Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SOS Dinos in Distress

Here it is! My first real ebook! 
Meet Thaddeus Getsit-Wright, professional genius (or not), in his attempt to solve the biggest mystery of all. It's got dinosaurs in disguise, dinner ladies, a moderate amount of undies and a trike. What more can you possibly want?

SOS Dinos in Distress was especially written for tablets, computers and screens of various descriptions. I've had books turned digital before, but this one was different as it was always going to be a story with animation, interactivity and bits that need blowing onto.
Pictures are by Claire Chavenaud and the crazy publishers who initiated that crazy project are Audois&Alleuil.
The story is available in French and in English (and yes, I did the translation), on the iTunes store.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inis 40!

Not that I'm one to show off or anything (ahem), but our latest issue of Inis (number 40) is pretty pretty and terribly interesting, too. Do run to your nearest bookshop, pick up your phone or get clicking, so that you can find out all about Hervé Tullet, Sally Gardner, Malorie Blackman, Susan Cooper, Marta Altés and heaps more!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nanowrimo of sorts. You?

So, it's Nanowrimo, I'm told. Yes, in November, some people grow moustaches and others (but sometimes, I suppose, the same) write novels. The idea behind the National Novel Writing Month is a simple one. All you need to do is write 50,000 words worth of novel. Don't edit, don't over think, perhaps don't even plot, just write and see where that gets you 30 days later.
I've never done it as I'm usually exceedingly busy being a lazy moo, but it just so happens that I am actually writing a novel right now. It'll never be (I hope!) 50,000 words long and I'm not writing it from scratch but it will have to do.
I hadn't realised I was writing a new book. I thought I was just tweaking the beginning of an existing opus in order to show it quickly to my publishers. I needed a new and improved first chapter and it wasn't really happening. When I thought I had more or less nailed something decent, I typed it at the beginning of my story.
And then I cheated.
First, I googled something like "the best opening lines in children's books".
Then I stole one: "I am writing this sitting in the kitchen sink" (goodies for the first person to remember where that came from) and changed the location. And that very simple trick opened such a floodgate of words and images that all I could do to avoid drowning was open a new Word document.
Now, 1,500 words later I find myself writing a story that is both new and old. The characters, the plot drive, the names are the same as in the previous version. But I'm forbidding myself to look at Take 1, to nick puns from it, snippets of dialogues or entire scenes. I'm trying to work my way through the main events of the original narrative as I remember them, while integrating the new and crazy stuff I've already come up with.
I had heard of writers who finished their first draft, stuck it in a drawer and started over again without a backward glance. I wasn't sure I could see the point. I wasn't sure I could take so much effort.
Well, look at me now!