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A Profile on Melbourne Author Mitchell Toy

THE Midnight City by Mitchell Toy looks set to become an Australian made children’s book that will go around the world.

THE Midnight City by Mitchell Toy looks set to become an Australian made children’s book that will go around the world.

The book that sees a young boy catch a tram at midnight in Melbourne and go on all sorts of adventures was originally called The Midnight Tram, and self-published by Mitchell last year. It was a passion project that was years in the making, from planning, illustrating, writing and later publishing. Earlier this year publishing group Five Mile loved the book so much they signed Mitchell to a multi book deal, which is a dream come true for the Melbourne artist and author.

"I spent probably six or seven months doing the illustrations and writing the book and I had it printed and distributed myself," he says.

"There was a lot of passion in it because I wanted to tell a story that is uniquely Melbourne and uniquely Australian. I was absolutely thrilled when Five Mile picked it up and gave it a new life as The Midnight City." 

Mitchell, who was a journalist and cartoonist at Melbourne's Herald Sun, was inspired to write the book after getting so many requests to paint the old W Class Melbourne tram, "People just loved pictures of old trams on the rainy streets of Melbourne with that sort of nocturnal feel, it was something that seemed to really resonate with people who had grown up in Victoria and Australia,” he says.

He is also proud to tell a uniquely Australian story, in a market that has a lot of International competition. "I tried to capture an imaginary version of Melbourne that children, their parents and grandparents, would be familiar with all across Australia."  

It has been a real thrill to see his book that he put so much work into on the shelves of all good bookstores around Australia, "It's a wonderful feeling to walk into a book store and see my book on the shelf alongside some other classic children's books that I read as a child.

"Hopefully my book will create the sort of lasting memory that I loved so much when I was a child while reading picture books." 

His next book with Five Mile will be out later in the year.


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Media and journalism has been in Luke Dennehy's blood ever since he started at the Herald Sun in Melbourne as an editorial assistant at 19 years of age. Luke worked for nearly 20 years at the Herald Sun reporting entertainment and lifestyle news before leaving in 2017 to pursue freelance opportunities. He also had many regular spots on radio and TV over the years, most recently on Melbourne radio station 3AW.  A passionate advocate for Australian music, food, entertainment and business, he is excited to share some of those inspiring stories along the way.


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