Being on GoodReads

Using GoodReads

A little while ago, someone in one of the online writer’s groups I’m in asked whether or not it was worth being on GoodReads.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, GoodReads is a place where readers hang out. You can keep track of books you have read, books you want to read, and discuss all things books with fellow readers and authors.

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Never say never…

Never say never…

When I first started writing chapter books, I settled into a niche. I was mostly writing stories about kids in the real world doing things that kids do and dealing with issues that kids deal with – bullying, playing football, worrying about their siblings, going to school, and so on. Realistic fiction was what I wrote.

I would see competitions and publishing opportunities for stories in different genre, such as fantasy, horror, super hero, and more, and I would dismiss them as I didn’t write stories in those categories, I wrote realistic fiction…

Lately I’ve learned to never say never.

Last year I was talking with a family friend who was looking for middle grade fantasy stories. Initially I thought: “I don’t write fantasy, I write realistic fiction”. After a while I thought, “Why not… I’ll give it a try.”

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Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day 2017

Today is Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day. This is a day close to my heart as my 13 year old son has CFS, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME.

Nearly four years ago, he came down with glandular fever. It took us around 18 months to get a diagnosis of ME/CFS!

This has had a huge impact, not only on his life, but also family life, and part of the reason is that it’s so misunderstood.

He only goes to school part time, and has regular appointments with doctor’s at the Royal Children’s Hospital to monitor his progress. There are many activities he wants to do that he can’t. For example, he really wants to join the Scouts, but it’s not an option right now, as well as attending school camps, and similar activities.

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Style guides

Editing to fit the style guide

I can remember in primary school going through lists of different ways to say “said” in a piece of writing – said, asked, demanded, muttered, screamed, whispered, etc. We were told to mix it up a bit as it would make the writing more interesting.

Fast forward too many years to count and I start writing chapter books for children. The general advice is to use the word “said” most of the time instead of using a variety of tags, even if it’s a question.

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When exhaustion wins…

Sometimes exhaustion takes over

I am a writer, and a published author. Words are constantly flowing around in my head and being written down, either in a note book or on the computer. Books, words, and reading are what gets me excited. However…

There are some days when it’s all too hard and the exhaustion wins.

This can look like different things on different days.

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A new month, a new challenge

Challenges for this month

Earlier this year, I was talking with a friend about writing and what I want to get out of it. One thing is that I want to publish more books, get more readers, and get more sales! It sounds quite easy, and it seemed easy when we were talking about it…

I have been working on a few novellas for grown ups, and finishing these and publishing them would help to achieve this goal. I worked out that I would need an editor and cover designer to make these great, without having to get an illustrator as you need with children’s books. It seemed like a great plan.

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Chapter Book Challenge – week 2 #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2017

It’s week 2 of the Chapter Book Challenge. I was hoping to get some writing done over the long weekend we’ve just had… however I realised I had a looming deadline.

Last year, I went to the Meet the Publishers conference. It was such an amazing weekend that I registered as soon as booking opened for this years conference. As part of this, I signed up for a manuscript assessment and the deadline was last night!

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Chapter Book Challenge 2017 #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2017

Since I wrote my last post about making writing a priority, life threw us a huge curve ball. My 15 year old son had a flare up of his Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a pain condition that started last year. This time, the pain was in both legs, resulting in a hospital stay. He’s still not healed, so my days are spent juggling work, medical appointments, school, and sleep.

It’s safe to say I’m exhausted.

This exhaustion has meant that not as much writing has been happening as I wanted it to.

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Two books down…

My two books

I’ve been spending a lot of time planning my writing year. One of the things I want to do is work on my Green Oaks Primary School series. So far I have published two books, and the list of ideas for future books is constantly growing!

The Chapter Book Challenge is coming up again next month and I’m planning to write the first draft for the next book in the series. I just need to decide which story to work on.

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Online Writing Courses

Doing some online courses

I haven’t blogged much lately. I decided to take January off, have a break with my kids, get a head start on the PopSugar Reading Challenge, and do some thinking about what I want 2017 to look like.

One of the things I wanted to do was some courses, partly to learn more about writing, but also to have something to show I know what I know (sometimes having 2 books published isn’t enough!). To get back in the habit of studying, I thought I’d check out some of the free online courses that are on offer. I have a few friends who have done some and really enjoyed them, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

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