About Susanne Gervay
Susanne celebrates the writing community and is:
- Co-Regional Adviser of SCBWI Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Australia & NZ
- Chair of the Board of the NSW Writers Centre
- Director of the Kids and Young Adult Writers Festival, NSW Writers Centre
- Patron of Monkey BAA Theatre for Young People
- Ambassador for Room to Read
- Awarded UTS Professional Achievement Award
- The Lady Cutler Award for Distinguished Services to Children's Literature
- Role Model for Books in Homes
Australia Day Ambassador
NSW Ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012
Awarded the Order of Australia OAM
My parents were post war Hungarian refugees who found a safe haven and home for us in Australia. Our story is on Perspective, ABC radio. Read the transcript here or listen to the audio. It's 3MB, so will take a couple of minutes to load.
I was also interview by Richard Fidler on ABC radio - Listen here
Photo by Louise Whelan
I didn't know I was going to be an author. I just wrote because I had to. Being an author is wonderful as through books and talks I can reach readers of all ages. I'm inspired by my two kids, family, people around me and events that touch me emotionally.
My Jack books - I Am Jack, Super Jack and Always Jack - are inspired by my son, family and life. The Sun Herald review by Aleesah Darlinson gives a special insight in my Jacks:
'In I Am Jack , Jack battled bullies at his school and won. In Super Jack, Jack faced the trails of a newly blended family. Now, in Always Jack, our hero faces a challenge bigger than he's ever faced before.
... This is the skill in Gervay's storytelling: to encapsulate the realism of a young boy's life, yet still deal with big issues such as cancer. Death. Divorce, grandparents, sibling rivalry, friendships, refugees and the Vietnam War.
How does Gervay deal with so many issues in one relatively short children's book? The answer is that she treads lightly. Jack is Gervay's vehicle for spreading words of wisdom but at no time does she preach. Eternally, Jack and his story remain wholly believable. Readers will not only empathise with Jack but love his sensitive introspection and his wisecracks designed to alternately entertain and annoy his family.
... The illustrations sprinkled through the book, by Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist Cathy Wilcox, are as delightful and entertaining as Jack himself. Beautiful, sad, funny – Always Jack will make you laugh and make you cry. Guaranteed. Carrying the NSW Cancer Council's stamp of approval, Jack's story will stay with readers always.'
Jack has been adapted into a critically acclaimed play by the award winning Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People travelling from Outback indigenous settlements, country towns to the capital cities.
I find it is emotionally tough writing my young adult novels because I live the journeys. My YA books include The Cave, Butterflies and That's Why I Wrote This Song.
That's Why I Wrote This Song is especially important to me, as it is a collaborative work with my beautiful, talented song writer-singer daughter Tory. It was madly chaotic making the video clip for Tory's song Psycho Dad.
My short stories are awarding winning and published in literary journals. My recent story, 'Days of Thailand is part of an Indian-Australian anthology, 'Fear Factor: Terror Incognito' published by Picador India and Australia, with stories by Sir Salman Rushdie, Thomas Keneally, David Malouf. There is a companion anthology 'Alien Shores' which includes my story with editors Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle.
Read my award winning short story The Baby is Sweet
My books are endorsed by organizations such as The Cancer Council, The Alannah & Madeline Foundation,The Children's Hospital Westmead, Room to Read, Life Education Australia.
It's wonderful speaking all over the world at conferences and festivals from Bologna Book Fair, Beijing, Ubud, Goa, Kiribati about my writing. My background includes a BA (University of Sydney), Dip Ed (Advanced College of Education Victoria), M.Ed (university of NSW), M.A (University of Technology Sydney). I'm a Mum of two kids, a specialist in child growth & development, a speaker, journalist, creative director of The Hughenden Boutique Hotel, and of course a writer.