Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Whole Lotta Library Love

On Friday, I received my first PLR (Public Lending Rights) statement, which tells you how many times your books were taken out of the library during the qualifying period, and I was (very) pleasantly surprised to find out The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea was taken out just over 4,000 times! As well as the super-fuzzy and warm feeling you get knowing people are picking your book off the shelf and choosing to take it home with them, the author gets around 6p each time their book is checked out, which doesn't sound like much but it'll be a nice little bonus when it arrives.

As a bookworm from a young age, I've always loved libraries. When I was little, I'd borrow Topsy and Tim books, and as a teenager I devoured the library's collection of Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club books. The library was only a short walk away, so I could pop over in the school summer holidays, pick out three books and return a couple of days later to swap them for more. One of my nerdiest anecdotes is being stung by a wasp while waiting outside the library for it to open!

My writing journey started in our local library, when I was around ten. There was a children's author giving a talk at our local library, so one of the teachers at my school took his class and mine to listen to it. I'd always scribbled down bits of stories for as long as I could remember, but as I sat there, fascinated by the author who I can't even remember the name of as he spoke about his writing and how he got his ideas and noted them down in a notebook, I realised for the first time that I too could write actual books when I was older. From then on, it became my dream to be a published author. So thank you to the author who gave that talk (and I'm sorry I don't remember your name - I really wish I did) and to Mr Perrin (who not only took us to that author talk but also introduced us to The Animals of Farthing Wood, my favourite childhood book, and really brought the many stories he read to us to life. Best. Teacher. Ever) and a humongous thank you to all the libraries out there, who provide thousands of worlds for people to discover.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Five - Help To Name The Chickens!

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

I'm definitely back into the swing of things after the Christmas break and am managing to meet my 5k/week goal. This week I reached a pivotal point in the book, the part where Rebecca really commits to meeting the challenge she's been set after a big setback and I'm looking forward to seeing how she copes after her wobble!

The End still seems so far away at this point, but I'm still at the stage where writing is fun. Usually, by the 20-30k point I'm starting to grow less fond of the book and getting the words down becomes more and more of a struggle (over the years I've learned this is completely normal so it doesn't send me into a panic anymore!) but I think setting myself a smaller goal to reach each week is helping.

Last week on my Facebook page, I asked for help naming one of the donkeys in the book. I received over 50 suggestions, which all went into a bowl (no hat available) and one was picked at random. So, our little donkey is called Daisy. Now she has a name, I can replace the '*Donkey2*' markers I've left in the manuscript!

I'm going to be asking for help naming the animal characters over the next few weeks, so head over to my Facebook page if you'd like to take part. If the name you suggested is picked, your name will be put into the acknowledgements when the book is published.

This time, I'm asking for help naming some chickens!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Four - Florida, Christmas & Donkeys

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

It's been a few weeks since my last entry, and that's because I've had some time off writing for Christmas. We spent Christmas in Florida, so I had to get everything organised before we went, plus I needed a bit of time to get over the jet lag once we got back, so I had around three weeks off altogether!

Once the kids were back in school and I could pretty much function again (jet lag and I are not on good terms), I jumped back into Book 10 again. I've set myself a target of writing 5,000 words a week, which will give me enough time to reach my mid-April deadline without leaving me frazzled (unless I go way over my word count goal, but let's not worry about that now).

So far I've managed to stick to my 5,000 words per week goal, and I'm pleased to report that I'm still on track! I was worried having a three-week break would make it more difficult to get back into the story, but it's been absolutely fine and I've enjoyed seeing what Rebecca is getting up to. The only problem I've had this week is forgetting an idea I had last night but didn't write down - rookie mistake!

There are quite a few animals in Book 10, and I thought it would be fun to ask for help in naming them. The first animal who needs a name is a playful donkey. I'm taking suggestions over on my Facebook page, and one of the names will be chosen at random. Whoever made the suggestion will have their name put in the acknowledgements when the book is published.

If you'd like to take part, head over to my Facebook page and see the pinned post :)