Summer Reading Club
space craft special edition 2017

Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson is a much-loved Australian children’s book author and one-time Hawthorn draftee.

His books include Harry HighpantsThe Princess and the Packet of Frozen PeasStuff Happens: JackEmo the Emu and The Cow Tripped Over the Moon, which was an Honour Book in the 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.

Tony is also the author of the hugely popular Selwood Boys series which includes The Selwood Boys: Battle Royale, The Selwood Boys: The Miracle Goal, The Selwood Boys: Hit the Road and The Selwood Boys: Maintain the Mischief.

Tony lives in Melbourne.

Getting to Know Tony Wilson

Game On: How did you get into writing?

My first writing jobs were newspaper features, mainly about sport. In 2003 I started trying books, a novel for adults was accepted called Players, and a picture book for kids called Grannysaurus Rex. I’m a big believer in sitting down and writing an idea that you think might be good, just in case it is! In the case of Grannysaurus, I sent it to about 40 publishers in Australia who said they published kids books. Two said yes!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

The thought didn’t really cross my mind until my late twenties. I was an aspiring AFL footballer for much of my life, until getting delisted at Hawthorn in 1992. Then I tried law for a while, but disliked being a commercial solicitor. I’d written for newspapers at school and university, without ever thinking I could do it for a living. I only became ambitious to write and publish work in the late nineties, after I had success on a travel documentary show called Race Around the World.

What are some of your favourite games to play?

I love Sardines in a new house, Boggle, fantasy football, touch football, the board game Balderdash, and Banana Car, which is a road trip game I included in Selwood Boys: Hit the Road.

Do you have a favourite sport, sporting event or sporting hero?

Footy and football (soccer) are equal in my eyes. My favourite sporting event is the FIFA World Cup. I’ve been to three world cups now, and wrote about the 2006 World Cup in Germany (Australia United). My all time sporting hero is the cyclist Cadel Evans, who won the Tour de France.

What kinds of activities do you like to do to supercharge your summers?

Bodysurfing makes me feel fantastic. I wish I could surf properly, but my knees are shot after my footy career. I also love bike riding, swimming, beach cricket, drive in movies, and barbecues.

Can you recommend some good GAME ON reads for our SRC Members?

The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie is my all-time kids-sports favourite.  Felice Arena’s much loved Specky McGee and the ‘Sporty Kids’ series are also worth a go. And Shamini Flint has written a series of hilarious books called Diary of A Soccer star featuring a kid who isn’t great at sport. Very funny.

A Creative Tip

Be disciplined. Exercise courage.

I find doing exercise before writing helps phrases and structure solutions to just magically materialise in the brain. The trick is to then write them down straight away! Have the discipline to complete a work, and the courage to send it off–you will never get published if you don’t take a chance!

Hot Off the Press

Tony Wilson’s newest books are now available. Have you had a chance to read them yet?

Book Title: The Selwood Boys: Battle Royale

Publisher: HarperCollins

Recommended Reading Age: 7+

Book Description:

Four future AFL stars under one roof!?

Go back to where it all began with THE SELWOOD BOYS… In the Selwood house, there’s madness and mayhem every day–and footy, of course!

Meet the Selwood boys… There’s the twins, Troy and Adam, pulling pranks and making mischief, then Joel with his sneaky, cheeky antics, and finally little Scott, who just does his best (or make that his worst!) to keep up.

Other titles:

  • The Selwood Boys: The Miracle Goal
  • The Selwood Boys: Hit the Road
  • The Selwood Boys: Maintain the Mischief

For more Selwood boys mania and fun, visit Tony’s book website

Sneak Peak

Read a few preview chapters now!

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