Sunday, 28 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

This last week has been quite the rollercoaster! A large part of me wants to leap up and have a little dance of happiness because of the success of Burly & Grum's Halloween Adventure but a larger part is saying hold on there bud, you're not quite up to that! Really? Me? Not up to a little dance of happiness? Unheard of! But midweek I had to have a chronic abscess treated at the dentist and have been nursing a sore head ever since. Honestly, at this moment in time I'd kill to sleep through just one night!
     The consequence has been that I haven't done as much as I'd like to let people know that the story is available FREE as an audio book and as an ebook, but despite that it's been downloaded over 80 times as an audio book and over 500 times as an ebook. Not bad really! And Pat (the narrator) and I have had some excellent reviews, which has really given us a boost. I think that Sophie's review is my favourite -

but reviews such as this one, mean a huge amount to both Pat and myself: "I got this title as an audiobook from Soundcloud and loved every second of it. The story, for the younger amongst the young adults is fun and even has a lesson hidden amongst it. The characters are all extremely well portrayed, each showing their respective personalities within only a few short pages. The story itself was fun and I am sure the kids would love to listen to it on Halloween as a form of entertainment not regularly used these days. The audio production on Soundcloud was very professional and the narrator did a smashing job of creating voice characters and managing to entertain with his voice. The sound quality was high and enough of sound effects was used to entertain but not too much so that it distracts. Narration and audio production thus gets a 5 * review as well!" was just fantastic."
     Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to sit down and write a review, I can't tell you how great it makes me feel when I read them!
     My very grateful thanks have to go to Witherbys Printing - they kindly printed 200 copies of Burly & Grum's Halloween Adventure so I could give them out free. Witherbys are a fantastic company and if you ever need any printing done, I'd certainly recommend them! 
     Yesterday, despite feeling really grim, I ventured out of the house for the first time, put up my brolly and fought my way through sleet and pounding rain (yes, winter seems to have arrived in Essex) to Chelmsford Library, Gem's Halloween Shop, Stephen Alexander Hairdressing and Bah Humbug (the latter 3  shops are in Moulsham Street) and all of them kindly took some copies so they could give them away free to their customers. Tomorrow I'll be off to the Barbican Library as they've also said they'd like a few copies. It's half term next week and the kids will be off, there's lots going on so I'm going to make sure the booklets reach as many children as possible. It's really great to have some hard copies, there's something brilliant about having a story in print version in your hand to read. I'm looking forward to the coming week, hopefully my head will stop hurting at some point and I'll be able to do lots of little dances of happiness!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Burly and Grum's Halloween Adventure is out!

Yes, Burly & Grum's Halloween Adventure is finally out! Burly and Grum go trick or treating with Max and things don't exactly go according to plan! I loved writing this short story and I hope you enjoy reading it. Rob, who illustrates the Burly and Grum stories, has once again captured the characters perfectly - thank you so much Rob (I especially love Burly's fangs!).
     I've put the story on Smashwords where it can be downloaded FREE onto your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, Sony Reader or as a pdf. I've already been asked why I chose Smashwords rather than Amazon. The simple answer is that I couldn't find a way of letting readers download it free from Amazon (Amazon will price match it but that could take time and I wanted people to be able to download it immediately). I will put it on Amazon after Halloween but I will have to put a small price on it so download it now while it's free!
     What I'm really excited about however, is the fact that you can also download an audio version for FREE! Pat Scullion has done a brilliant job, thank you Pat. Even though I've got a rotten head cold at the moment and my whoops of joy may sound more like like 'dohps' I'm really, really happy.
     I've also been incredibly lucky and a colleague has offered to print A5 booklets for me so I can give them away free. A couple of libraries have already said they're interested and some teacher friends of mine have also said they'll give them to their students. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! 
     Last but by no means least, I'd like to let you know that the winner of the Burly & Grum Halloween Competition was a young lady called Molly who lives in Paris. She guessed that Grum was going to go trick or treating as The Hulk. A set of the three Burly & Grum books will be on their way to you as soon as the Post Office is open on Monday! I'd also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter the competition, I had such a wonderful time reading all your funny and inventive messages!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Countdown to 20th October!

Six days to go! Yes, only six days until I release the Burly & Grum halloween short story! I'm so excited because just this morning I received the final audio version of the story and it is fabulous! Pat is so brilliant and has brought the story and characters to life (it helps because he's a big kid himself!). Both audio and electronic versions will be given away FREE because I'd love as many people as possible to have a great time and enjoy Burly and Grum's adventures. Yes, I'm excited - can you tell?! 
  The Halloween competition is still open by the way - just go to the Burly & Grum website and you'll see how to enter on the main page. I've had a fantastic response and although I know readers from all over the world like Burly and Grum, it's been humbling to receive entries from Germany, South Africa, Russia, America, France and Australia! I've loved reading every single entry and also to get such nice comments about the books - shucks - you're all such wonderful people out there, thank you!
   Last week Beyond the Forest was available to download free and this week it's the turn of The Secret City - yes it's free today and also 13th and 14th October - go and download it while you can! Burly and Grum come across some hunters in the Great Forest and it's all very exciting - you'll love it!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Something spooky is going on in town!

It's not long now before Halloween is upon us and Burly & Grum will be coming to a town near you to go trick or treating!  Yes, they're in the mood for a little adventure so I've written a short story about them celebrating Halloween for the first time. The story will be given  away free from 20 October. Why am I waiting until then? Because I'm running a competition to see if anyone can guess just who Grum will dress up as when he goes trick or treating. We all know Grum likes outrageous clothes - look what he wore in The Birthday Surprise, a bright turquoise shirt with lime parrots!  What will he wear for Halloween?! If you want to enter the competition, just go to their website or you can leave a message on their Facebook page. What's the prize? The complete set of Burly & Grum books! The competition closes on Friday, 19 November so hurry and drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!
   Also this week you will be able to download Beyond the Forest FREE from Amazon on  the following days - 10, 11 and 12 October.

    Yes, things are starting to get busy again and I love it!