e-book collaborators, Jane & Hazel

Today, we’re lucky to have popular Australian author, Hazel Edwards visiting. Hazel created that very famous Hippopotamus who sits on the roof eating cake.

Hazel Edwards ( is a readaholic  (reads in the bath & listens to audio books in the car but not simultaneously ) She has been writing since she was in Grade 6. Best known for the picture book series ‘There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake’, which is now a film, Hazel writes YA novels such as ‘f2m;the boy within’ , co-written with Ryan Kennedy and has even co-written ‘Cycling Solo;Ireland to Istanbul ‘ with her son Trevelyan Quest Edwards , but he did ALL the cycling.

Currently Hazel is collaborating with illustrator Jane Connory on e-book junior mystery series ‘The Frequent Flyer Twins’ and ‘Project Spy Kids’ where Art, a non-reader is the hero. Next is ‘Astrid the Mind-Reading Chook’and the lost voice at the Grand Final.

Hazel mentors young writers, is an Ambassador for 2012 National Year of Reading and a 2012 nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Award. She also writes a story each birthday for the children in her family. ‘Henry-Garnet, the Serial Sock Puller’ was the latest for 1 year old Henry’s birthday.


Co-writing is a great way to write a better book. If you team up with someone who has different skills, together there are two brains and two imaginations working on the project. If you’re a ‘procrastinator’(that’s someone who puts things off) having to get your share of the writing done before you next meet, helps.

From my ‘f2m;the boy within’ co-author Ryan, I’ve learnt how plot a novel on Skype(Ryan lives in New Zealand) , create a book trailer and do a 3 way webchat and book launch online. I also learnt facts about punk music and new words, because our 18 year old character is a punk musician.

From Jane, I’ve learnt how to format better, and that she thinks in shape and colour and graphics and I think in abstract ideas. I love her character cameos of the frequent flyer twins. and especially the BIG dog called Tiny from the Project Spy Kids series. Check out our ‘Design Your own Mystery’ sheet.Jane illustrates the covers, and the characters ,formats the e-books and draws artwork to go on t-shirts, coffee mugs etc. This is called merchandising.

From the ‘Cycling Solo;Ireland to Istanbul’ project, we’ve learnt that cyclists and backpackers love to read adventures which are short entries. Many people keep blogs, but you need to write for your reader as well as yourself.So we crafted the candid, funny stuff. This is a factual book.

Hints for Co-writing

1. Choose someone who works at your pace.

2. They can live anywhere, because you can co-write online.

3. Your story can be in different formats .

4. An e-book with photos or illustrations, or an audio story can travel internationally, quickly.

5. Series mysteries can have similar covers to link them, just change the colour.

6. Expect to re-draft work. We did 30 drafts for the 30,000 words ‘f2m;the boy within’

7. Work regularly, Jane and I work on Thursdays.

8. Accept criticism of your work. Consider the reason.Then re-write.

9. Read aloud to hear if the story flows.

10. Craft the story for your reader. Choose an apt title.

Make a new friend, via writing & have fun.


Title:”f2m:the boy within” (FOR YOUNG ADULTS)


Author: Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy

Publisher: Ford Street Publishing

EBook Versions: Kindle edition on  and

Readings  bookish ebooks


Click on the picture on the right of Hazel Edward’s great Design Your Own Mystery activity and download the PDF.

This activity is lots of fun for all ages.

We hope you enjoy writing your mystery story.

Keep watching this blog for more great author interviews and activities.

Feel free to share the links:)




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  1. I’m sure the Bendigo Catholic College Literary Festival students( where we both spoke yesterday to hundreds of students from many regional schools ) would appreciate these resources. I did mention the fun as well as the usefulness of collaborating with another creator. And these activities can be used individually or in groups. Thanks for the opportunity to share writing ideas.

    • Thanks for visiting, Hazel and for your great tips and writing activity,

      It was a great day at the festival wasn’t it? Love working with kids who love to write.