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Archive for the ‘middle grade fiction’ Category

My bother and I wrote a middle grade novel, Dirt Busters, as part of a mystery series but it’s the youtube video I had made, How To Build A Billy-cart, that’s driving sales…why?

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Our summer project: image We’ve made the how-to-build-billy-cart youtube video, written Dirt Busters, Book 2 of our Cracker & Gilly Middle Grade Mystery Series, and now that school’s out for the summer it’s time to work on our non-fiction book, how to write middle-grade fiction.

We have quotes from great authors, examples from illustrators and wise words from readers…and now it’s time to share.

Over the summer we will upload chapters, quotes and advice from successful authors…but we also want to hear from you, so let us know what you think as we share our work with you.

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 find something worth reading

do something worth writing

creating something worth selling

image School’s out and it’s time to get back to the world of writing – do I hear you groan brother dear – with books to read, books to write, books to publish and books to market… image image image image image image

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image The first book in our Cracker & Gilly Mystery series arrived yesterday (Book 2 has been out for awhile but that’s another story) and I suddenly realized the potential of  publishing and marketing a series.

image And, not in any particular order, here they are:

1. We already have a readership

2. We already have a marketing strategy

3. Two books look better than one

4. We can now discount one book in the hope of interesting new readers in our series

5. Writing a book is tough…writing two books shows we’re serious 5. There are more marketing angles with two books

6. There is increased anticipation for Book 3

7. With more books we can sell boxed sets 8. Our books look good between bookends (okay, this one is a gloat:))

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Finally…

It’s taken six months but I can finally announce the publication of Book 1 of our middle grade Cracker and Gilly Mystery series…FORBIDDEN…it’s a long story and an even longer learning curve (a story I’m saving for another post)…both Book 1, Forbidden, and Book 2, Dirt Busters, are now available in both print and ebook from Amazon and other retailers…

Forbidden web cover…and if you’re curious what I’m up to during the holiday break, I’m preparing Book 3, Merinda’s Gold, for publication…all good fun…I think…

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gilly

The teacher begins:

Today, class, you’re going to write a story. Not just any story. A good story. And in order to write a good story you must follow the rules of story writing:

A story?

1.  You must be disciplined.

…I’m not…

2.  You must work hard.

…I don’t…

3.  You must be organised.

…I never have been…

4. You have twenty minutes to write your stories, starting now.

…and so I stare out the window…

I’m a writer…I live in my head…I dream…I  think of somewhere else, anywhere else, where the world makes a kind of sense that it never does in this room…this room with its four walls and it rows of desks and a clock that ticks so slowly that it has to gather its energy to to continue its tedious journey around and around in ever meaningless circles…and I wonder who came up with such a punishing existence and called it…learning…in this classroom where we all stare out the window……dreaming…I close my eyes and begin to write.

Chapter One

…once upon a time…

 

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I dare you not to be inspired by my young friend, Briana’s, story…what do her illustrations suggest…

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My mind is racing….who is the girl…what are her motivations…what is her journey….

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Give her some friends and a setting…and suddenly I have a plot for a story…

I didn’t expect it and I didn’t ask for it…but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, inspiration comes when I least expect it.

Who is the girl and how will her story unfold…

 

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Anyone game to review Dirt Busters or Forbidden, Cracker and Gilly Mysteries, on Amazon or Goodreads??? Available on Amazon. No pressure….just ’cause they’re sitting there sad, forlorn and lonely…

 

 

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soldier for web
soldier for web

Ideas for stories are all around us. In my local newspaper today is a story about a little known role of Australian soldiers in WW1.

It made me think about our recently released middle grade novel, Dirt Busters, and where our inspiration came from – although my co-author and I disagree about whose idea it actually was – to save fights I’ll use the words ‘we’ and ‘ours’ – but the more I think about it the more I realise our idea grew – as ideas do – like topsy.

 

medal for web

We found an article and we liked the idea of an old medal and we already had the setting – a development site – and an old professor turned up and we found him a shack to live in and we started to ask questions like what was the professor doing down the coast in an old shack and – boys being boys – our characters, Cracker, Trann and Bone had to follow him to see what he was up to…and our girl character, Gilly, being Gilly, had to have plans of her own and so a billy cart race was born with the race taking place – yep, you guessed it – at the development site.

As ideas go, it’s turned out to be a good one as so far the response to our novel has been great and we keep getting asked when is our next book being released.

And here’s the article that inspired it:

Moruya Examiner, 23 August, 1919:

On Friday night last Pte, Frank Stewart was the recipient of the usual Shire address and a presentation from the Bay to honor him as a returned Australian soldier. The occasion was rather unique, in as much as the ceremony too place during the interval of a picture show. To this entertainment about 50 of Private Stewart’s friends and relatives from the Aboriginal Reserve had been invited. The presentation was made y Mr D F Mackay and was received by much acclamation and to the accompaniment of the indispensable leaf strains of music…

(Please note, the aborigine pictured in this blog post is not Frank Stewart…)

 

 

 

 

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Join Cracker, Tran, Bone and Gilly as they walk you through the steps to build your very own billy cart!

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