Cristy Burne


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Happy snaps from the 2012 Perth Writers Festival Family Day

Who thinks the Perth Writers Festival rocks?

It was awesome!!! I want a writers festival every weekend please!!!

My presentation was on the beautiful Tropical Grove Stage, which looked and felt like a jungle clearing.

It was the perfect setting to tell spooky stories of Miku’s school camp (and my school camp!) and I think everybody jumped (or laughed) in all the right places.

And then I stepped in something gross...

Thanks to everyone who came along…

I really appreciate it and hope you had a great time. I sure did. It was fab to meet so many keen readers and to talk books and writing and wild imaginations with you all.

I’m both sorry and stoked that Filth Licker sold out.

I’m stoked cause that means you liked my presentation, and I’m sorry cause some of you had to miss out.

If you wanted a copy and didn’t get one, you can order one from your local bookstore, and if it’s anywhere near Perth I’ll try to pop into the store and sign it for you.

Thanks again for your support and smiles and for laughing at my jokes 🙂 (And thanks to the Perth Writers Festival volunteers and staff for making the day really special!)

xxx


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Spotted: The Filth Licker at Next Page Please, Takapuna, New Zealand

Whee!

My Mum and Dad recently travelled to New Zealand to watch (and celebrate) as the All Blacks won the World Cup (All Blacks: if you’re reading this, my Dad is your #1 Fan!!).

While in NZ, they went shopping for a terrific kids picture book called Roadworks, which they found at this great childrens bookshop: Next Page Please.
(You can also get the Maori version of Roadworks at Next Page Please).

Fergus LOVES reading Roadworks and I love reading it to him, not only because it’s fun to read, with lots of rumbly jumbly roadworksy words, and not only because when we read it, he gets so excited he has to jump off the couch and run around the room shouting out the words (NO ONE WANTS A CRASH!), but also because it reminds me that my books are actually real and actually out there, in bookshops like this one.

How cool is that!!!???

And what a lovely place to shop for books…. I want to visit!!!


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More from Childrens Book Week

Can you pick the severed head?

Willetton Library Burrendah Primary students for Childrens Book Week Another great day for Childrens Book Week…thanks everybody!

I was really happy to get this picture of some of the Burrendah Primary kids at Willetton Library today with their 2-fruit and 5-vege *and* a severed head. Awesome!

And I’m also stoked with this great review of Filth Licker on the Spine Chills blog. YAY!!!

Below is a taste of the review: you can show it to your parents to prove that there isn’t any really horrible stuff  in Takeshita Demons, just spooky bathroom-cleaning stuff ;-))

“one of the rare horror stories that you can safely hand to younger readers without fear of threats from angry parents, but at the same time is genuinely packed full of spooky stuff. This is a series that is both highly original and wonderfully entertaining”

Hooray!


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Let the Book Week begin!

Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker launches in Oz!

Woo hoo!

Childrens Book Week has begun! I spent this morning at Belmont’s Ruth Faulkner Public Library with students in Year 6 and 7 and it was terrific fun!

It’s SO GOOD to scare readers share with readers some of the legends behind the Japanese demons from my books.

The kids had heaps of great questions and did a great job answering librarian Edith’s questions in a pop quiz at the end.

And now I can rest at night knowing they are safe. Now EVERYBODY knows what to do when they meet a kappa, how to respond to the kuchi-sake-onna, and what food to serve when a fox comes to dinner 🙂

Phew! My work here is done 😉


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The Filth Licker on Facebook! Share your akaname and yokai links…

Cover for Takeshita Demons: The Filth LickerHooray! Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker is published today in the UK!!

Have you got your copy?

 

LIKE ME! LIKE ME!

Any yokai or monster trivia you want to share?

Any cool filth-licker links to pass on?

Check out the Filth Licker on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/filthlicker) and add your questions and cool demon facts to our wall!


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8 bits of great news: HOORAY!

Keukegen demonLong time – no post! But I have heaps of great news to make up for it:

GREAT NEWS #1: Takeshita Demons and The Filth Licker are being translated into Indonesian! YAY!

GREAT NEWS #2: I’m performing at the Perth Writer’s Festival on Family Day: YAY! More details soon…

GREAT NEWS #3: I’m also appearing at the 2011 All Saint’s College Literature Festival. YAY!

GREAT NEWS #4: I’m getting heaps of fan mail from readers who love Takeshita Demons AND those with advance copies of Filth Licker…YAY!!

GREAT NEWS #5: I’m totally booked out for Children’s Book Week 2011 (in August!)…and there are more bookings coming for school hols YAY!

GREAT NEWS #6: I’ve had some great ideas for finishing off Monster Matsuri (Takeshita Demons book 3) and that will be rip roaring to my editor by year end

GREAT NEWS #7: The first review of Filth Licker is up: “some shocking twists and a fantastically involving story…” YAY!

GREAT NEWS #8: I spoke to a group of Year 9s and 10s at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre last week about Japanese yokai, mythology, history and how it informed and inspired Takeshita Demons. They were a great group and we had lots of laughs. Plus I got to eat proper Japanese bakery goods AND a scrummy bento. YUM!

YAY!!

So all-in-all a terrific few weeks…Super busy! And this week is the SCBWI WA Christmas Party too, so everything is happening at once. I *LOVE* hanging out with other people who love childrens books!


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Book Cover Wars! Win a copy of Charlie Higson’s The Enemy

Takeshita Demons – The Filth Licker is part of the Book Cover Wars at the fabulous Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books. Head over there, check out the covers, and vote for your chance to win a signed copy of Charlie Higson’s The Enemy. You can vote and win wherever you live: awesome!

Round one books are:

Book One: Cristy Burne – Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker (June 2011)

Book Two: Tom Percival – Tobias and the Spooky Ghost Book (Sept 2010)

Book Three: Steve Feasey – Changeling: Zombie Dawn (2011)

Book Four: Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson – The Familiars (Sept 2010)

To win, all you need to do is:

  • vote for your favourite book cover
  • leave a comment or send a tweet about the Book Cover Wars through Twitter
  • sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you’ve won!


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Yokai featured in Takeshita Demons

Cover for Takeshita Demons: The Filth LickerSubarashii! Yabai!
Takeshita Demons
Things are going super-well for Takeshita Demons at the moment.

The Filth Licker is ready for pre-order in the UK and Monster Matsuri is in its 50-millionth-draft-phase, so getting where I want it (YAY!).

If you have read Takeshita Demons you will know that Miku Takeshita and her pal Cait run into lots of mythological creatures from Japan, known as yokai (妖怪).

Below I’ve included a bit of historical info on some of them: is your favourite demon in Book 1? Or will you have till wait till The Filth Licker comes out to see what’s in store for Miku and Cait at school camp?

Happy reading!
And PS: You can pre-order The Filth Licker here and get free worldwide delivery plus 25% off: BARGAIN!

Amazake babaa (literally: Sweet sake woman) 甘酒婆
This yokai takes the shape of an old woman with a gentle voice, but don’t be fooled. If you answer the door when she knocks, chances are you’ll fall ill with chicken pox.

Ittan momen (Animated cotton) 一反木綿
Ittan momen are long bits of cloth that can come to life in the night. They love to tangle around your body and might even try to suffocate you, so keep an eye on your curtains.

 

Click on the noppera-bo to read about sightings of this demon in England!

 

Noppera-bō (Faceless ghost) のっぺら坊
Is the person sitting next to you really who you think they are? Noppera-bō are experts at pretending to be other people, and they love to cause trouble. Just when you least expect it their features can disappear, melting away to leave their face as empty as a blank page.

Nukekubi (Cut-throat) 抜首
During the day you might mistake this yokai for a normal person, but be warned. At night, while its body is sleeping, its head can detach and fly around hunting for delicious things to eat (like children and puppy dogs).

Nure-onna (literally: Woman of the Wet) 濡女
With the torso of a woman and the body of a snake, this fearsome yokai has wicked claws and a long forked tongue. She’s strong enough to crush a tree in the coils of her massive tail.

 

 

O-kubi (literally: Big Throat) 大首
If you’re ever staring up at the sky and spot an enormous head in the clouds, watch out! Spotting an o-kubi usually means something awful is just around the corner…

Sakabashira (literally: Inverted pillar) 逆柱
Did it happen by mistake? Or did someone do it on purpose? Whatever the reason, if some part of your house was built upside-down, your entire house is doomed to be haunted.

Yuki-onna (literally: Snow Woman) 雪女
Tall, pale and icily beautiful, this yokai is a spirit of the snow. She leaves no footprints, preferring to float above the ground, and she can disappear in a puff of cold mist.

Zashiki-warashi (House ghost) 座敷童
This mischievous yokai haunts houses and usually appears in the shape of a child. If your house is haunted by a zashiki-warashi, count yourself lucky, but don’t forget to take good care of it. If your house ghost ever chooses to leave you, your luck will quickly end.


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8 cool myths about dogs, and why the inugami dog-god didn’t make it

The Filth Licker is almost finished and I’m flat out researching for book 3 of the Takeshita Demons trilogy, Monster Matsuri. All this research reminded me: just because a book has a plan, doesn’t mean things always go to plan. A big example of this is the inugami.

Inugami, exit stage left

The Filth Licker was supposed to feature an inugami, but in the end I chickened out. Why?

Because I felt inugami were too scary and too gruesome for 8 to 12 year olds. I know: they probably see more gruesome stuff just watching the news, but still, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So, the inugami was executed (so to speak).

What is an inugami?

The inugami or dog-god is a spirit created by starving a living dog to death, usually by burying it up to its neck. (I know: pretty awful. That’s why I couldn’t include it in a children’s book.)

The inugami remains faithful to the person who created it, using its powers for their good fortune. Families in possession of an inugami (called ‘inugami-mochi’) are said to be very powerful and are able to cause illness in enemies and bring wealth to allies. In the Oki islands, belief in inugami is so strong that there are specific regions where inugami-mochi families live, and it is wise to determine the inugami status of the family you intend to marry into before you tie the knot.

But, just because the inugami didn’t make it past the first draft, doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly interesting. And, the inugami is just one small part of a wealth of fascinating dog mythology. While researching inugami, I discovered a heap of other interesting stuff about dogs:

8 of the coolest things I discovered about the mythology surrounding dogs

1) Dogs have supernatural vision
Dogs can see fairies, hobgoblins and elves in their true form, and will bark to let you know such creatures are nearby. Because their sight is so keen, they’re difficult to trick. Ordinary shape-changers, like the kitsune (fox) and tanuki (badger) can’t work their magic on a dog.

2) Dogs can foresee disaster
If a dog climbs up to the roof of a building, a fire is certain to break out nearby. Also, if a dog starts howling at night, it could mean a coming earthquake or approaching death.

3) Dogs can unearth or protect buried treasure
If you’d like to discover gold or precious jewels buried in the forest, your best bet is to travel with a dog. They’re constantly digging up treasure, probably because they’re closely associated with the underworld of the dead. If you’re traveling with a three-legged dog (or, even better, a three-headed dog), you’re in for especial luck.

4) Dogs can be terrible liars
Many years ago, when dogs could still talk, a dog tricked his master into the lair of a hungry bear. The bear promptly ate the man, leaving the dog free to woo his widow. Back at home, the dog tried to convince the widow that his master’s last request was that the dog should marry her in his stead. Angry and grieving, and not at all fooled, the widow tossed a handful of dust into the dog’s mouth. And voila: the dog could speak no more.

5) Old dogs should be closely watched
The older a dog gets, the wiser it becomes. Very old dogs are so clever they can possess the living (or the dead) and can even turn into vampires. The best approach, then, is to kill the old dog before it grows too powerful.

6) Old white dogs should be watched even more closely
Enormous white dogs, especially those living in the mountains, could quite possibly be mountain deities. Such dogs are difficult to kill: those who try are severely punished along with their entire village. To keep these spirits happy, a yearly sacrifice (usually a virgin) is a must. The dog may eat or keep the virgin, depending on his mood.

7) Dog spirits are afraid of skewer spirits
If you find your luscious tidbits are always disappearing, they’re probably being eaten by dog ghosts, who have a terrible sweet tooth. A simple way to protect your nibblies is to string them on a skewer: the spirit of the skewer will keep the thieving spirits at bay.

8 ) The smaller the dog, the greater its power
Dogs bred to work as companions to witches and wizards are uncommonly small, about the size of a mouse. Don’t worry if you’re the only person who can see the tiny dog: they’re usually invisible to all except one member of the family.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Could Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak really make someone invisible?

How to write a synopsis: four big secrets and an example

4 ways to recognise a Japanese iso-onna vampire

Selective genetics or ghosts reborn? Legend of the Samurai crabs

Dogs have supernatural vision

Dogs can see fairies, hobgoblins and elves in their true form, and will bark to let you know such creatures are nearby. Because their sight is so keen, they’re difficult to trick. Ordinary shape-changers, like the kitsune (fox) and tanuki (badger) can’t work their magic on a dog.

Dogs can foresee disaster

If a dog climbs up to the roof of a building, a fire is certain to break out nearby. Also, if a dog starts howling at night, it could mean a coming earthquake or approaching death.

Dogs can unearth or protect buried treasure

If you’d like to discover gold or precious jewels buried in the forest, your best bet is to travel with a dog. They’re constantly digging up treasure, probably because they’re closely associated with the underworld of the dead. If you’re traveling with a three-legged dog (or, even better, a three-headed dog), you’re in for especial luck.

Dogs can be terrible liars

Many years ago, when dogs could still talk, a dog tricked his master into the lair of a hungry bear. The bear promptly ate the man, leaving the dog free to woo his widow. Back at home, the dog tried to convince the widow that his master’s last request was that the dog should marry her in his stead. Angry and grieving, and not at all fooled, the widow tossed a handful of dust into the dog’s mouth. And voila: the dog could speak no more.

Old dogs should be closely watched

The older a dog gets, the wiser it becomes. Very old dogs are so clever they can possess the living (or the dead) and can even turn into vampires. The best approach, then, is to kill the old dog before it grows too powerful.

Old white dogs should be watched even more closely

Enormous white dogs, especially those living in the mountains, could quite possibly be mountain deities. Such dogs are difficult to kill: those who try are severely punished along with their entire village. To keep these spirits happy, a yearly sacrifice (usually a virgin) is a must. The dog may eat or keep the virgin, depending on his mood.

Dog spirits are afraid of skewer spirits

If you find your luscious tidbits are always disappearing, they’re probably being eaten by dog ghosts, who have a terrible sweet tooth. A simple way to protect your nibblies is to string them on a skewer: the spirit of the skewer will keep the thieving spirits at bay.

The smaller the dog, the greater its power

Dogs bred to work as companions to witches and wizards are uncommonly small, about the size of a mouse. Don’t worry if you’re the only person who can see the tiny dog: they’re usually invisible to all except one member of the family.


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The Filth Licker: what do you think?

YAY!!! Check it out: the brand new cover for The Filth Licker, the second book in the Takeshita Demons trilogy…

Cover for Takeshita Demons: The Filth LickerI’m thrilled to bits with it and can’t wait to see the other images that illustrator Siku has been working on. The Filth Licker was so much fun to write and this cover really reflects the exciting story and spooky adventures Miku and Cait get up to this time round.

So… What do you think?