Sunday, 21 April 2013

Writing is cool!

It's been a very interesting and fulfiling  week - so fulfiling I still haven't managed to find the time yet to do the ironing... but who needs crisply ironed clothes anyway? I've had a brilliant week talking to people who love writing, working with children who want to become writers and I've also done a lot of writing -  it just can't get much better than that really! 
     Saturday morning was especially busy as I wanted to be at the Just Imagine Storytelling Centre in Chelmsford soon after 10am to set up for the writing session. Soon all the aspiring authors aged between 6-7 years old arrived and I have to say we had a brilliant time! 
     I'd photocopied and cut out lots of pictures from the Burly and Grum books. The children looked through them, chose ones they liked, then put them in an order that would tell a story. Once they had their pictures in the right place they glued them into their 'story books' and started to write.

They ended up with a comic-like book. Although the time went by incredibly quickly, there was enough time for me to read them a little bit from 'The Birthday Surprise' and some of them were brave enough to read out the stories they'd written.
I have to say that I was incredibly impressed - the stories were imaginative and very well written, simply brilliant. I had a fantastic time! One of the girls told me she wanted to be a writer when she grew up because writing was so cool - well, you can't argue with that really can you?
   On Tuesday I went to the London Book Fair for the day - I knew it would be busy but even so I did feel a bit overwhelmed when I first walked in, for one thing the noise level from people talking was through the roof. The very first stall I stopped to look at was the Writers' Advice Centre - I have a feeling the polite lady I spoke to there may have thought I was a little simple because I could barely put two words together! As I walked around and became more accustomed to the exhibition centre it became easier to absorb what was actually going on and to talk to people. I popped along to a couple of interesting seminars - one on social networking and the other on 21st Century Publishing but there was so much I missed that I would liked to have gone along to. What I hope is that those who led other seminars will put their presentations on the net somewhere so I can find it and read up on what I've missed.
     And so another week has just flown by.  This coming week is going to be a bit quieter I think and I'm just going to sit and write - ah, that does sound nice!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Preparing for a busy week

A brief blog today as I've got a busy week ahead of me and I've got quite a lot to prepare. As you can see from the above picture, Grum and I are off to the London Book Fair at Earl's Court on Tuesday. It'll be great fun to meet new people and find out what's happening in children's books. I'll be wearing my most comfortable shoes because it's a massive venue and  over 1500 exhibitors will be there! That'll keep me busy and out of mischief for the day!

    Yesterday the print proof of The Tiger's Tale arrived and I was really pleased with the way it turned out (I was a little concerned because it's only a short story) so after reading through it I've approved it and hopefully it will be on Amazon by the end of the week.

     And last but far from least, this coming week I'll be preparing for a storytelling session and writing workshop at Just Imagine Storytelling Centre, Chelmsford. I'll be there on Saturday, 20 April between 10.30am-11.30am and I am so looking foward to it; I've got lots of ideas and want to create some storyboards which I hope will help bring out the children's creativity. Ooh, this week is sure is going to be a good one - bring it on!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

To Boldly Go Where No Bear and Groblin Have Gone Before...

It's been a funny old few weeks. All the excitement from the tiger event at St Pancras quickly died down and I've spent a lot of time pondering the future and what the next step for Burly & Grum will be. Having written 3 books and 2 short stories in the Burly & Grum Tales so far I do feel a sense of restlessness, that I need to move on and really push them but the trouble is I'm a bit unsure about what exactly that next step should be.
     Having lots of thoughts flying around in my head but not quite knowing quite what to do with them means I procrastinated so I didn't have to make a decision. (Procrastinating is the next best thing to napping sometimes, although having said that I get a lot of my best ideas whilst nappping!)
    My spare time has, therefore, been spent putting 'The Tiger's Tale' into print format (should be available very soon). I also spent quite a bit of time republishing 'Unlucky Dip', my young adult book, for kindle, print and Smashwords. See - keeping busy but not coming to any decision is an art form!
     Apart from editing and working on my books I also bought a ticket for the London Book Fair.  I want to look around, meet people, get some ideas. It'll be exciting and I'm hoping that I will get the input and the spark I need to move on because I do want to see the Burly & Grum books actually in bookshops and not just on Amazon. I also want to see them animated, I want plush toys made, I want them all made into apps and audio books - there's a great big mountain I want to climb and I need to know how to go about getting to the top! Once I'm focussed I'll be fine and Burly and Grum will be boldly going where no bear and groblin have gone before! Well, that's the theory anyway :)