M J Gibbs, Marg has published 14 children’s books. She is devoted and committed to the love of literature and art for children. The themes in her books reflect nature, friendship, family, hope and working together. A lover of poetry from an early age, Marg has written 4 anthologies for young readers; Backpacks and Paper Planes – travel poems for kids is her latest.
You’ll find Marg reading stories and poems at her Mapleton home in the Blackall Ranges.
The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet
Lenny Watts lives with his cranky Uncle Jack on Pigeon Farm. Together they sort through the day-to-day challenges with a bunch of injured rescue animals that Lenny adores. Soon, there is a missing tortoise and Rottweiler, a reward offered and a schoolyard bully who pushes his way into the mix.
Aimed at 7-10 years, Lenny must face his emotions – those of his family, budding romance, and beautiful pets. Discover the mystery and magic, community bonds and kindness that Lenny shares. And what happens in the waiting room of the country vet clinic is just the beginning.
THE WRITING PROCESS
The words and story flowed well once my ideas came together.
The hardest thing was getting the grumpy Uncle Jack’s voice right. I edited a few times and practised reading the dialogue aloud to make sure it conveyed what I wanted it to in order to show Uncle Jack’s character.
When the uncle is upset or cranky, I use shorter, sharper and more direct language. For example, ‘Blasted water!’ ‘Clean it up.’ ‘ Who’s the girl?’ ‘ Nonsense boy!’ Jack snapped.
Uncle Jack gets stressed easily with all the animal injuries. His temper flares, so I worked on the tone of his voice by writing punchier lines, emotive words without warmth. His actions and words showed his abrupt manner.
The Illustrations and Design
This book is self-published. I was fortunate to work with Mac Hewitt from Melbourne, who sent me roughs and spot illustrations to suit the text. He did a superb job and catered for my wishes and vision. His cover design has flair and imagination. I was conscious of choosing a suitable font and size for children aged 7+.
The story uses animals, a fun colour run and hair shaving for charity. Mac has captured this well.