Events!!

I’ve had a busy time launching and talking about Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal! Avid Reader hosted a wonderful first event, with Cass Moriarty interviewing. My editor Kate spoke and we all cried! Cass asks great questions, and there’s a chance it will go on their Facebook page if you missed out.

Then @ozauthorsonline hosted an event with the wonderful Rhianna Patrick, and it was just great too! We had prizes, a bit of deep chat, and then an after party via zoom. The interview is on Youtube now 😀

I have a panel coming up at Readings Bookstore – grab a ticket here! I’ll be with Sarah Epstein (Deep Water) and Poppy Nwosu (Taking Down Evelyn Tait), as well as two stellar debut authors, Kay Kerr (Please Don’t Hug Me). It’s free, and will be a hoot.

I’ve also had some blog interviews and I’ll pop links in here. Sorry I don’t have time to write this out nicely! Isolation living is super busy in this house!


https://www.katejfoster.com/general-blog/author-interview-anna-whateley
https://ashleighmeikle.com.au/2020/05/04/isolation-publicity-with-dr-anna-whateley/

An article with InQueensland

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is in stores now!!

Wow, in-store date was a much bigger thing than I realised! Peta can now be bought at your local bookstore, and online at Booktopia. If you are overseas, then there is the option for kindle I believe, or Book Depository, until overseas rights are sold. I’ll try to add links here to these, but since the virus hit I’ve been a little short on time!

I’ve been busy schooling the kids at home, making book trailers, pitching to producers, and continuing with #AusChat. The house is a mess… haha. But we are all safe and well, and that’s something I don’t take for granted.

My official launch is next week at Avid Reader Bookstore via zoom. Tickets are required, though they are free! Wednesday 6 May, at 6.30pm. Please do come along, it’s sure to be a wonderful evening with Cass Moriarty. Peta can be ordered via this link/web site 😀

https://avidreader.com.au/events/anna-whateley-peta-lyres-rating-normal

On Saturday 9 May I have my own event with OzAuthorsOnline.com – in conversation with Rhianna Patrick. Also free, though this one is streamed via youtube and there are prizes! You can also come and hang out afterwards in the ‘green room zoom’ if you have any questions or just want to… And we would ask that any purchases still go via the local bookstores Avid Reader and Where The Wild Things Are.

https://ozauthors.online/watch?e=1

In MORE good news (yikes) it looks like Sydney Writer’s Festival is letting my little self onto their official podcast! It was devastating that the festival was cancelled… and transformed is much better!

I think that’s enough news for this morning. Welcome to the world Peta, what a ride.

[Here’s the Booktopia link!]

https://www.booktopia.com.au/peta-lyre-s-rating-normal-anna-whateley/book/9781760525309.html

Preorder Deal! – check it out!

It all started from a conversation with Susan Francis…

Books and Publishing Review!

I’ve been lucky enough to have Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal feature in Books and Publishing, the premier magazine for publishers, booksellers, and librarians all around Australia.

Highly compelling, intensely moving and ultimately hopeful, this book heralds the arrival of a talented new young adult author.

The article is behind a paywall for a month, and then I can post it here. Hooray!! There are so many things happening, and I’m racing to keep up. Go Peta!

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal: first review!!

This could have been a terrible moment… but it wasn’t! It was the best! @cakeandmadness is an #ownvoices reader who share’s Peta’s diagnoses/neurodivergence. I’m so relieved she rated Peta Lyre FIVE STARS!!!

I cried happy tears when I finished reading – it was so good and so validating to feel SEEN; to see someone like me written BY someone like me.

Goodreads review here ~ https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3199642336

Pre orders are open all over the place, including Booktopia!

VLOG!!!

It’s pretty clear I don’t blog, and I don’t have many ways for people to get to know me other than Twitter… so I thought I’d give vlogs a go! SUPER FUN! Head on over, and leave me a comment or question 😀 Once I’m all set up, I can release news and keep everyone up to date on *things*.

I’ll put new content up whenever I can – most likely daily at first – and see what people would like. Also have to manage the tech side. I don’t have a mic yet, but I have plans to get one. It will all happen eventually… ;p

Cover Reveals and Fundraiser!

A lot to add in one post, but I have too much news! We’ve revealed the cover of Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal and it’s gorgeous!! Thank you to Astred for her design! See the twitter fun here: https://twitter.com/AnnaWhateley/status/1204317253535092736?s=20

We also had a cover reveal for Growing Up Disabled in Australia! More twitter action here: https://twitter.com/BlackIncBooks/status/1201720229581205504?s=20

My final thing, and the reason I ventured back to my little web site, is more serious. The bushfires destroying out country have left the rural fire brigades exhausted, and they need our help. #AuthorsForFireys is raising money by auctioning off authory things and the winning bids are donated to the CFA!

Here’s my auction for an ARC that hasn’t been printed yet… https://twitter.com/AnnaWhateley/status/1214362661187538950?s=20

Wish me luck!

News!! I’m in Growing Up Disabled in Australia!!

I am incredibly honoured to have my essay ‘Noise Silence’ included in Black Inc’s forthcoming anthology, ‘Growing Up Disabled in Australia‘. I reread the essay yesterday, after not touching it since I submitted, and I still can’t believe little Anna’s story will be told.

2020 is going to be a big year with TWO publications… I’m pumped!

I can’t think of a better person to edit the anthology than Carly Findlay. Her book ‘Say Hello’ changed my life and my self perception. I can now proudly say I’m disabled. I don’t even feel the need to justify, or detail, my disability here with all the labels I’ve accrued. This anthology will change lives, and I can’t wait!!!!

[Edit: Thanks to Covid 19 we are delaying publication to early 2021]

#YAFanFest19 Superproof!!

On Thursday last week I had a *creative life moment* when my name reached print for the first time! Allen & Unwin held the #YAFanFest19 superproof event in Melbourne, and I was lucky enough to have the first two chapters of Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal included!

The list of authors on the panel was impressive: @elliemarney, @AmieKaufman, @garthnix, @garthnix and @AstridScholte!!!! And check out the other names on this contents page – Scott Westerfeld? OMG.

Here is me looking big on a big screen….

Some great friends from my #6amAusWriters twitter group were there and sending me sneak previews of the superproof (thanks Belinda and Kate!). My awesome agent does the best Insta posts!

All in all, it was an incredible event and I’m so lucky to be supported in this way by my publishers <3

(also, yes, I’m clearly not a blogger, this is just news, straight up!)

Päivi’s Story

This is an English language translation of Päivi’s story, first published 22nd September, 2018 in Finnish. The original article can be found here [may need to be copy/pasted]:

https://www.iltalehti.fi/tosielamaa/a/030eb530-d4b1-4467-829a-8375af3aff1d

My lack of strength was put down to a depression symptom.

Päivi Butcher, 41, lived for a long time thinking that lack of strength and challenges with managing her everyday life were a part of her personality. When Päivi was 38 years old, the symptoms affecting her life finally got an explanation, she has a primarily inattentive type of ADHD. Here is her story:

I’m at home cooking when my children return from school. Another piece of paper to be filled out is put on the table. It feels like there’s new things to be taken care of daily -messages from teachers, questionnaires and online forms to be filled. The amount of things to do is never ending.

As I go through a pile of papers I can’t help thinking about all the other chores to be done, from cleaning to grocery shopping. Stress, and feelings of chaos and inadequacy raise their heads. I try to think where to start but I can’t concentrate, and I stagnate. Soon I remember that the school fair is close, and I’m supposed to bake for that. I start feeling worse. I feel overwhelmed and like I don’t have the energy anymore.

How do other parents manage it? Take care of their children, their home, their job, their relationship and free time. Cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring their children to hobbies. They seem to manage all that effortlessly. Why is everyday life so much easier for others?

I got my ADHD inattentive diagnosis at 38 years old. Even though as a child I had noticed I was somehow different, a neurological condition was never suspected as I followed the rules and didn’t distract others.

I remember how I often forgot my school books and sports equipment at home. Often, I picked them up during recess. Otherwise, I was strict about my belongings.

I always revised for exams at the last minute and memorised sentences by heart. Seeing details was easier for me. Perceiving the big picture, and how things related to each other was challenging for me. I did well at school, nevertheless, and it never occurred to me that there was something weird about my way to learn.

I’ve always had a good imagination and sometimes I was hit by inspiration which made me act right away. For example, I could be enthusiastic to clean the wardrobe. In the middle of the cleaning project I’d realise that it was time to cook or something else. When I tried to get back to the project I had lost my motivation and the project was left unfinished.

I managed well at work, but it was tiring for me. Every morning I left home in a rush and ran to the bus in order to make it on time. I was never late but I was in a hurry daily. Every time I was about to leave home I had to brush my teeth or do something else.

When I had a customer service job, I wondered why it was so stressful. When I had a job that included other tasks on top of customer service, I felt like I had a hundred things to do simultaneously. My work was interrupted constantly – a coworker would ask something,the phone would ring, and I would get new emails. I lost my train of thought and it took time to get my focus back on the task I was doing.

I didn’t suspect there was anything special behind this. I just thought I stress out easier than other people. I decided to accept that even though I had always done well at everything I did, I had to work more towards it.

I noticed the biggest change in managing everyday life when I became a mother. There was a lot involved running the everyday life. Working, cleaning, grocery shopping, paying bills and paperwork. I felt that I always had too many chores to be done, which took a lot of energy away from nice things like friends and hobbies. It was like I was performing everyday life. I felt I was worse than others as I wasn’t up to as much as other parents. I tried to keep up appearances. I didn’t talk about these feelings to people outside of our family, because I didn’t want to be considered lazy. But keeping up appearances took its toll, too. My mood started to drop.

I had been to the doctor over the years, to talk about the feelings I was having, but my lack of strength was considered to be a sign of depression. I didn’t question it as I didn’t know what else it could be.

A few years ago, I reached a limit. I wanted to really find out, if there was something else behind my symptoms. I did not believe my challenges were due to depression. I went to a doctor specialised in neurology with a list of my symptoms. I had listed on paper all the symptoms which made my life difficult: feeling of overwhelmed, feelings of having ‘a thousand’ things to do all the time, and my challenges with time management.

I also strongly felt that I could not fulfil my, and my society’s, expectations. It was also hard for me to start and finish non-motivating, boring tasks. I was sent for vast neuropsychological tests. I received a diagnosis: ADHD inattentive. It used to be called ‘ADD’. The diagnosis was a relief. It was important for me to have an explanation as to why I felt stressed and had lack of strength.

Getting the diagnosis also started a process within myself. For a while I was upset as I looked back, wondering; “what if?” I was upset because if I’d known about the diagnosis, I could have been more forgiving of myself, and I could’ve asked for help with my challenges. But soon I managed to turn my thoughts in a positive direction.

I have tried different medications, but I’m still looking for the one best suited to me. I’ve also had some coaching, where I was given concrete ways to manage the everyday life. For example, cooking and planning a shopping list are challenging for me, so together we made a weekly meal plan. The concrete ways would have probably been helpful but it was difficult to use them in practice.

I also started to go to a support group, which I still attend. That has been the most supportive and helpful to me. It is so relieving to hear others share the same thoughts and experiences that I go through. Nowadays I can see my strengths more clearly. I can hyperfocus on things that I find interesting, and I always get very excited about things.

I can do a motivating task for hours without having breaks, and gather vast amounts of information about a subject that interests me. I also have an inner passion for things that are important to me and with those, I am relentless.

At he moment, I go to Red Cross for work experience, which has brought some welcome routine to my life. Everyday life is ok now, even though I still have the same challenges. I feel it’s important to focus on your strengths and finding ‘your thing’. My biggest passion is raising ADHD Awareness. My dream is to work in the neurodiversity field and to have a meaningful job.

I would like this condition to be understood better, and for people to get their diagnosis early on, so as many as possible would get an explanation for their symptoms and the needed support in time.

At the moment I’m looking into the different choices and paths to get to work in this field. I will possibly apply to study social and health, in order to be able to help people struggling with the same issues. I wish others could get help sooner than I did.

TARU MUSTAKALLIO

(Since the interview Päivi has started social and health studies. She continues to passionately raise ADHD awareness on Twitter, @Finnattentive.)

Thank you to Päivi for sharing her story in English. The original article has some lovely images, please check out the link at the top!