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Not Just a Piece of Cake Being an Author - Hazel Edwards

Not Just a Piece of Cake Being an Author

Paperback Published: 25th November 2015
ISBN: 9781922175809
Number Of Pages: 180

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A memoir is only a slice of a life. This 'questory' (quest + history) covers more than the beloved cake-eating hippo. 'Not Just a Piece of Cake' is a candid memoir of the realistic process of the process of creativity, via anecdotes. 'Anecdultery' is a Hazel original term for story.

Hazel Edwards takes the reader behind the books. She shares the humour of a diverse work style and family life behind the beloved characters like the cake-eating hippo. Hippocampus is where memories are kept. Collaborating with illustrators, performers, co-authors and even family, Hazel sharesthe process of the process of writing and why storytelling matters culturally, and personally.

Of interest to:
· Nostalgic fans across three generations
· Aspiring writers and creators
· Those interested in the process of creativity
· Family/worklife time -energy balance

'Not Just a Piece of Cake' takes the reader behind the books.

Collaborating with illustrators, performers, co-authors and even family. Heart tugging fan mail. Literary speed dating with characters. Dealing with the Plateau of Boredom and the Map of Serendipity. But also sharing 'the process of the process of writing' and why storytelling matters culturally, and personally. And why a 6 year old knew she wanted to be an author.

A memoir is only a slice of a life.

This QUESTORY ( Quest + History) which others call a memoir, covers more than the beloved cake-eating hippo.

About the Author

Hazel Edwards has a cake-eating hippo on her roof , an OAM for Literature and thousands of book-children,as well as a real family. Plus a readership in thirteen languages.

Using ‘anecdultery’, Hazel explains why longterm writing is risky but vital culturally. The hippocampus is where memories are kept, even those of Antarctica, where Hazel was an expeditioner. She shares her author workstyle, Hazelnuts mentoring and the quandary of how much to reveal.

(OAM is not for Hippo as an Outsized, Awesome Myth.)

On Hippos, Memoirs and being an author


As an emerging author of children's books, I read this part memoir, part inspirational guide on the back of Stephen King's On Writing. Hazel's light, casual style of relating her past - what she terms acedultery - was refreshing and it was lovely to sink into her story-telling. But as well as enjoying a good read, I found the book to be inspirational to me as a writer, Hazel's descriptions of the publishing industry, life as an author and mum and the ins and outs of being a writer painted a clear picture. What inspired me most, though, were Hazel's insights into creativity - how she comes up with ideas and develops them into stories. Hazel sparked a whirl of creativity in me that has continued since I read the book nearly two years ago and now I have an excess of ideas and not enough time to develop them. Thank you Hazel, for such a lovely contribution to authors, memoirists, fans and book-lovers.

Melbourne, Australia


Practical and entertaining


I am addicted to memoirs by authors, so I was glad to pick this one up recently at a writing conference to add to my collection.Not Just a Piece of Cake provides an insight into the real life of a contemporary Australian writer, and will dispel many myths about literary folk.Any librarian hosting an author visit would do well to read this first! I enjoyed this book - very accessible, practical and entertaining.



This is not your everyday memoir.


Informative as to publishing, promotion and problems with publishing in an amusing, easy to read format. Edwards shares insightful 'anecdultry' experiences which developed her passion of writing from an early age. Her knowledge and expertise covers all aspects of creative writing and 'It's Not Just A Piece Of Cake Being An Author' is therefore a useful resource to own.

Regional Victoria


Cake, Meat and Serendipity


As the author opens up on her childhood, lifestyle and influences, you care that little Hazel was called a liar in primary school for being a fast reader. Maybe you can even relate this to a similar incident at your own school...and Edwards still became a teacher and a teacher of teachers! Her humour and generosity is evident throughout as she shares her history, family secrets, joys and motivations along with the tricks of her trade - how to overcome writer's block; how to find inspiration. An author of over 200 books for both children and adults, Edwards is best known for her "There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof" collection which has now reached the 30 year anniversary mark. This particular collection has been at the centre of many invitations to speak all over Australia and the world having been recently translated into Chinese. As Edwards invites you into her fascinating world, you want to ask questions: What did happened when you miscalculated daylight savings? No broadcast that day? Are you glad that you made that trip to Antarctica? It sounds scary. What was the email story that you send to Lachie that would work for any child's name to be inserted? Not a long book at 178 pages, but read it once for story and if you are interested in writing, read it again for tips on process.

Melbourne, Australia


Just like having a chat with a fascinating companion


Reading 'Not just a piece of cake being an author' is like sitting down in a comfy armchair and having a chat with a fascinating companion. Hazel Edwards' memoir contains a fount of interesting anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, all shared in a friendly, natural voice. This is a light, easy read but with loads of underlying depth that make you want to keep on reading to mine all the gold. The book is neither a strict 'how to' book on being an author, nor a chronological autobiography, but rather a useful and appealing combination of both. For those interested in a writing career there are anecdotes that give a clear picture of life as author - informative for budding writers and a source of delighted moments of recognition for fellow writers. There are poignant and inspiring stories, such as thank-you notes from parents who have shared the Hippopotamus books with very sick children. And there are a multitude of generous tips on writing, including how to make non-fiction interesting, and '10 diet ingredients for a Memorable Story Recipe.' The book also works as a highly enjoyable and enlightening life story to be read by non-writers. The typical image of an author as an introverted hermit living alone in an ivory tower certainly does not apply to Hazel Edwards. The list of her experiences reads like one of her own mystery stories: camel rides in the Australian outback, helicopter crashes, getting ice-bound in Antarctica, trekking in Nepal, coming near to death with a rare disease... to name but a few! And many of these adventures Hazel Edwards did not undertake till she was well into her fifties and beyond! The book also reveals the important contribution a writer can make to the world and to individual lives. Hazel Edwards maintains a strong conscience with the topics she chooses to write about, using her books to break down stereotypes and bring hidden issues into the spotlight. She also spends a large part of her life visiting outback communities and helping children in remote areas connect with literature and learn about the wider world. Her descriptions of this part of her life are touching as well as entertaining. Any person who led such an extraordinary, action-packed and public-spirited life would be an object of admiration, but the fact that Hazel Edwards has managed all this as a married woman raising a family, while at the same time teaching, studying and writing is incredible! 'Not just a piece of cake being an author' is an inspirational book, and shows that anyone can achieve anything.

Melbourne, AU


Memoir of a Writer


As you would expect of the author of over 200 books and numerous articles Hazel Edwards memoir, Not Just a Piece of Cake, Being an Author, contains much information about the process and experiences of being a writer for over thirty years. This makes it a worthwhile read not only for those interested in the life of the woman who wrote the Australian classic - There is a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake - the first of a series of books where a Hippo friend guides a child through a various challenging situations - but for the information about the writing it holds for those who may wish to become writers. With its eye catching cover of of a hippo perched on a typewriter, this memoir is not a formal chronological account of the writer's life but more a collection of memoirs, thoughts and events. Edwards has used many of these experiences, such as trekking in Nepal and being an Antarctic writer- as a spring-board for her books. The more casual format, with its series of photos and drawings, is one that those who are contemplating writing their own family memoirs could find useful.


Thoughtful, realistic and a fun read too.


A very relaxed read, that heightens awareness of the difficulties of an Author who is a Mum and Wife. A great balance between the serious and the humerous in life and profession.

Whyalla, SA


Memoir with a difference - well worth reading


Reading Hazel's memoir is like meandering joyfully through a garden at just the right pace. The standard chronological sequence of time is thrown out, in favour of something that resembles how memories really surface, pose questions then disappear. It's a delightful exploration of the facets of a hugely productive and successful writer who continues to question, suggest answers, then question some more, for the love of thinking. Well worth reading.

Wellington, New Zealand


A slice of enjoyable reading


Beyond the delivery of just the basic facts of Hazel Edward's life ( education, work, relationships) this book portrays the experience of life events with a reflective voice that must encourage potential writers, and be enjoyed by those who love her books.

Heathmont, AU


What a Read!


When I first picked up this book, I hadn't read anything for ages, I had almost gotten out of the habit, if you know what I mean. Picking up to start something, putting it down, coming back to it, trying again... NOT SO WITH THIS BOOK. Could not put it down. I was engaged from start to finish, quickest book I've ever read and one of the rare few I will be reading over again and gifting to my nearest and dearest. Thank you Hazel Edwards for sharing this look inside your life and being such a generous inspiration to so many.




4.8 14


Chapters include:

• Anecdultery

• Deadlines

• Back to School Day

• Literary Speed dating

• Plateau of Boredom

• Story Stealing

• General Store and the Cobwebs of ideas

• Fan Mail

• Highlights of Hippo History....100 memories

• Choosing Apt Titles

• Come and Meet My Camel

• Is Writing Your Family Trade?

• Domestic Survival; Being a Parent and a Writer

• Mentoring Minties and Hazelnuts

• Do You Put Real People in Your Stories?

• Banned

• Trekking in Nepal

• Antarctic Writer on ice

• Ideas Addict

• Why Collaborate?

• Charitable Overload

• On Tour

• Not Just a Piece of Cake

ISBN: 9781922175809
ISBN-10: 1922175803
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 180
Published: 25th November 2015
Publisher: Brolga Publishing Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 13.8  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.35