I'm here, up to my neck in sunshine and jet lag. Thank you, Perth Writers Festival, thank you! I'm stunned by the sounds the birds make, which is nothing like you would ever hear in Ireland. Our feathered inhabitants are pretty reserved compared to this lot!


And then there are the flowers. I saw some yesterday that didn't look anything special, but they put forth a wall of solid perfume that I wish I could capture for people back home.

My first engagement in Perth was a radio interview with the amazingly suave Richard Fidler. If you long for the sound of my voice -- and who doesn't? -- you can listen to the podcast here. He's a great interviewer with a team behind him that research everything to the hilt.

Then, it was on to the Perth Writers Festival.

I had a wonderful time yesterday with local students, and tonight I'll be taking part as one of the judges at the amazing, the incredible, Literary Death Match. It's an evening of competitive reading. What could be more natural or desirable? Unfortunately, I believe that this event is sold out :(

But what about tomorrow, I hear you ask?

That's a Saturday. At 11:30am, I'll be sharing a stage with Garth Nix, Zana Fraillon and Jared Thomas and discussing the books that shaped us. Tickets available, I hope, from The Perth Writers Festival.

On Sunday, I have two panels. At 11:30, I'll be discussing Irish Myth and Folklore with Hannah Kent and Annabel Smith. Then, at 14:00, in the blazing heat of an Australian summer, I'll be telling some stories to kids. I can't wait!

After that, it's on to Brisbane. The climate will be cooler there, won't it? Won't it?

You can see me at Where the Wild Things Are on Tuesday Feb. 28 at 6pm. I'll do a reading, I'll answer questions and embarrass myself in a hundred little ways. This is a ticketed event.

I'll be in Sydney too, of course. Nobody can go to Australia without marvelling at the Opera House, can they?

While there, I will pop over to Beecroft to sign some books at The Children's Bookshop on Hannah Street at 2:30pm on Tuesday, March 2. If you're in the area and need a book signed, or just want to say hello to a pale-skinned sluglike being from the damp north, please drop in!