Don't forget to book in before Christmas 2021 if you want the lower price for an author visit to your school.
After Christmas my half-day visit will increase from £100 to £150. If you want a full day, this is possible after Christmas and will be charged at £300.
To find out more and to book please contact me.
As part of my volunteering work with SCBWI BI I get to do all kinds of interesting things. With my friend and co-volunteer, Mandy Rabin I run the Industry Insiders part of SCBWI BI. The idea behind Industry Insiders is that we give SCBWI BI members (children's writers and illustrators at all stages of their journey) a behind the scenes peek at the children's publishing industry.
By far the most popular Industry Insider (and TBH the only) event we hold at the moment is the 1-1 Festival where members are given the chance to showcase their work and have a 15 minute online consultation with an agent or editor. This is a BIG DEAL especially if you are not yet signed with an agent.
Agents are a very important key ingredient to reaching a target of securing a traditional publishing deal. Most writers need an agent to help them make their work ready to submit to a publisher and guide them through the experience of bringing their book(s) into the world.
It is competitive, but agents are looking for writers producing work they are able to sell, so when Mandy and I organise this kind of opportunity it isn't surprising that tickets sell out faster than Glastonbury.
As Amber is very experienced, knowledgable yet warm and generous person I very much enjoyed interviewing her for the Live Panel part of the 1-1 festival. We had all kinds of engaging and challenging questions from festival goers whom I hope found it useful, encouraging and inspiring.
We're all on a journey but it doesn't mean we can't help one another out along the way.
Keep writing everyone!
Totally delighted to be able to physically visit schools again.
I'm starting with a visit to The Lea Primary School on Monday which I offered for FREE! I can't wait to meet the children and have some fun. If you're interested in an author visit to your school, you just need to contact me.
You can find out more about my author visits and what they involve by visiting my author visit page on my website.
If you're a school that will struggle to pay the low fee of £100, please still contact me, as I can offer free visits if I think the children would benefit from meeting an author and wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.
Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait....more visits please, lots of visits!
Summer holidays are usually a good time for reading. What are you reading at the moment?
On my bedside table I have two books on the go. One is an adult non-fiction book, but the other is Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. It is the first book in The Dark Is Rising series - which is a fantastic adventure that was published the same year I was born! I've been doing a lot of re-reading books that I remember from my own childhood. Have you got a book that has stayed with you long after you stopped reading it? Do you have books that you read over and over again?
I'm also listening to a story by Lara Williamson called The Girl With a Space in her Heart. Do you know it? NB: Remember that I don't review books I've read here, but I usually do so on Goodreads, so have a look there for my reviews if you want to know what I've thought about a particular book.
I read for fun, but I also read because it helps with my own writing. I don't think I could be a children's author if I didn't read lots of other children's books by different people.
At the moment I'm thinking a lot about the story I'm creating with the young carers. The theme is ESCAPISM and I'm starting to pull in the first threads of a strong idea based on everything we talked about and the things I learned from them. It's a very exciting part of the writing process - the first pull into something new and shiny that needs exploring. I haven't written anything for quite a long time and I'm excited about starting again, but I'm still letting things bubble in my mind like a very tasty stew first.
Promise to keep you posted!
Hello Young Carers Crew.
You have been nominated to be part of the Asda Foundation Green Token Giving online vote through your local Asda store Stevenage Supercentre (Retail Academy). I can confirm all the due diligence is complete and you will be on the vote from Sunday!
The vote will be live from 0.01am on Sunday 1st August and voting will close at midnight on Thursday 30th September.
You and your supporters will be able to vote for you by visiting www.asda.com/green-tokens and selecting Stevenage Supercentre (Retail Academy) from the drop down box. Supporters will be able to vote once every 7 days, so please encourage them to return and revote in the following weeks.
Your local store Community Champion will also be promoting the vote in store, listen out for our advert on Asda radio next time you are in store.
Thanks for being part of this exciting activity, we hope you are excited too.
Let the voting begin!
Regular readers of my blog, friends and colleagues will know that my first three books are all self-published. It has always been my long-term aim to become a hybrid author, which means that I'll have some work that I publish myself and some that a traditional publisher buys the rights for.
I've been striving for this for many years, having tried to get traditionally published long before I brought out Jarred Dreams in 2016. At last, as you can see from the picture, it is finally becoming real.
You can read the full article here: The Bookseller
And here: Firefly Press
The journey of Call Me Lion has been and continues to be a highly emotional one. The book is bigger than me, touching real lives. I can't wait for it to be published as I know it can do so much good work.
You might, quite rightly, ask why I decided to write a book about Selective Mutism when I have no personal experience of it myself. To answer that very important question I made a very short video during my last dog walk before the summer holidays yesterday:
Although I miss my agent Laura very much, I'm happy to continue her great work in securing my publishing deal with Firefly with my new agent Veronique. The DHA agency is a great one to be signed to, very straightforward and full of professional yet very approachable people.
Firefly is the perfect publisher for Lion and I. Penny Thomas, who founded Firefly Press grew up in Harpenden (next door to Luton where the book is set), where I currently live and everyone I'm working with at Firefly are fully supportive of the book and what it means.
Great things have happened already and will continue to happen with this book. It is something beyond me but I hope you will come along for the ride. Keep reading my blog for what happens next.
Cannot believe I left the tranquil surroundings and company of these wonderful fellow children's authors to rush home for the Euro Finals.
I actually chose to swap the bliss of what you see in this photo for the pain of an England penalty shoot out. Why?
I'm bursting with some amazing news that I'm desperate to share with you but I'll have to hang on for just a little longer. Any day now. It's BIG so be ready!
It was amazing to be out and about doing real author things again and one of the children gave me a portrait she'd drawn of me whilst I was talking. Quite an accurate job, I'm sure you'd agree. They were so great and I'm looking forward to working with them.
Next is a new connection in Norfolk, which is my home county (I grew up in Norwich). I've made links with Norfolk Young Carers who are kindly reaching out to see who else might be interested in getting involved. It's very exciting to be thinking about what is next and how my lovely book, Call Me Lion will be followed-up.
Watch out for future blog posts about how Who Cares? progresses over the coming months. I intend to keep you all posted here!
Spent an entire day last week applying for a job that looked absolutely perfect for me. Working part-time as a Writing Facilitator for The Ministry of Stories in London. For anyone that has applied for a job that they really want you'll understand the amount of work that goes into it. I knew that the competition would be fierce as jobs like these are as rare as hens teeth, but I thought with my background and experience that I stood a very good chance.
It was not to be. Yesterday I received a standard email saying I'd not been selected for interview and due to the high number of applications they couldn't give feedback. I had a little cuddle with my cat, Bibs, and felt a bit sorry for myself.
As my previous and wonderful agent, Laura West would say, 'Onwards!'.
Welcome to my blog, a place where you can keep up to date with what I am up to.