Kids involvement in Swallow Me, NOW!

Kids have helped along the way

I first wrote Swallow Me, NOW! during the Chapter Book Challenge in 2013 and kids have been involved in the story every step of the way.

During the challenge itself, I spent my evenings writing. My goal was to write a chapter a day until the story was finished. Every morning my kids would wake up and ask me what I had written the night before. They also wanted to read what I’d written. They were great at correcting any typo’s and spelling errors as well as suggesting ideas for the next chapter of the story.

My kids were also the first to tell me when something didn’t make sense or didn’t ring true. While they loved my first draft, they were great critique partners for the first draft.

During the editing process, they were by my side every step of the way. They would read my drafts and the comments that came back from my editor, continuing to pick up on little details that helped to improve the story.

Fast forward to a few months ago and the story was ready for beta readers. These are the first readers of the completed manuscript. We sourced readers from a mixture of kids I already knew as well as school kids in Queensland. We also had a number of adults read it including teachers, librarians and parents. It was the comments of the kids that helped shape the final story.

Among other questions, we asked kids for title suggestions. The working title for this book was Sam’s Solution, but I didn’t think it was quite right for the book, mostly as it didn’t stand out enough. Some of the suggestions were really creative, and we ended up choosing Swallow Me, NOW! for the book. There are a few titles I’d like to write a story for one day.

Almost without exception, the kids reading the story chose the same scene as their favourite one, and I’m glad that I added it in.

One of the most exciting things about this book is that it was created with kids. They helped to shape the story and they understood the message that I was trying to share. I can’t wait to share the finished product with kids.

To help me, support my crowdfunding campaign. You can get a copy of the book, and if you would like to support my campaign but don’t want a copy for yourself, I would be happy to donate it to a school, library, children’s hospital library or charity.

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