Ask the author a question!

If you want to ask Toni Brisland a question about her books send an email to toni.brisland@gmail.com

These are some of the questions Toni has been asked so far:

Dylan of Neutral Bay asks:

Is the third book in the DemiChat series the last one?

Yes, the third book is DemiChat and the City of Gold and is the last book in the series.  It was released in July 2015 and the print version is available from the author and the ebook from Amazon. Email Toni at toni.brisland@gmail.com

Fred of Campsie asks:

Can you buy the DemiChat books in Dymocks?

No, unfortunately. Dennis Jones Distributors has copies of Toni's Picture Books, but the DemiChat books in Print Form are available from Toni: email Toni at toni.brisland@gmail.com and you can buy them from her direct. The eBooks of DemiChat and the Kent Street Mytery and  DemiChat and the Lost Mummy and DemiChat and the City of Gold are available from Amazon at $2.99.


Hope of Willoughby asks:

Why is your first Picture Book about Bears?

Check out Toni's Blog for the answer to this question - but basically the story was inspired by a visit to an animal sanctuary on Grose Mountain that overlooks Vancouver where she met orphaned bears Coola and Grinder. www.tonibrisland.com/blog


Lynne of Wiley Park asks:

Why did you set the sequel (DemiChat and the Lost Mummy) in Egypt? 

I wanted the sequel to be in keeping with the school curriculum and Ancient Egypt is always a fascinating subject. And, the fact that the mummy of the last Pharoah of Egypt has never been found and is believed to be in the environs of Alexandria captivated me. This was excuse enough to go on holiday there in 2011 and to visit the famous library of Alexandria.

Pam of Sydney asks:

How did you find the composer for the music for your site?

The composer, Dean Adams found me, in a way. My best friend, Ros, and her family are musicians and I asked them to help me with a song for DemiChat. I'd written the lyrics and had an attempt at composition (I studied piano to Grade 8) and gave it to her for an opinion. She suggested I contact Dean who was a friend of her son and has his own studio. Read more about it on my blog:www.tonibrisland.com/blog


Hazel of Melbourne asks:

Why did you decide 2 years after the book was printed to convert it to an eBook?

Because the book is on the NSW and SA Premier's Reading Challenge Lists and computer technology is so much a part of education in our schools, I thought it was a logical step to convert it for use in Australian schools. Also, the printed version was only distributed in Australia and New Zealand and converting it to an eBook and having it available for iPad, Nook & Kindle has given it a world-wide audience.


Callum, 10, of Neutral Bay asks:

Is there a sequel to the first book?

YES - DemiChat and the Lost Mummy. Set in Egypt Demi and Flannery go in search of a lost tomb! And in Book 3 - DemiChat and the City of Gold they get lost in the Amazon Jungle while searching for the Incan Lost City of Gold.

Sovaia of Glebe, Sydney asks:
Why did you write DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery’
I had won a writing competition and a friend rang me about 6 weeks before another competition was due to close and suggested I enter it. At the time I was re-reading the ‘Collected Works of Sherlock Homes’ by Arthur Conon Doyle, one of my favourite authors. My cats, Jade and Flannery, were sitting near me as they always do when I write and I looked at them and bling – a light bulb went off in my head and I laughed. Why not? Why not have a girl cat as the greatest of all detectives, Sherlock Holmes, and a dog as her faithful companion and help?
I thought it would be a great way to introduce a new generation of readers to Sherlock Holmes.

Virginia of Ormond, Melbourne asks:
Why is the story set in London?
London is Sherlock Holmes’ city. Those foggy streets hid all sorts of mysteries for Sherlock. I didn’t even think about any alternate location to start the story. London was an automatic choice but I did want the time to be the present day and I wanted it to have an international flavour, hence the train trip through France to Rome where the mystery is solved.

Go to - www.sherlockholmes.com and start discovering London in the nineteenth century.

Alana, 9, of Ermington, NSW asks:
Did you choose the Illustrator?

For the eBook version, yes, I choose the illustrator. I wanted colour and digital illustrations and selected Cheryl De Los Reyes Cruz because she is very skilled in this field. She had access to the pdf of the print version but created her illustrations from her own interpretation of the story.

For the print version,the Illustrator, Peter “Zane” Haywood, was chosen by the publisher, Kerry Collison of Sid Harta Publications. I had sent Kerry my manuscript of “DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery” and a photo of my cat Jade and at my first meeting with Kerry he handed me a piece of paper with the illustration that has now become the cover of my book. I loved it and agreed with Kerry that Peter would be the right illustrator for Demi.

Visit Demi’s Friends on a sub-page of this website to learn more about the Illustrators.

Phillip of Surry Hills, NSW asks:
Why did you call the main character DemiChat if your cat’s name was Jade?
I always start my stories by deciding upon and creating the characteristics and personality of a character. The main character’s voice for this story kept talking to me in a French accent! I don’t know why. Jade didn’t sound like a name that suited the character that was developing in my head, but I wanted something short and I liked the “ee” sound at the end of a name for this character.

After a Google search I decided upon Fifi le Chat and many drafts later and whilst the manuscript was at the publishers (even after I was a runner-up in that competition I kept re-drafting) it was brought to my attention that Fifi was already the name of a famous children’s book character – Fifi the Flowerpot. I had to change it! I Googled it again – and Demi stood out!  Why? Because my daughter and I really once had a cat called DemiChat! Why hadn’t I thought of it in the first place? Go to the space on this website called ‘Demi’s Friends’ to learn all about the real DemiChat.




Ask the Author a Question by email to toni.brisland@gmail.com

  • 'DemiChat' is on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge List for 2012

Available from Dennis Jones & Associates, Distributors