Thanks for joining this author interview with Paula Stevenson! She shares with us about her new book, Buster follows his Nose, life on a Wagyu farm and more!
Andrew: Hi Paula, great to have you on the blog! I was excited to hear that your book Buster follows his Nose has just been published by Little Pink Dog Books! Congratulations! How has that experience been?
Paula: It has been a dream come true, (to use an old cliche!!) But I was almost brought to tears when I held the book for the first time and it was perfect! Great size, fine paper and glorious illustrations on every spread.
Andrew: You’re living in the Upper Hunter Valley now with a Wagyu cattle enterprise. Take us through a day in the life on a Wagyu cattle farm.
Paula: It’s different every day. I came back from 10 days in Sydney yesterday and my husband was pleased to have some help moving cattle today. So today we moved a mob from an oats paddock to some native pasture as we use rotational grazing and try and move the herds every few days. Other days I work in the yards helping with weighing or tagging or drafting off mobs into different areas. And on other days I am not required and I can just sit in my study and WRITE!!
Andrew: Snakes wander into your house from time to time. Can you tell us about one of your slithery encounters?
Paula: During the 3 year long drought every creature was after water. So I had frequent visits from mainly red bellied black snakes, writihng around my watering cans or trying to slither under my doors that lead to the veranda. A brown snake did manage to sneak inside and disappeared down the hall into a back bedroom. That required the professionals! I googled Snake Handlers and Gavin came from a nearby town after work with tools and a bag and soon extracted the visitor, bagged it and took it off to a mate who loved snakes.
Buster follows his Nose – Paula Stevenson & Jenny Hale
Andrew: Buster follows his Nose is out now. I’m guessing you’ve owned dogs. Can you tell us a story about one of your dogs?
Paula: We have had a few dogs but our much loved dog was a kelpie called Bundy. He was a working dog but also our much loved friend; he helped us muster and as he became older he rode around in the ute, sitting up in the front keeping my husband David company. It was a sad day when we had had to have him put down; he was 17.
Andrew: Can you tell us a bit about Buster follows his Nose and who did you write it for?
Paula: I wrote it for anyone who loves dogs. But I was inspired to write it for my 6 grand children who have a great sense of adventure and love to explore the natural world.
Illustrations by Jenny Hale
Andrew: Jenny Hale illustrated Buster follows his Nose and it looks gorgeous! What was it like, holding the book for the first time?
Paula: It was amazing! I had seen some roughs and the cover but when I held the book I was so proud. It felt wonderful, it was a perfect size with fine paper and every spread created by Jenny was a work of art.
Andrew: Do you have any favourite illustrations that just perfectly capture the moment and bond between Tilly and Buster?
Paula: I do have a couple of favourite pages…one is of Tilly and Buster looking up at the white cockatoos and another where they are both sitting up in the old rusty ute watching the roos. But on the blue pages, when Tilly is lost and frightend, there is the image of Buster and Tilly curled up in a hollow and Buster is licking her face.
Andrew: How can people grab a copy of Buster follows his Nose? How can they connect with you and follow your author journey?
It was a pleasure to have an interview with Paula Stevenson. If you think Buster follows his Nose would be your perfect next read, you can buy from Booktopia or find it at your favourite bookshop or online.
About Paula Stevenson
Paula Stevenson loves to write stories that entertain surprise and inspire children. Her Picture Book titled BUSTER FOLLOWS HIS NOSE was recently published. Three of her poems have been published in The School Magazine and a number of children’s stories published in three different anthologies in 2019, 2020 and 2021. One of her stories is included in the CBCA anthology which was launched in May 2021. She has been short listed in a number of awards, including the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Paula belongs to the ASA, CBCA, and SCWBI and a number of groups including The Duck Pond, Just Write for Kids and Creative Kids Tales. She is a farmer in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW as well as a writer and she is passionate about her environment, drawing inspiration from it for many of her stories. Although she lives in a regional area, she regularly attends conferences and workshops and runs children’s sessions in the local Scone Library during the Scone Literary Festival and in Book Week. She is a Role Model for Books in Homes and visits regional primary schools in that role.