Month: March 2014

Author interview – Jacqueline Smith, author of “Cemetery Tours”

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A few months ago a very kind lady called Jacqueline Smith from America found me on WordPress. She helped me lots, to review my books and we became friends! She is also an author (but not of the same type of books as me). I was really interested in her books and how she writes and I came up with a list of questions which turned into an interview.

Well, here it is. It’s a very interesting read for everyone. =)

Check out her books and BLOG, the links are below!

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First of all I can ask who are your writing inspirations?
One of my earliest writing inspirations was JK Rowling.  Shortly after the fifth Harry Potter book came out, I realized that I needed more Harry in my life, so I started making up my own stories (Yes, I wrote fanfiction…).  Other inspirations include John Green and Meg Cabot. 

At what point did you stop and think about really writing a book?
Spring break of my third year in college.  I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and spent the entire week coughing and reading books on the couch.  I’m not sure if it was the fever or the decongestants, but halfway through True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, I thought to myself, “Hey.  I could do this.”  And from that point on, I decided I was going to write books! 

My books are a bit different to the types of books you do, for younger readers but I have to ask if it is different… I wondered how long does it take for you to write a book? 
It really depends.  Cemetery Tours and its sequel, both around 75,000 words, took about 5 months each to write.  I have another manuscript for a short non-fiction book, however, that I finished in about a week.  Then again, I’m still working on the first manuscript I ever started, back in 2010.  For some reason, I just haven’t found the right formula for that one.  But I think I’m getting closer!    

What are your favourite and most difficult parts of writing your own book?
I love character development and I really love dialogue!  I like to think I’m a witty person, so writing smart, snarky characters with attitude is a lot of fun for me.  The most difficult parts are action scenes.  They’re fun, but they are tricky!  I’m also really bad at coming up with good names! 

What was the biggest thing you learned from your experience of writing your own book?
I learned to stop and breathe.  There is a lot to process when writing and publishing a book, and it is a lot of hard work, but in the end, it is worth it.  It’s very scary and can be intimidating, and I really admire everyone who believes in their work and loves it enough to go through this process, because it is a big job. I’ve also learned pretty much everything there is to know about the publishing process, which is really cool!      

I spend quite a lot of time thinking about my characters and their names and personalities. Can you see any of your family and friends in any of your book characters?
Yes, absolutely.  I especially see my mother in Michael’s mom.  She sees the goodness and beauty in everyone and everything, and in turn, everyone knows and loves her.  I think it was one of the rarest and yet most profound and wonderful gifts.   

Who designed your book covers? 
My good friend and professional photographer/graphic designer, Benjamin Durham. 

I’ve seen some of your paintings on your blog, they are pretty awesome – Have you ever thought about designing your own book covers?
Thank you!  As much as I love to paint, I am a terrible graphic artist! I actually tried to design quite a few ideas for the cover, but Ben took one look at them and said, “Why don’t we start from scratch?” 

What advice would you give to authors starting out writing their own books?
Don’t let anyone discourage you.  Believe in yourself and in your ideas, because they are worth the world. Don’t stress over the details, especially in the first draft.  You’ll have plenty of time to rework them during the editing process.  Most importantly, if you get stuck, keep writing! I’ve met so many writers who succumb to writer’s block because they think that because they get it, they’re not meant to write.  NOT TRUE!  All writers hit bumps along the road.  No one can just sit down and write out an entire book in one sitting.  The only way to get through it is to keep writing!  

You mentioned you are working on a new book, how is that going?
Excellent!  This is a whole new book, not related to Cemetery Tours (though I’m sure I will go back to it one day).  I’m really excited to be working on something new.    

When will we be able to buy it?
The sequel to Cemetery Tours will be out sometime this summer!  As for the new one, I’ve only just started, so it will at least be another six to eight months. I’m really excited about the sequel and I can’t wait until I can talk more about it! 

Link to Jacqueline Smith’s book Cemetery Tours: 
http://amzn.to/1guWp6v 

Link to Jacqueline Smith’s BLOG:
http://www.jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/ 

Connor and Chloe – Their stop at Life’s Doom #amwriting

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 zombiespic

Pic was drawn by my dad James Ellis.

This is a snippet of a bit of writing that I did over the last few weeks. I am not sure if I will publish the story, it is about ten pages of A4 at the moment.

Anyway! I hope you like it?

Let me know your thoughts about it?

The stop at Life’s Doom

As the dark afternoon continued, the two teenagers had arrived in a section of woodland called Life’s Doom. The two were getting very tired, it seemed like they had been walking for days. They rambled skittishly throughout life’s doom, trying to find their way when suddenly; Connor saw a shadow emerging towards them. The shadow was lurching and grumbling. They soon realised that it was a blood thirsty man zombie. It must have murdered someone because there was blood all over its ripped clothes. Chloe screamed. Then Connor yelled. The screams echoed through the woods, but no one could hear their cries. Nobody helped.

The zombie had seen the two children and raised its arms in the air and cried in a foreign language. The zombie limped towards them, faster and faster. It moved quicker than a clocks second hand. The zombie had death in its eyes. It was like death at first sight.

The two children held hands and began to run through the trees. The twigs, leaves and branches were thrashed out of the way. As the zombie chased them – several birds were killed. Connor and Chloe were definitely next and they knew it.

They ran as fast as their little teenage hearts would take them.

Luckily for the teenagers Connor noticed there was a large rock, and he dragged Chloe behind it to hide. He put his hand over Chloe’s mouth as she tried to scream. The zombie crunched past them. He was very close and was holding a dead bird in his hand. Luckily the zombie man had not seen the teenagers hiding place. He groaned through the trees searching for them. Moments later the zombie murderer had disappeared into the distance. The teenagers were so relieved that they sighed and Chloe started to cry.

They had frantically come to the end of Life’s Doom. Chloe said that it was pretty doomful in this area.

She asked, “We should move on quickly in-case the zombie comes back again.”

Guest post – Working With Dad by Author Heather Ellis

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Hi everyone three posts in one week!

I just wanted to say to everyone, to check out my guest blog post on http://kid-lit-reviews.com !

They have been really encouraging for me and my books – the link is below =)

Today Kid Lit Reviews is extremely happy to showcase a new author. Heather Ellis released her debut children’s, The Sugary-Sherburts, in 2013. Her second book, The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch, released this past January 7, 2014. Both books will be reviewed here this Saturday, March 22, 2014.

There is one amazing catch . . . Heather is a ten-years-old. She will tell us what it was like to work with an illustrator, whom she calls Dad.

What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?

What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?

Guest post – Working With Dad by Author Heather Ellis.

Enjoy everyone!

Introducing my two cats – Do you have cats?

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I was inspired to post pictures of my two cats today thanks to jackiesmith114.wordpress.com

Well I have two cats, Toby and Jemima.

Toby

We have had Toby since he was a kitten the size of a five pound note, now he is a beast at two and a half years old! He is the only black and white cat in a litter of ginger cats. I named him. He is a dad’s cat, he follows my dad around everywhere and sleeps on the end of my bed.

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Jemima (or Mima as we call her)

We rescued Jemima from being put down because she couldn’t find a home. I don’t know why, she is so friendly and happy! Anyway we don’t know the full history about Jemima. The vet thinks that she is about six or seven years old. She is definitely a mum’s cat, she follows and talks (in meows) to my mum. Jemima is a bit scared of men though so some of her old owners might have been men who were nasty to her. We have had her two years and she is still a bit wary of men!

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Do you have cats?

Grandad is… (poem written in 2012)

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Hi everyone, I wrote this poem when I was 9 years old – it is called “Grandad is”.

I have just found it at the bottom of a pile of papers at home and I thought I would post it on my blog.

The poem is in the style of Valerie Bloom, who has created some children’s poems. I was studying her poems at the time (she wrote a poem called “Pinda cake” specifically.

My Grandad is… (awesome)

 

Grandad is

de galaxy bar floatin’ in de sky

an’ flufffy kitten

chocolate chunks an’ pneapple cubes

fresh chocolate smell in de mornin’

when me wake

Grandaad is

loadin’ up de car

basketful on shopping day

with fresh cheese strings

 

Grandad is

de pineapples flavouring in de south

sound of de school bell

ring a ding ding

 

Grandad is

de fireworks in de horizon

underneath de moonlight

an a number one o’ magic

all around me

 

Grandad my NO: 1 star

My #bookreview of Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison

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Book Review Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison.

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Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks (6 Feb 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0007218699 | ISBN-13: 978-0007218691

£4.99 & FREE Delivery on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1gbG461

I have just finished reading Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison.

This is third book of the Georgia Nicolson series.

It’s a book written for teens and young adults – although my teacher has read this book and he has grey hair!

Be warned – the book has some rude words in it so don’t recommend this for anyone too young!

The book is about the main character called Georgia Nicolson and her friends.

It is written in the first person and although I haven’t read the first two books, the feel of the book is about growing up in teenage years, her friends and her family. You don’t have to read the first books first because I read it just as easily as I would have done as a standalone book.

Georgia is still madly in love with Robbie The Sex God. Georgia says that she has the most embarrassing parents ever, but don’t we all think that?

The book was a fun read, it made me laugh very much in parts.

Some parts of the books seemed quite slow though, and I struggled to keep reading – however I was glad I finished it and persevered.

My favourite bit was The Snog Fest because it was one of the funniest parts and I read The Snog Fest part/chapter he fastest it was a laugh out loud moment.

I give the book 7 / 10.

I am going to read the first book after this review.

They have very catch titles… Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging.

Have you read any of the Louise Rennison books?

 

A couple of photos to share! =)

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Good morning everyone!

A short blog post – it has been a hectic, what with birthday’s and World Book Day!

First of all, I wanted to share with you a picture of the birthday cake my gran made for me.

It is a box of chocolates cake and it was eaten very quickly! Awesome!

The sides of the box are chocolate as well!

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Then there was World Book Day.

For anyone who missed it – “World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading.”

Check out the link  http://www.worldbookday.com/about/

At my school, we had a casual day where we were allowed to dress up as book Characters.

We had a Where’s Wally, Harry Potter and even some crazy Zombies!

I went to school as a character from my favourite book.

If I show you this photo, can you guess who my character was for World Book Day?

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I’ll give you a clue – its from my favourite book that I go on and on about =)