you to MP Murrray Thompson and Cr Tamsin Bearsley for showing up. It’s great to see the local pollies getting behind the wonderful community resource that is the Mentone Public Library. Their presence says a lot about this community.

Thank you also to Julia Reichstein and the library volunteer team for inviting me. I’m very pleased to say that I’ll be returning to the library again later this year. I think I may try something a little different and talk about other people’s writing, sharing with the audience the work of some authors that have inspired me over the years.

To find out more about me and my books, check out my website:

George, the Christmas season is never complete at Mentone Public Library without an appearance from you.
Thank-you yet again for a wonderful and uplifting conclusion to our fourth series of "An Author for All Seasons: Series Four - 2014."
We are truly delighted to have you in our line-up to again to close our fifth series with a "You Choose" carol composition of sorts.

Enormous thanks and congratulations to Joe Bosa and Jessi Hooper as well. It is truly a treat to see the literary talent evolving and emerging within our community.

A final thanks to all our authors who formed our 2014 line-up.

Here's to another exciting, collaborative season with our 2015 line-up...complete with a 90th birthday celebration on Saturday, 30th May 2015!

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