Sunday, 20 March 2016

First Author School Visit

I had the opportunity to attend my first 'Author' school visit recently and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had as a Writer.  

I had great fun in the days leading up to the event too as I hunted the local charity shops for props. I found so many interesting things including this wonderful old camera case which turned out to be perfect to put all my bits and bobs inside.  

When I arrived the teacher showed me to the class room and there I saw my book on a huge screen. Soon the small class joined me and it was great to see their reaction when I put on my story telling cloak. They gathered round the screen and acted it out with story telling techniques.  It was incredible to see my story so animated by a class of seven year olds.

Following that I brought out my case and one by one fetched out my props -  Uther the unicorn, silver water, unicorn food, clover and a little white horse.  They were mesmerised by them and we had such fun as they passed Uther round.  It difficult to take him away, especially when one little girl asked if he could stay for tea!

After that I gave them a chance to try on my cloak, they loved it and all had their picture taken before we did the question and answer session.  I was thrilled at the interesting questions they had come up with. I wasn't sure what to expect as at that age they could come up with the most random things but they were great and very interesting.

We finished off with me reading my story 'Every White Horse' to them.  I don't usually feel that confident when reading out loud but they made me feel so relaxed that I really enjoyed it.  That was such good fun and so rewarding as a writer to share the magic with the people I am writing for.

I just hope I get to do it again sometime.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Into the deep end

It has been a very sad few weeks with the death of  David Bowe, he was so influential for so many of us. I have so many memories from my childhood and teenage years. Just like many out there, I can relate different songs to particular things that were going on in my life. I am even able to pinpoint songs to an exact time and place.  

I was moved by this quote and really want to apply it to my writing.  For years I have just stuck at what I feel comfortable with in writing for children but this has made me want to push a few boundaries and see what happens.

I find myself inspired by so many other genres this year and though I will continue to write my children's stories, I feel like branching out into other things.

Thanks David, even after you have gone, you continue to inspire and motivate people.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Year, new start

It's been such a hectic time since I last posted.  My latest book 'Every White Horse' has taken me months of hard work to get right but now I am thrilled with the end result.

For months I experienced all sorts of problems.  The images were difficult to upload with text and the front cover had to be shrunk down which is a pity but I am still happy with  how it looks. 

I was very lucky to have a great illustrator - Artist Hannah Dyson who not only did the cover but illustrated the entire book too.  It's amazing how pictures can really bring a story to life and as this is intended for the younger reader 5-7, that is a vital ingredient of a good book for children.  

We had so much fun over the Summer months as she used my own pony Brodie as a model.  He didn't stand still long enough for her to sketch but we did get some photographs for her to refer to as well. 

So now the work continues. Never let it be said that self publishing is easy. There are so many things that you have to take responsibility for which you would have to do with a traditional publisher but it is great to see it through from start to finish and have the control. 

Well worth the effort if you have the time and patience!