About Me

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Hi, welcome to my blog, I am a writer of short stories, children's and YA novels . An acceptance from People's Friend finally made me a published writer! Yeah, happy days! I have since had stories published in The Weekly News and The Last Laugh anthology. My main love is writing children's/YA novels...I'm now enduring a fruitless search for an agent... I also draw and paint, I like to draw animals (usually my adorable crazy cats!)Occasionally famous people and motorcycles.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Think Happy Thoughts

The majority of my bookshelves are full of books that I loved as a child. Enid Blyton of course, lots of those, my favourites were The Magic Faraway Tree and Binkle and Flip. I used to have a whole load of Famous Fives but they must have been given away, I can't remember.

Anyway, I was looking for something to read, having skipped through 'Friday nights' by Joanna Trollope (I couldn't really get into it, it just isn't my thing) and decided on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is a lovely book, here is a quote which I feel sums up the feel of the book.

'To let a sad thought or a bad one enter your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body, If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.'

In case anyone hadn't read it, the book is about how a sickly child grows healthy and happy whilst tending an abandoned garden. It is set in Yorkshire and the accents are very prevelant on the page!

I noticed the story was first published in 1911, it's nearly a hundred years old! It is also interesting to see how story writing styles have changed over the years. This book has long sentances, often very long paragraphs and descriptive scenes, but after all this time I still find it thoroughly charming! It's a feel good book.

So, happy thoughts everyone, you'll feel better for it!

Anyone else have childhood favourites that are still thoroughly readable now we're grown up (ish)?

Monday, 12 July 2010

I had a bad week for the dreaded R's.
I have waited a year, that's a long time to be patient, to hear from a certain children's magazine about a story I sent in, only to receive a from rejection this week. I know magazines are inundated, but a year is a long time and it's difficult not to take the long wait as a good sign, isn't it?
Also another two from WW, never mind.

I have been spending many an hour looking for places to send these stories. There's a few competitions I could have a go at. To be honest the entry fees always put me off, I understand the need for them of course, but don't always have a spare fiver. I'm planning on entering Spikethecat's Someone has to die, Volume 4, but that's running until end Nov, so plenty of time for that.

A bit nearer to deadline is Cooldog Publications, short story comp, 3000 word limit, £3 entry fee, by 31 July. Top three prizes, £100, £50 and £25, Top six go in their E Mag.

I also came accross Cazart, monthly comp ending 26th each month, £3 entry. Prizes are awarded dependant on number of entries though, so no definite figure. Winning stories published on their home page. 400 word Flash Fiction, or 400-3000 short stories.

Another thing my typing is dreadful! The number of times I've written 'stroy' instead of 'story' is quite unbelievable!

On a totally different subject, did anyone have one of these back in the good old 80's?

Strawberry Shortcake! How cute is she? I know she's had a revamp, there's a newer version around for the new kids, but I love these older ones. Got this one from ebay a couple of years ago for nostalgic reasons. Hehe, I know, I'm too old for dollies but who cares?

Friday, 2 July 2010


There aren't that many books that I have that give me the 'can't put it down' syndrome, but I have just read 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins, loved it! As luck would have it when I asked for it at the library, the lady said ' you may as well have the next one as well' so I did. So having raced through part one, I jumped straight into the second book 'Catching Fire' which I finished yesterday, I am now anxiously awaiting the last of the trilogy. Brilliant story. Here's a quick bit of what it's all about in case you haven't read it.

In a dark and not too distant future, Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her little sister who has been selected to participate in The Hunger Games. A sinister game where children are forced to compete against each other, a fight to the death, in a huge arena, the games are televised for the enjoyment of the Capitol's residents. There can only be one winner.

Main reason for reading was trying to figure where exactly my novel fits in age-group wise. It doesn't fit with the 7-11 junior fiction really as it's rather dark, but having read 'hunger games' I don't think it's quite dark enough for a teen novel. Not that teen novels have to be dark and sinister, but I'm going to weave some more darkness into it, it has sinister elements to it, so there is the oppurtunity to thread that feeling throughout the book. I'm inspired!

If anyone could recommend any great YA books, I'd love to hear about them, especially sci-fi or fantasy. Thank you!