This month’s prompt comes from Melissa – here it is:
All writers start somewhere. What is the first ever piece of writing you had published? This could be fiction or non-fiction, something at school, or later. Let us know your definition of being published for this prompt too 🙂
I guess I will start with my definition of being a published author – basically it’s able to hold a book (digitally now included), with your name on it and to have that book available to others for purchase. So essentially this includes self publishing, traditional publishing, but not just printing a book for your own shelf. I do include having stories or articles published in anthologies. Your name will be on there somewhere.
So in that sense I was first published in 2009 with Ghostnapped.
However from this prompt I felt this needed further exploration. Publishing can also mean having a story or article published in a newspaper, magazine or the likes. So I guess technically if you have had this then you could claim to be published… there you have it clear as mud!!!!
Okay so where did I start? That’s interesting because I have always written. Just for fun, to entertain myself, because if I don’t the stories burn my brain. As a student at school I often had stories published in newsletters and school magazines. At the time I hated that, I didn’t like other people reading my work. Now I love it – times change as you grow and become more experienced.
Later as a teacher I had articles published in various places, including newspapers, community newsletters, education forums and the like. None of these were terribly exciting, although I have kept the first article I wrote about Obi!
I have kept all my school stories – at some stage I will go through them and I will work on a few to publish. If I ever get the time that is!
Okay so where did the writing thing really start for me. I was bored… that’s how most of my grand plans start. I possess a creative mind, one that seems to think it can do far more things than I can physically do. Writing and getting published was one of those things. Fortunately I persevered and managed to achieve this goal multiple times!
In order to achieve this I did a writing course – mainly to get over the fear of having people read my stories. Since then I have done lots of webinars and looked at lots of writing resources. I am even writing my own. I believe in lifelong learning… you can always get better at things!
Anyway I have to get back to my long list of things I feel like doing… check out all the other posts here:
Melissa Writes http://melissawrites.com.au/
the Wolfe’s Den http://jaycwolfe.com/
Imagine! Create! Write! http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com.au/
This month it’s my turn:
Do you like scary stories? What characters scare you the most? How do you create a villain???
I guess I’d better answer my own questions. I kind of like scary stories. Not thriller, violent, horrible scary. I do however like stories that you don’t want to put down simply because you have to know what is going to happen. The characters that scare me the most – real ones… no not really, but villains that have a real scary purpose. The mind swings towards the Evil Queen in Snow White… Cruela De Ville… those sort of characters. Of course my personal favourite is Captain Hook, but that may just be a pirate thing…
How do I create a villain?
I have blogged a bit about my character development before. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of writing. Generally for me the character builds the story. I have a pirate villain in my head at the moment. I wrote a bit about him in my flash fiction Pieces of 8. This was published in Ghostly Echoes:
He is Captain Walt Sharkchum. He’s mean, determined and will stop at nothing to get all the pieces of 8. He’s a horrible character, but looks can be deceiving. There is more than meets the eye with this pirate….
If only I knew what that was??? Well I guess that will come to me as the story unfolds.. Anyway this is my next story. I am thinking it will either be a long novel for teenagers or it will be a shorter trilogy for pre teens. Really don’t know yet, will just let the story unfold. It’s going to be fun though.
To see what other writers are scared of go to:
This month’s topic comes from Becky and its dreams. So much comes to mind, but the first has to be…
They are the coolest thing out. The boys run in their sleep, they squeak and even bark at times. I love the way they are so out to it all that they relive the day. Well that’s what I think they do; either that or they are hunting their favourite treat… It hardly matters, they dream and it’s so cute.
There are other dreams though.
My girls love scary stories. We often watch Grimm Tales or Scooby Doo before bed. They also enjoy having a story and it never bothers them if it’s scary. Why?
Yep their teddy bears have super powers; nothing can scare you in the night if you have a teddy or five to keep you safe.
The next type of dream is really important to me…
I spend a great deal of time doing this. Some of my best writing ideas have come from day dreams. They are actually quite useful. Especially if you can actually get them down on paper. I think daydreaming, well any sort of dreaming is a great way to keep the imagination flowing. So chase those dreams, good or bad they can always be amazing.
Lastly I guess our dreams can also be goals for the future. I have lots of those dreams. One has come true each time I have published a book or had a story published. There are many more dreams for me to chase. These dreams can shape our lives. Some of my current dreams are:
1. To set up my own self publishing hobby – more news soon.
2. To self publish my fourth book – before the end of the year
3. To get my first ChaBooCha story published – early next year
I also have dreams for other parts of my life too, all in good time. To check out the other Writer’s Reveal posts on dreams go to:
Have a read and start some new dreams – have fun!
It’s that time again… Writer’s reveal. This month’s topic is a bit of fun.
When I grow up…
Well it’s simple I intend to NEVER GROW UP!!!!
Ha that’s why I write children’s books. I can live in my own little fantasy land. Of course sometimes the big bad world tries to creep in, but I shut it out with a good book and a hot Milo (You Aussies know what I’m talking about!).
Growing up is an interesting thing in itself. I think kids these days grow up too quickly. My own children love to play and fantasize, which is great. Although taking two super heroes shopping can be a little embarrassing. Well it would be if I was a grown up… Sometimes people give them funny looks because they are talking nonstop about how they would save whatever animal is in danger. To these far too grown up people I would love to stick my tongue out at them. Kids need to be kids and they need to work their imaginations. It’s like resistance training to get stronger. The more you imagine, the better your imagination gets. In this day and age we are too set in our ways. Everything needs to happen on a deadline. While this is certainly part of life that we need to deal with we also need time out to play.
It’s funny how as you do grow up you start to open your eyes a bit and realise how good it was to be a kid. All I can say is that being an adult does not mean you have to give up all those childlike games. If you like reading kid’s books then read them, if you like playing sports, then play, if you like to eat cookie dough, then have some (too much will give you a belly ache, but you only live once! So get out there and have some fun!!!!
To read about growing up check out the rest of the writer’s reveal team:
This month’s topic comes from JC and it’s interesting to think about. The story that changed my life… I don’t think I can nail it down to just one. So here’s a few and why.
1. Ghostnapped – definitely need to start here as an author. This was my first publishded book. However it was more than that it was the first story I ever completed a first draft (since school) and let someone else read.
If I hadn’t written Ghostnapped I may never have become an author at all… It really was a dream come true and made me want more!
2. The Twits – yeah might seem a bit strange. However indulge me. I loved reading as a kid, but never likes those readers you get when you are learning to read. The Twits is the first novel I remember reading for myself. It may not have been the actual first, but it’s the one that I remember.
As an interesting fact my mother was told in a year three parent teacher interview that I couldn’t read… Probably not the best thing you tell an English teacher… Any way I refused to read the readers the teacher gave me because I was reading interesting novels. Needless to say my mother was not impressed!
3. The Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – yes okay odd combo. Still I remember reading these when I was about 9 or 10. To me it was just a part of my journey to read such big books. However looking back I think it gave me more than that. I thing reading these books filled me with a natural desire for adventure and craziness. I have re read them as adults and they definitely fill their reader with a sense of wonder.
Finally I have to say the super hero series I am working on at the moment. Now these books will take a while for me to get published, but they have already changed my life. I invented these characters with my two girls and they love them. In fact they play act stories based on these super heroes around the house. They even had a friend of mine make their costumes for last years book week. It has given them so much enjoyment and they are only first drafts. Together we have created something awesome that we will eventually be able to share with everyone. I even have an idea of a spin off series with each girl… They are writing their stories for The Superhero Chronicles: A Collection of Superhero Stories Written and Illustrated by Children.
This project has given me so many ideas for the future and hopefully next month I will be announcing a few things. I am very excited and yes this story will change my life!
To check out what the other authors had to say in their writer’s reveal posts go to:
Melissa Writes http://melissawrites.com.au/
the Wolfe’s Den http://jaycwolfe.com/
Imagine! Create! Write! http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com.au/
You learn something new every day http://emhawker.blogspot.com.au/
This month’s topic has come from Melissa – www.melissawrites.com.au
When life gives you lemons… how do you keep on writing?
That’s actually pretty interesting and sort of fits with my theme for the month of inspirations. When all the chips are down where do you go and what do you do? Well I write. That’s just how I get away from everything. It might be a blog or a new story or just a to do list. Writing is what I do when I am frustrated. Only on very rare occasions do I need to do anything else. Funnily enough when things are really down I clean… Which obviously doesn’t happen too much if you saw my house. Besides writing is much more productive any way.
This is why I write – you can do the impossible. No one cares if it couldn’t happen or didn’t happen. Especially when you write for kids. All they want is a good story and pictures and another story and now… Okay so they can be a demanding audience. That just means you need to write more.
So if life is getting you down escape any way you can….
To see more writer’s reveal posts check out:
Oh and instead of taking the lemons have fun!
This months Writer’s Reveal topic came from Rhianna.
A tale about siblings with a magical twist.
This was a fun topic for me simply because of my two girls. I pretty much write for them and over time they have begun to ask for more stories. They were the inspiration behind the super heroes I have created and am about to start editing, but they have also inspired another series. This is a long way from getting written in full, but here is how their adventure begins – minus the editing
Maddy and Aijay’s Magical Adventures!
Maddy hung upside down on the monkey bars. She swung herself backwards and forwards gently. It was always good to be upside down. The world looked different from here. As she swung she looked around. A sparkle caught her eye. She turned her head and sure enough in the fairy garden there was a strange glow.
“Hey Aijay, look at the fairy garden,” Maddy said as she turned towards her sister.
Aijay was swinging herself as high as she could on the swing next to Maddy. She looked to the garden.
“What?” asked Aijay.
“Don’t you see it?”
Maddy looked again, it was still there.
“Maybe you need to be upside down,” she said, “Swap.”
Aijay shrugged her shoulders, but stopped swinging. She took the rings in her hands and flipped herself upside down.
“What am I looking for?” she asked.
“Just look at the garden,” said Maddy.
Aijay swung forwards and looked. There in the middle of the flowers was a strange glittery site.
“Cool,” she said, “hey Madz it looks like a door.”
Maddy couldn’t see it from her place on the swing, so they swapped again. After a few turns they had decided that it was real and it was a door.
“So how do we get in?” asked Aijay.
“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure we need to be upside down,” replied Maddy.
The girls looked at each other and said, “Cartwheels!”
Maddy ran up to the fairy garden. She stood near where she thought the door would be and turned back to look at her sister. Aijay still upside down took a handoff the bar and gave her sister the thumbs up. With that Maddy turned and threw herself into a cartwheel. She shrunk down to the size of the door disappeared.
“Wow, that is so cool,” said Aijay as she watched.
She hopped off the bars and walked up to the garden. There was only one thing to do, Aijay just hoped her cartwheel was good enough. She reached up into the air and placed one foot in front of the other. Aijay took a deep breath and flipped into her first perfect cartwheel. She too, shrunk and spun through the door. Inside was a spinning rainbow of colours. Aijay began to float downwards. She tucked herself into a ball and spun. Then she stretched out as long as she could and slowed her journey. The rainbow swirls also began to slow. Finally she landed softly on the floor.
“Hey, you made it,” said Maddy excitedly.
“Where are we?” asked Aijay.
Maddy shrugged her shoulders, “Our own Wonderland,”
Of course Stitch gets another gig, along with their fairy friend Fidget and of course Chewie will have to make an appearance. They have also requested Obi is still able to see them in their magical land… My girls love their dogs! To check out all the other posts in writer’s reveal go to:
This month’s writers reveal topic is actually my own:
‘Quirky Writer’s Habits: We’ve all got them so it’s time to share. There must be something you do that you know is strange or your friends think is strange? Let’s have a laugh and see where this takes us….’
Okay so I chose this because I laugh at myself as I get organised to write. I guess my quirkiest habit is actual one of procrastination. I know that defeats the purpose, but it’s true. I will surf the net for information and get sidetracked all the time. I will browse social media and tell everyone I am researching, really I’m wasting time. When I get on a roll with my writing I don’t even turn on social media. So it goes to show it really isn’t a requirement.
Yes I do research while I am getting ideas and of course during the editing phase I really don’t need to do it while I am actually writing.
Recently I have discovered another way to procrastinate that is turning into a habit. I have been building character profiles for all my new characters. Yeah it can be a research tool, is a great way to develop a character and when I update my website they will be a part of that. Still pretty sure it’s another habit that doesn’t always help. Especially because I have begun to illustrate them, which is an issue because I have had to teach myself to draw!
Editing habits… mmm not sure about this one, again mainly wasting time or putting it off. Although last year I began reading my manuscripts out loud as part of my editing, not so quirky I guess, just don’t ask the dogs. Yep Stitch and Chewie hear all my stories first. Once it passes their approval then I read it to my girls. Quirky… maybe!
I guess in terms of my friends the biggest and quirkiest habit I have is actually writing! They just don’t get it. Although so many people have told me they would love to write a book not too many of them have come close. I love hearing the excuses. To me it’s part of my makeup. I need to write and I love writing. The fact that I have now taken that further and had three books published (and a handful of stories) well I am proud to say that’s my quirkiest habit ever. Now back to the researching… ooops I mean editing! To check out more writer’s reveal blogs go to:
As always have fun!
This months topic is:
“People of the Past, Characters of the Future”.
How can I possibly do this blog without going straight to my old boy Obi….
Okay he wasn’t technically a person, but he thought he was. From the moment we brought that dog home I knew he was special. Always such a clown, but so willing to brighten someone’s days. We threw a lot at him. He had nothing in the backyard when we started we’d just built). That grew around him. Then he went from being the furchild to second in line when Maddy was born. Followed not long after by Aijay. He was so amazing with the girls. Loved them from the start, even if they did pull his ears and chase him around. In fact if Aijay was a sleep you could guarantee Obi would be close by. He couldn’t do that with Maddy because she never slept (during the day anyway).
He used to do crazy Labrador things – dig in his drink bucket, hide things, find things, play with everything. He always had that look on his face as if to say “I know what I am doing.” Stuck his nose in everything.
Obi was a real inspiration for my writing. I wanted to share him with the world and I did that when I published my second book – Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. Last year I wrote the second in the series, which will be published later this year if I ever get the editing done!
Still writing about Obi was hard. How do you do such an amazing character justice??? It’s a working process, but I am comfortable that he would have been happy just being the center of attention.
Although Obi is no longer providing me with material he has left me with a legacy. Stitch had three years with the old boy and learnt a lot in that time. He’s a beautiful soul. Then there is Chewie who I swear is actually Obi. I think he came back for another turn… So his stories will continue. Of course the girls always want Obi in their stories too, so lots more writing.
To check out the other writer’s reveal posts jump on over to:
I know I’m about to check them all out.. have fun!
Taking a break from Editing to do our Writer’s Reveal post!
We’re back into it and amazingly it’s February already!!! So this month’s writer’s reveal topic is advertising…
Generally when I see that word I run. I hate ads, particularly on TV. They rarely inspire me to buy anything and are a general waste of time. The only good thing is they give you time to do something else without missing your favourite show. This is usually important to me because I never only do one thing at a time.
However I am an author now and whether I like it or not Advertising is something I need to focus on. So I try. I use social media for the most part. I have posters, pictures and of course this blog to advertise my books. I try to do it without being annoying. This means not just posting about my books. Of course the only reason I am on social media is because I am an author. So everything I do is really about my books. It’s just not always in your face “READ MY BOOKS, BUY MY BOOKS” Although if you do that would be wonderful!!!
So if I hate ads so much what makes me think other people will buy my books from an ad??? Well I don’t actually think it works very well. However the only way to get your stuff out there is to advertise in some format. After all if no one reads your book as there any point in writing it? In my case probably because my kids will read them, but I much prefer other kids to enjoy my books too. So I advertise.
I’m not very good at it. This is my plan to improve my advertising in 2014:
• Keep blogging (have been focusing on my writing processes so far this year – really enjoy this)
• Keep helping others advertise their books – my Stitch Says Blog is for author interviews and reviews, happy to help others because I know how hard advertising is!
• Improve my webpage – yep it’s a slow working process, but I am determined to get it right!
• Keep using social media – Face book, twitter, blogs and pinterest are my favourites.
• Hand out stickers, postcards, etc whenever I can
• Do another Author event (had a book launch last year and that was awesome)
Most importantly I intend to keep learning! The only way to be more successful is to keep trying. Happy for any advice in this area…
To see what the other members of the Writer’s reveal group think on this topic visit:
As always – have fun!