Monday, 9 December 2013

10 Reasons why writing a book is a lot like falling in love

  1. The early stages of a relationship are wonderful. You feel euphoric; excited to wake up every day and see what joy will come your way.
  2. The early stages of a relationship are frustrating and scary and you feel exhausted. 
    Ahhh... love's young dream
  3. Either way, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Your new relationship, (with a book or a person) consumes your energy, focus, and time, to the point where everything else can just wait. You can't stop thinking about this new love.
  4. Normal every day things (eating, cleaning, friends and ringing your mum) start to annoy you because can’t they see this is important? There’s nothing wrong with becoming a recluse. Is there?
  5. You start to obsess, night and day, about your future together. Are you a match made in heaven? Will you go all the way? Is this one they’ll want to make into a Hollywood love story?
  6. Love is blind and you won’t hear a word said against your dazzling partner. You will probably idealise them for a while, magnifying their virtues and overlooking their flaws.
  7. When you first fall out, it’s total disaster! You cry and turn to your friends for help. But they are treading a fine line between critical support and unwanted criticism.
  8. You start to feel insecure and needy. You want constant reassurance. What if all this has been for nothing? You might even rush to seal the relationship deal, just to put an end to these uncomfortable feelings, even though you know there is still work to be done.
  9. Alternatively, you might decide that you need some time apart. But that’s difficult too because even when you are apart you are constantly reminded of the good times you once spent together…
  10. You will eventually go your separate ways. Don’t start a new relationship too soon; your heart is still somewhere else and nobody wants a rebound book…
"You said you wanted to make me happy forever," said Vladimir.
"I didn't expect to live so long..." replied Clara.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

I am on the list...

... of The Guardian Readers' recommended self-published authors! 

Back in June, The Guardian Newspaper asked readers to tell them about the best self-published books they had discovered, and out of over 3,200 authors, they featured just 34 'great authors', including me!

Can't tell you what a compliment that is, after all the hard work which goes into writing a book and then publicising it, so I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who recommended my book, Bring Me Sunshine. You have made me very happy.

Get your signed copy of Bring Me Sunshine (FINALIST in the Mslexia Children's Novel Competition 2012/13) here...

Also available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon UK and Amazon US
and other online retailers.

Have a go at the BRING ME SUNSHINE jigsaw!

KS2 and KS3 Schools' Resources Packs for Bring Me Sunshine also available - FREE!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Free Dog

I am a BIG fan of comedy. I watch practically nothing else on TV and when I do venture out from my writing shell, I like to see comedy live. I’ve never written comedy because a) I don’t know how, and b) a part of me is scared about uncovering a formula which might destroy the magic. It’s one of the reasons I’ve become so picky about what I read – because I read as a writer and can’t help but notice ‘flaws’.

But this week, when someone asked very nicely for my help with a comedy routine I couldn’t say no, and thought I’d better have a proper look to see how it works.

And it turns out that these guys aren’t just funny, they really know how to tell a story. They’ve got it all there – a solid story structure (setting, set up, rising actions, climax, falling actions and resolution) beautiful conflict, well formed characters, bags of show not tell via some rich and hilariously emotive language, and lots of laughs too.

Here’s Bill Burr talking about getting a ‘free dog’.

Bill Burr’s facial expressions are brilliant, and his one liners are very funny, but for me this works as a routine because it is a great story, is perfectly structured, is brimming with conflict and has some properly funny characters.

I’ve got a new respect for comedians after analysing this. I just hope I can still enjoy them as much as I used to.