Friday, 30 March 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I have just finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - what a page turner! Honestly couldn't put it down. My own writing is in the fantasy genre and consequently I read avidly within this area but I was so intrigued by the dystopian theme of  The Hunger Games I decided to read it and devoured it in a few days!

The suspense is intense at times not to mention brutal but it is written in such a way that you are drawn into the head of the main protaganist, Katniss Everdeen, sharing her thoughts and emotions as she copes with many agonising choices. I could picture the arena and the other 'tributes' entirely. In fact, although I would like to see the film, I wonder if it may alter my own interruptations. But I guess that does often happen when a book is adapted for film.

I had to rush out today to buy the second instalment, Catching Fire, and I am looking forward to continuing the saga.

Well done and thank you, Suzanne, for writing this trilogy I am sure it will prove extremely succesful  on screen too. Maybe it's something to do with the name Suzanne, who knows!!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Unicorns are Magical!

Today I would like to share a short extract from my Birthstone Unicorns Series with you. My magical world is revealed in a series of twelve individual stories ...

Thump! Garnet landed softly in Stardust Land and Chloe slid off her back. Chloe gazed all around in wonder.
      She was surrounded by other unicorns, each one as beautiful as Garnet but with different coloured jewels in their horns. Nestled amongst the trees were rabbits, squirrels, deer and foxes. Most extraordinary of all - tiny people sat amongst the roots of the giant trees!
     Peering closer, Chloe saw that there were a mixture of men and women, young and old. They all had large pointy ears and huge green eyes that shone brightly. She noticed that one of them, a girl with fair hair plaited on top of her head, appeared to be crying. Chloe watched as the girl reached down and picked up the hem of her bright blue, ankle length dress. The tiny girl dabbed at her eyes with the cloth before blowing her nose noisily on it!
     Chloe rubbed her hands over her own eyes. Surely she must be dreaming?
     Sensing her confusion, Garnet whispered, “Elves.”
     But there was no time for further explanation as Garnet was already busy explaining to the others that she had brought Chloe to Stardust Land to help them write a letter to Wizard Wenn.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

So near and yet so far ....

Thought I would share my experience of the submissions process so far with you all. I first started  querying a few literary agents about 18 months ago with a fantasy children's series I had written aimed at the 5 - 9 age group. After the usual handful of rejection letters I received an email from a well known agency offering advice. Over the next couple of months I worked on their very insightful suggestions and submitted a revised manuscript. After another couple of months of emails and telephone calls I was DELIGHTED to receive their offer of representation. Brillant, I hear you shout, you made it! Well yes I made it past the first hurdle and I was certainly very hopeful that my dream would be realised.

Before we took the next step of submitting to publishers one of their editors helped polish two of the manuscripts so they were perfect. I have to say this was an enormously useful exercise and I learnt so much from it. A few of the large publishing houses were submitted to and I sat back and tried to wait patiently for the next few weeks. In reality of course I was thinking and wondering what was happening all the time!

Sadly, there was no influx of offers. The market is very slow, I was told but never mind we'll try again. Then another disappointment, my agent left the agency. I had a nice email, recognising my talents and wishing me well with a future agent but unfortuantely they were no longer in a position to offer representation. So near and yet so far...

Of course I feel terribly lucky to have got that close once and it is a huge confidence booster. I can write, people who know all about that sort of thing had faith in me, I can do it again.

I am now considering my next step. Do I wait a while, work on my 2nd draft of the Arrosay story and then submit that as a fresh piece of work? Or, should I start querying agents with my previous series straight away?

The only thing I know for certain today is that I will not give up on my dreams. The only real failure in life is surely failing to try.

So to all you fellow writers out there who might be going through a low patch I say, keep going. If writing is your passion, write. Firstly, for yourself but never forgetting that discovery may just be around the next corner. Good luck.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothers Day and my new blog

Well, I've finally started my brand new sparkling blog. Mother's Day today (think that's why I managed to get a teenage daughter to help me!) . Husband and darling daughters took me out for a surprise lunch. We went to The Lizard, the most southerly point in the country. The sun shone on a glistening sea and we ate watching the many passing ships. Lovely! Thank you family.

Managed to do a little writing today. At the moment I am working on a 2nd draft of  a young teen fantasy novel. The action takes place in a magical world called Arrosay. The three protaganists unexpectingly find themselves thrown into a strange and often dangerous world. I'll tell you more about it in future blogs so pop back anytime.