Having spent the last twelve years writing novels for adults I feel tempted to try to write one for children. I know it will need an illustrator and probably a reduced vocabulary but the short story I started last week cries out to be a fantasy. However, there are so many excellent children’s books available at present that I am reluctant to try.
How could I make my story stand out? What would be different? I have been advised to make it local and possibly one of those tales that are interactive so that the purchaser can insert the child’s name and friends but I think that might be constricting. If I think of the type of story I enjoyed as a child I remember liking a story that frightened me a little, or that reinforced my own attitudes, making me feel safe. I’m inclined to refer back to my favourite books and bring one up to date. That might be the best way to continue. I have to decide on the age range as I would use rhyme for younger children but short sentences in slightly large font for the 7-9 age range. I’ll keep you informed!
We now have all the posters for the “Meet the Sea Scribes” charity book sale in aid of the local Breathe Easy group. It will be at Durrington Community Centre on Tuesday December 3rd at 10.30 am and we hope to get some new readers. There are eight of us in the writing group and most of us have published novels, short stories, poems or non fiction. Although our books are on Amazon, without nationwide publicity, sales have been largely confined to people who have heard of us locally so we need to establish a wider audience. I am slightly concerned that , being paperbacks, the novels I donated to the West Sussex library service are getting battered. It would have been nice to have been able to afford to produce them in hardback format. The two that are on kindle only sold when they first came out and I put them on Goodreads.
Anyone who attends our event will be able to have a go on a Lucky Dip, as it would not be sensible to try to keep people hanging about for a raffle. There is a wide range of modern and historical novels, local and European war time and romantic adventures, and anthologies with short stories and verses.
We hope that people will find something to enhance their Christmas shopping experience!
I am getting asked if there are murders in my books and have to admit there are none. I wonder if I could write a crime story? It certainly wouldn’t be a police procedural novel, I don’t like doing research and I set up my imprint ” Oldstick Books” for older readers who did not want gore and intimate behaviour. I wanted my readers to be sure they were not going to be shocked but now some are demanding violence!
Having just read “Without a Trace” by Carissa Ann Lynch and enjoyed it, I do recognise the appeal of a good crime mystery, and I do watch them on TV but writing one is something different. I have included death, suicide and arson in my novels but only at a distance, not with all the emotional fallout that ensues when it happens to a main character, and I do like a happy ending!
While I’m complaining about things I must admit I have given up looking for “different from” in books and newspapers. It seems the accepted use is now “different to,” and I ‘ll have to conform.
I must have been bored, today. I tried to make a cake! The trouble was it said use a food processor and I don’t have one. Then it asked for ground almonds and I couldn’t find them so I used flaked ones instead. I think it needed more air as it came out half an inch high and, with dates instead of sugar, it wasn’t very sweet. ( They were rather ancient) I did chop everything but the walnuts and dates must have been too heavy. I’m calling it a splodge and having it as a pudding tonight.
Then, oh delight, the Sea Scribes now have a poster ready for the charity book sale in December. I know it’s early but we need to get adverts in the monthly magazines in the area. I haven’t downloaded it yet but when I do you’ll be able to view it, I hope.
The story I started writing as a flash fiction exercise proved to be too long so I’m going to finish it and then find somewhere to send it. The rest of the day was spent gardening. The photo is our elderberry bush when it was in flower..
My writing group in Worthing has found that the charity events we put on always draw a crowd but rarely result in sales of our books. As they have to be ordered from bookshops or Amazon we were trying to raise our profile. Now, in order to get more readers, and not rely on the loyal following we have built up who always attend our book launches, we are planning a Book Sale in Durrington Community centre in Worthing on December 3rd with money from every book sold going to the local branch of Breathe Easy, the support group for the British Lung Foundation.
We have tried marketing in the press, on radio, in magazines, at fairs, and in local shops and many of our books can be purchased on line. Selling as a group gives folk a chance to choose their favourite genre, although even when crimes occur in our stories we don’t market them as such. I was asked at our last sale ” Is there a murder in it?” and when I said “NO” the customer looked disappointed ( but still bought the book) I forgot to tell her there was arson in the follow up in the series!
We call ourselves the Sea Scribes as we write by the sea. I’ll let you know how it all goes in December.
I’m sorry, little sparrows. You always make me laugh.
I love to watch your antics, splashing in the bath
But now we have to move it, as the grass has grown too high.
We must get out the mower ( It will go back, by and by)
Meanwhile, enjoy the peanuts and the seeds still hanging there,
Enough for all you sparrows and the blue tits, if you share
And if that pesky squirrel doesn’t hang there, upside down
And shake the large bird feeder ’till the seeds fall on the ground.
But then, I see the woodpigeons find that they have a meal
And blackbirds who, upon the ground, try seeds and apple peel,
And when the grass is short and neat, the mower put away
Please come back to the bird bath so that we can watch you play.
( written when I was too slow to get a photo)