Having had a frustrating summer…car problems in France then Mum’s illness and ultimate passing I’ve done little in the way of writing. I did write a ghost story whilst in France(photo) and re-jigged a couple of poems but feelings of guilt are surfacing and I have to address this. Having written this post I feel I will focus on writing and I’ve recently had really positive feedback from readers of Tartan Witch and The Pirates so….
Onwards and Upwards
Well, lesson learned! I have re-published my children’s novel, Halloween Quest. as .In the Dark so lets hope this improves sales throughout the year!
I was delighted this month to be awarded 1st place in the Scottish Association of Writers’ Under 7s competition with my latest story, The Prickle Picker. Hopefully, this will be published soon. Halloween Quest, aka In the Dark, was placed 2nd in the ‘Self Published category.
While I was attending the conference, Tartan Witch managed to get herself off to Finland. She was hoping to visit Elbo the Elf but unfortunately he’d decided to visit her so they crossed paths! Anyway, she had a good chat to Santa, danced on the tables in the Ice Hotel, played Ice Chess and had an altogether great time in the snow.
The Pirates are in the process of being re-printed at the moment so it’s all very busy here. i hope you enjoy Tartan Witch’s photos!
Every Day’s A School Day!
Well! What did I know? My usual writing genres are Children’s Picture books and Poetry. I hate to admit it but it was probably down to lockdown that my first children’s novel was completed. I persevered and eventually in October last year the novel was ready. The working title was In The Dark but I wasn’t convinced that this would be an eye-catcher for my target audience, 8-12year olds. In my wisdom I thought that ‘Halloween’ in the title would attract this age group. The story is not about Halloween per se, it merely happens on Halloween night.
The book was published as ‘Halloween Quest’ but what I have only now accepted is the fact that having Halloween in the title is restrictive. Some of my potential customers commented that they would stock the book only near Halloween time.
So, I have decided to re-brand the book as guess what? In The Dark! I needed to edit the original text, have the cover re-designed and supply a new ISBN. It’s all in the printer’s hands now, another lesson learned.
Long Overdue Update
I have been so busy lately between finishing and publishing my children’s novel, Halloween Quest, attending book fairs and reading my books at schools. This is a poor apology for neglecting this space.
I have to say that I’m really pleased to have Halloween Quest ‘out there’ at last. I was delighted when the late Cathie MacPhail placed the first 1000 words of the story in first place in an Ayr Writers’ competition a few years ago.
‘Why did you call it Halloween Quest?’ my daughters asked when I told them this is not a story about Halloween, it merely happens at that time!
I reckoned Halloween is popular with the intended audience and, with an eye-catching cover, the hope is that youngsters will be drawn to the book. There are many elements identified in this story of discovery but the main message is that it is good to talk about things. The book provides many opportunities for discussion with young people and within book study groups.
I am delighted that Dame Emma Thompson was prepared to pose with a copy.
Tartan Witch in the Highlands
Over the past week Tartan Witch has been showing me her neck of the woods, quite literally sometimes! She took me on the Jacobite train to Mallaig and it was thrilling going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. I’m sure there’s been a certain young wizard on that same journey! We walked along the Caledonian Canal and ended up at Neptune’s Staircase….what an engineering marvel that is! We’ve been to Fort William and Ben Nevis, Fort Augustus, the lochs of the Great Glen and much of The Cairngorm National Park. We passed The Lecht Ski Centre and I’m quite relieved that it wasn’t open as I’m sure she’d have me on it! We toured Deeside and travelled the road from Cockbridge to Tomintoul. The scenery was even more spectacular in its Autumn shades. I do hope she invites me back soon!
Well, we’re gradually coming out of lockdown and what a relief! It’s been a dreadful year for book sales and I have so missed the school visits. Virtual visits were a blessing and enjoyed but there’s nothing quite like the ‘hands on’ interaction with the children!
I have been busy though and at present I have 2 books off looking to find publishers for acceptance, it’s an unsettling time.
The first book is my children’s novel, Halloween Quest. This was completed in lockdown and I really hope someone takes it up as the story has many important messages told within a fantastical adventure. It’s geared to middle grade children and I will really enjoy school visits with this one!
The other book, Ten Little Hedgehogs, is for Early Years and combines features of Autumn, Science and Number. once a teacher, always a teacher.
There is also another exciting book in progress. ‘Elbo’ is a Christmas story about one of Santa’s elves and is being beautifully illustrated by a talented young artist, Gemma Jones, who I’m sure will go far. More about that nearer publication date.
In the meantime I think I might concentrate on my poetry and give another brain department a shoogle.