Posted in progress, writing

Writing Update

It’s been a very long time since I put any sort of writing update on here but I’ve been itching to do it lately, so here it goes.

Project Robot, a story loosely Christmas related, is something I’ve to tried to re-write today went well but there’s so much I need to change.  The second draft of it is underway and it’s a bit disheartening to think I may need a couple of extra re-writes before I feel it’s ready for publication.

Project three, my favourite project out of everything I’ve ever done has been sent to agencies.  I’ve only done it recently and feel quite bad as it was ready months ago but only recently has the motivation come back into my life.

I have actually been paid to write articles over the past couple of months and have loved living the dream – being paid actual, real-life money to write.  I just wish it was on a more permanent basis.  I need to find more clients or better websites that will hire me for my talents.

Not to use it as an excuse but I’m 6 months pregnant with twins so I tend to be lethargic in the evenings and haven’t pushed myself to do any more than the above.  I really hope that in 12 months time, I’ll have another publication in Christopher Fielden’s “Nonsensically Challenged”, a bit more of a steady income, more completed work, all while juggling 4 children!.

I think one thing that will help with motivation is posting a bit more on my blog, so you’ll definitely see more of these posts and more picture book reviews.  I must stick with this momentum and carry on!

 

Posted in Review

Naming & Shaming: The Toucan Brothers

I started a new area on my blog a while ago, naming and shaming children’s picture books, as I felt some need improvement and some just need throwing in the bin altogether.  I realise authors and illustrators do pour a lot of hours and effort into creating something magical and enjoyable for children.  It frustrates me to no end that when I see a book with fundamental English mistakes – either spelling or grammar or even morals that are completely wrong, I think how did that get all the way from an agent to a publishing house, printed and sold with these glaring errors?

I read to my children all the time.  With it being my son’s birthday recently he was given 10 new picture books, which were hidden all over the house and he had to find them, he absolutely loved searching.  Today I read him one of his new books and the errors were so obvious it pained me to read it all the way to the end.  So I’m giving my review, I guess to enlighten you potential authors that you need a lot of proofreaders otherwise your work will come across as sloppy!

The Toucan Brothers by Tor Freeman

Based on a Mario Brothers mixed with Ghostbusters type story and setting, Sammy and Paul are the town’s best plumbers and general tradesmen. The story is set in rhyme, and the illustrations left my son giggling endlessly, he wanted to hear the story immediately again – the writer in me was fuming by the end, unfortunately!

The first page which first caught my eye was the slogan on the side of the van “No drip too big, no pipe too small”.  Also, note the name of the brothers – Sammy and Paul.

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Yet the last line on the next page, to me, felt like a massive mistake with the text and the above picture. It reads “No job too big, no pipe too small”.  It’s a complete mismatch.  Proofreading would have easily fixed this. Frustration level increased a notch.

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I’m all for not talking down to children, treat them with intelligence and they’ll shine on through.  The next series of errors would have put me at a failure level on my writing courses. If only Tor Freeman had asked for proofreaders and stuck to a basic writing concept – CONSISTENCY! It really is key!

Sammy has now become Sam.  This changed back to Sammy when the sentence needed that extra syllable.

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And Paul has become Paulie.  This really left me seeing red! I had to go back to the beginning to double check I hadn’t read it wrong initially.

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That’s everything I wanted to share, credit for a colourful and visual book Tor Freeman, but the errors are unjustifiably there.  As an author trying to find an agent and ultimately a publisher it astonishes me that this story was accepted by a very successful publishing house, Macmillan.

 

Posted in thoughts

Publishers on Twitter

To keep up to date with potential publishers I am following a lot of them on twitter, and I enjoy following their stories.  They like to retweet work from their clients, obviously.  Then there are some who are very passionate about charities and want to support the causes on top of advertising themselves.  This to me is ideal.  It shows professionalism and passion and those elements are good indicators of a hard-working publishing house.

Have you seen anything from a publisher or an agent that’s made you feel differently about them?

Posted in writing

Publisher Tips

In one of the rejection emails received, I was given contacts and websites to visit to encourage me to keep on trying, polishing up the skill they call writing.

I’m going to share these websites with you because knowledge is power, power is pizza, and we all deserve some pizza right?

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Help with the manuscript; I recommend Blue Pencil Agency http://www.bluepencilagency.com/ for an in-depth editorial analysis of your work by industry professionals.

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assessment report, we recommend Daniel Goldsmith Associates http://www.danielgoldsmith.co.uk. They give an honest, comprehensive and constructive review of fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature.

House of Editors is a group of award-winning and industry-leading editors, mentors and writers who have helped prize-winning writers polish their novels http://houseofeditors.com. I recommend them for anything from a manuscript assessment to mentorship.

There is also an online forum where authors can get in touch with each other and the writing world at http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/forum.htm

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The websites do work on a fee type basis but if it helps you in any way then excellent.

Posted in writing

Publishing Stories

As you know, I’ve been sharing my process of finding a literary agent and so far I can confirm I have had two rejections. I haven’t feel deflated or defeated, but it has encouraged me to keep on going. Whether the manuscript gets published or not, I do believe I WILL get something published one day; If I keep writing, the determination will pay off. There’s no other option.

What stories, good or bad, can you share about looking for a publisher or agent?