I've been reading adult books. Tomorrow I go on the local radio to review Wolf Hall which is a really fat book all about Thomas Cromwell. Have you heard of him? No? What about Henry VIII? Yes? So Cromwell was around in the Tudor times, advising the King Henry and trying to keep him out of trouble.
Wolf Hall was one of the hardest books I have ever read. Some of the recording for the radio, we'll probably talking about how reading can be very challenging and whether this is a good thing or not.
Have you ever read any books that felt too difficult?
Did you keep going or did you give up?
Do you ever keep thinking about books or characters after you have finished?
What about if you give up on a book - do you ever go back and try again?
Sometimes I think that it isn't to do with how old you are, it's also what kind of mood you are in or what else might be happening in your life at the same time.
Think about what you are reading now... is it a funny book? Did you choose it because you needed cheering up?
I haven't just been reading, I've been writing too. I have just finished another book for Serial Mash. This one was called Bramble the Bold. It's about a lamb, just like the one in the VW TV advert - Born Confident. Do you know it? Ideas for stories can come from all over, we just need to learn how to catch them. I'm off to catch some more!
If those names alone aren't enough for you then think of all the skills workshops you can do such as: school visits, Nielsen knowledge, illustration promotion, agent submission, plotting expertise, pitching practice and historical fiction.
Mostly though, it's about meeting, making or catching up with people who 'get you' because they too are up to their eyes in the crazy, beautiful, wonderful up and down world of creating books for children. It is fun, useful, inspiring, motivating and just the best weekend EVER! Last chance to book is 2 November. Do it! Here's the link: SCBWI Conference
Quick reminder that TODAY I am at Harpenden library from 5pm as part of the National Libraries Week celebrations.
If you're local - pop in and say hello.
Just read an fantastic article all about how we judge our own success and failures as a writer. If you want to read it click here: An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.
From it I have decided to write my writing goals. If I blog them here then it becomes more real and when I (hopefully) achieve them I can read this back and feel all smug and self-satisfied.
1. To see a stranger reading one of my books in public (ideally a train)
2. To have someone I've never met tap me on the shoulder and say, 'Are you Camilla Chester?' - actually this has kind of already happened in the Oxfam shop down the road, so maybe in a bigger place like um, St Pancras Station?
3. To win an award - shortlisted twice is pretty fantastic, but I want to win one!
4.. To get an agent (yes I am doing all this solo)
5. To have at least one book traditionally published (yes, I'm doing all this solo)
6. To sell books overseas
7. To see one of my books in another language
8. To have a book in hardback
There are lots of goals that I have already achieved:
1. To do a book signing
2. To visit a school and a library as an author
3. To sign some scrappy bit of paper just because someone has asked for my autograph
4. To hold a book I have written in my hand
5. To have someone tell me how much they enjoyed reading a book I have written
6. To get nice reviews
7. To connect and become friends with other children's authors
8. To go to a award event because I have been shortlisted
And the one constant goal that I hope I am continually doing is:
TO GROW AND IMPROVE ALL THE TIME AS A WRITER
In the words of Dory from Nemo: Just keep swimming (writing), just keep swimming (writing)
Welcome to my blog, a place where you can keep up to date with what I am up to.