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Posts Tagged ‘middle grade fiction’

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My new SCBWI magazine arrived today and my twelve year old immediately started taking pics with her photo apps (about a dozen of them)…my question is how can we, as writers of middle grade fiction, not pay attention to what excites our audience?

In my case, as I continue to put together my Instruction Manual For Young Writers, I’m being forced by my daughter to consider the visual appeal of writing for young readers. What can you and I learn as writers from an app addicted young generation??

imageWell, the first thing for me is to learn how to use all the apps😇😇🐥…but don’t worry, my twelve year old has promised us a guest post to teach us the basics.

Hmmm…and I thought I was the teacher in this family…

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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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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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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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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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Marketing is time consuming, there’s no doubt about it, but the benefits are about far more than selling a few books.

From two signings I have sold books, sure, but what I didn’t expect were the associated benefits.

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Here’s the list:

1.  I met Nick who works in the bookshop where my signings took place. His day job is as a journalist with a local radio station. I donated half a dozen books and he promoted Dirt Busters in prime time. His promotions manager also contacted me.

2.  I met Steve who is also an Indie Author. We met later for coffee and it turns out he is a motivational coach in his spare time. His day job is with local schools where he runs Outdoors Programs. He is going to help me set up and run Writers Retreats for students.

3.  I met Janet who bought Dirt Busters fir her grandson. Her hometown is co-ordinating their inaugural Writers Festival and she gave me the details of the organiser. Janet also works at the local library and she suggested I contact the Head Librarian. I did and I’m now in discussions  about literacy workshops.

4.  A elderly lady didn’t want to buy a book but we chatted for awhile anyway. Two of her daughters are local primary school teachers who are keen to invite writers into their classrooms and the third works for Education Queensland and travels to over three hundred primary schools.

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three middle grade novels ready to launch, market and sell

almost

to find out how

stay tuned

…let the countdown begin…

 

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