Sunday, 27 May 2012

Let the Party Begin!

Here in the UK we're all looking forward to next weekend and having an extra two days off work in order to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I'll be enjoying my very first street party - we'll have proper bunting, afternoon tea, music, a BBQ, fireworks and lots of games for the children including one called hunt the corgi (don't worry real corgies are not involved!). I'm really looking forward to the day; I only hope the sun continues to shine (it can be a bit hit and miss here in the UK!). As you can see Burly and Grum are also pretty excited about the party and insisted on sending their congratulations to the Queen in their own special way and are flying the flag with style. Way to go Burly and Grum, I'm proud of you!
I've not only been involved in planning our street party but have also been working on the first book. In my blog last week I mentioned that I'd re-written Beyond the Forest, (managed to shave off 2,000 words...) and Rob has redesigned the cover so that it'll be more in line with the second and third books. You won't see the change on Amazon for a while because the print copy will have to have a full book cover done (to include the back blurb, spine, etc) and desiging that will take a little longer. I could change the Kindle cover but then the Kindle and the print version would look different and that could be confusing. I really love the new cover, Rob's done a fantastic job. 
And there's more good news! I've been invited to a school to read from the Burly & Grum Tales but hopefully I'll be able to give more details about this next week. My Burly and Grum world is just getting better and better!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Competition Time!

A brief blog today just to let you know that the Burly & Grum Drawing Competition is underway! Flyers have been given to Steve at Stephen Alexander Hairdressing and quite a few have already been picked up by local children and their parents - I'm looking forward to seeing the entries! If you can't see the 'rules' then there's a clearer picture on the Burly & Grum website. If any child aged 6-9 would like to enter then I would be delighted to see their drawing of Burly and Grum! Good luck to everyone taking part! 
One of the reasons this is such a brief blog this week is because I've been sitting working on the computer almost the entire all day and I'm practically cross-eyed. I've re-written the first book, 'Beyond the Forest', making it shorter and snappier and more in line with books 2 and 3, and I've just transferred it to my Kindle - I'll edit it on the way into work tomorrow. The new version should be out next weekend.

My third book, Burly & Grum and the Birthday Surprise is now in print and, whilst I was uploading it onto Createspace (who print and distribute high quality print-on-demand books for indie authors), I was delighted to learn that three days ago Createspace Europe was launched - no more will print books have to be shipped from the States and hopefully no more will prices vary depending on the exchange rate. It'll be cheaper and faster for books to be ordered and delivered via Amazon and it's a positive step in the right direction.   All exciting stuff!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

That's What Friends Are For!

There's a lot I'm grateful for in this life, but the support and love my family and friends give me - yes me, the Restless One who is always dashing off doing this that and the other - means the world to me. Now, through Burly and Grum I'm getting support (and lots of hugs) from others as well - this week, Aiden aged 7, gave me a massive hug and asked me to pass it on to Burly because he was the best bear in the world, and a little girl called Sophie gave me a picture of Grum that she spent ages colouring in. Frankly, I think she's got Grum down to a 't'! Thank you so much Sophie - it's gorgeous!

     Friends are helping me in other ways as well - I get my hair cut at Steve at Stephen Alexander Hairdressing in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford and he is one of my biggest supporters (way to go Steve!). He's a great family man and has a busy business with many local families coming to the salon. Last week when I had my hair cut there we chatted and now we're running a competition together which should start next weekend. I've already put together a draft poster - what do you think? The competition will mostly be for local people but hopefully others will want to join in as well because I'd like lots of gorgeous pictures to look at! More details about the competition will be coming soon! 
     I'd also like to mention the fabulous organisation Born Free. From the very beginning I knew that I wanted to give a percentage of any earnings to Born Free because I think the work they do to stop animal suffering is awe inspiring, and despite their very long wait they keep promoting and helping me - Burly and Grum have their own page on their webside, Virginia McKenna will be reading the books soon to her grandchildren (I'm very nervous) and I should also be running a competition with their kids club Wildcrew. I'm incredibly grateful to them. Thank you to everyone there, especially Joanne Bartholomew.
     And just to keep you updated, Burly and Grum are doing very well - especially The Secret City which is still in the top 100 in Amazon (both UK and US) under free books for children. I'd like to thank every single person who has downloaded the books and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading them. Now, onto the next exciting week!