• Manuscripts,  Middle grade novels,  Uncategorized,  work-in-progress

    What does your main character look like?

    A thought suddenly occured to me this morning as I arrived home after dropping my kids off to school. They were dressed up as Goldilocks and William The Conqueror for their Book Character Parade.  It is Book Week, which by the sounds of the many excited children in the playground, tells you that this is a hugely popular week within the school year. The thought was this: If my middle grade novel ever got published, and a child wanted to dress up as my main character, Sirona, a 12 year old girl from Gaul in the 1st Century AD, what would she wear? I already had some idea and little hints…

  • writing challenge

    Chapter Book Challenge 2013

    Finally, here is my first post for 2013 and it starts with a new challenge. You can read about it here: Chapter Book Challenge 2013. Have you entered? Here is what it is about: ‘The Chapter Book Challenge is an informal challenge, and it is self-directed. At the end of the challenge, you let me know if you have completed the challenge, and I trust that you will be honest. The challenge itself is to write the first draft of an early reader, HiLo book, chapter book, middle grade book or even a YA book, and to write the book from start to finish, during the month of March, from March 1st through…

  • Manuscripts,  Picture Books,  writing challenge

    12x12x12 Picture Book Writing Challenge Completed!

    At the beginning of the year I wrote about a writing challenge I had decided to join: Participant Badge for 12 x 12 in 2012. Then half way through the year I wrote about it again to mark a milestone: Halfway through the 12 x 12 writing challenge. Now we have come to the end of the year and it is time to write the final update about the challenge and how I went with it. I am glad to say I did it, I managed to write 12 manuscript drafts for picture books and I am now looking forward to rereading them again in the new year. I look forward to…

  • Picture Books

    PiBoIdMo 2012 Complete

    Yesterday I completed a writing challenge – the PiBoIdMo 2012 – which stands for Picture Book Ideas Month. This is the second year that I have participated in this PiBoIdMo writing challenge. I have written previously about it here, PiBoIdMo 2012 and here, PiBoIdMo 2011. The great thing about this challenge is that I now have 30 new picture book concepts that I can work on over the next year. Last year 2 out of the 30 ideas have turned into complete manuscripts. 2 others have potential and 1 has been turned into a middle grade chapter book. The challenge is great for encouraging you to brainstorm for new ideas. Some will…

  • Self-published

    Choir to sing words to my book!

      How cool is this??? I can now start to market my new book. Plus, the choir my aunty sings in is going to sing the words to my little self-published Christmas book, ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas’ on the 29th November! I so wish that I could have been there, but we are saving our money for our trip back to Jersey next July. So if you are in Jersey, Channel Islands between 6-9pm ‘Hot Bananas Choir’ will be singing Christmas carols as well as the words to my book. “On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me…a puffin in a pear tree.”  

  • ebooks,  Self-published

    Adding sound effects to ebook

    While I am waiting for the proof of my self-published paperback version of ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas,‘ I am using the time to add sound effects to my ebook. I have mentioned before in a previous post “A Puffin In A Pear Tree‘ that I have been using Book Creator on ipad to make the book. To add the sounds a friend recommended Soundrangers as a good place to purchase sound effects from. It is another huge learning curve for me but I am enjoying it. Book Creator also gives you the option to record sounds straight into your ebook. This is great if you want to add…

  • ebooks,  Picture Books,  Self-published

    Self published Christmas book!

      In the very near future I will (fingers crossed) be announcing the end of some very hard work and the beginning of my first self-published children’s picture book. Although I am aware that this is not the end of the hard work, as marketing your book can be tough. The book is aimed at anyone with connections to Jersey, Channel Islands, the book contains illustrations to go with a very classic Christmas rhyme. It can also be used as an early reader and counting book. How good is that, reading, counting and singing all in one book! The self-published route is a huge learning curve. Here are just a…

  • Manuscripts

    Picture Book Ideas Month 2012

    It’s that time of year again where you can challenge yourself for the whole month of November. Today is the last chance to sign up, as it starts on the 1st November 2012. What’s the challenge? It’s PiBoIdMo 2012 organised by the inspirational Tara Lazar – it means on everyday of November you have to come up with an idea for a picture book. Just the idea, that is all. How hard can that be? Surprisingly enough, some days it can be quite tricky! If you can write a first draft from that idea, even better but not necessary. I entered PiBoIdMo 2011  last year – it was my first writing…

  • Quick sketch

    Children’s drawings

    I have recently been trying to anthromorphise my drawings. I find it difficult.  Maybe I am trying too hard. I watch my 8 year old son who seems to manage it with such ease (but then I think he practises much more than I do and maybe that’s the moral of this story). I just love the expression on the shark’s face, the little piggy looks stunned and the crocodile has no idea what’s behind her!

  • Artwork,  Illustration,  Picture Books


    Backgrounds for me are a tricky thing – I never know whether to leave it blank, add a bit of colour or add detail. IWhen adding colour I need to consider consistency of colour. Am I keeping the same tone with each illustration. Does it look right if some background colours are bold and others are softer? Here are two examples;   I initially used a green background as pumpkins grow in Autumn where I am from. But then I got thinking about the colour wheel and how opposite colours make each other stand out more.   Plus, we associate pumpkins with Halloween, so I decided to make it night…