Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Two things I can't believe...
I can't believe it's been so long since I posted anything... been a hell of a summer
I can't believe my latest children's book, The Legend of Lumpus and Ogols, will be out soon.
Here's the link for a sneak preview:
The pictures for this book were done by my step-son David. Great job. They add such a tremendous atmosphere to the story. We met up in the UK in May to finalize them.
This is my 2nd children's story to be published by Guardian Angel, the first being Flutter Bunnies. There's a sequel to that book due out in the Spring, so keep watching :)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The second Flutter Bunnies book will be out later this year. The first, simply entitled Flutter Bunnies, was published in November 2008. I've just received the contract for the second in the series, Flutter Bunnies and the Fossil of Fortune. I'll let you know when publication is imminent.
Meanwhile, I've got another children's book due out in October 2009. This one, The Legend of Lumpus & Ogols, features illustrations by my step-son David McQuillan.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sorry for the lack of action recently. Been back to the UK for a couple of weeks (more about that in later posts).
While I was away, Tia (my dog) was interviewed on the Pets and Their Authors blog. Here's the link to read the interview in full:
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
St. Louis, MO, USA: Publisher, Lynda S. Burch has licensed and launched Guardian Angel Publishing's first picture book, Maybe We Are Flamingos to iKids Play™ for its iPhone application, which allows kids to color, paint, rub and read along on touch screen technology.
"We are excited with our newest venture," said GAP President and Publisher Lynda Burch. "Licensing our picture books with iKids Play™ will allow for worldwide English distribution by Apple iTunes Applications of our books on the newest technology to hit the market."
The users can order print book copies directly from their phones. Children can interact with the stories and artwork and entertain themselves while waiting with parents in countless situations. These applications provide an alternative to gaming by introducing educational opportunities for children with books on the go for busy lifestyles.
"Keeping up with rapidly changing book marketplace has been a rewarding experience and we look forward to successful launches of many more GAP books in other new applications for iPhones and iPods with iKids Read™ and iKids Story™, too." Burch continued.
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. was launched in late 2004 featuring a unique series of musical eBook download books — Angelic Harmony. Their books expanded from picture books to storybooks, fiction and nonfiction, and chapter books for older beginning readers.
Guardian Angel publishes exceptional and educational books for children 0-12 years of age. They expanded with Academic Wings — with a wealth of teaching aids for teachers. Angel to Angel where kids write and illustrate for kids, Littlest Angels, Guardian Angel Animals and Pets, Guardian Angel Chapbooks for Tweens and Wings of Faith — faith-based stories, which are available as eBook downloads, CDs, print paperback, and video books for TV or mobiles.
More information on Guardian Angel Publishing can be found at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/
Monday, April 20, 2009
Here's a brand new course that'll give you the potential to earn up to $100k a year writing for the Internet.
It's been jointly written by Nick Daws and Ruth Barringham who together have made a fortune writing online material.
You've probably heard about other products that claim to be able to show you how to ear money writing online. I know I've seen dozens of them myself. So what makes this one different?
The main difference is that Nick & Ruth are both successful writers. They recommend tips and tricks that they use. They know how to get started making money quickly, because they're experienced, professional writers themselves.
And everything is covered in depth:
- article writing to affiliate marketing;
- blogging to copywriting;
- e-books to self-publishing;
- auction websites to sales copy;
As they say on the site, if you work quickly enough, it's possible you could earn your first paycheck as early as TONIGHT!
I was fortunate enough to be asked to edit the course, and I can tell you that it's truly excellent. I've even started using some of their tips myself.
Want your own copy? You can pick it up RIGHT NOW at a discounted introductory price. Just click on the link below to get started earning:
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Subtitled "Unlocking the Poet Within" it attempts to teach everyday folks how to write their own poems. So, we're having a go.
Here's one I came up with using iambic pentameter. The rules are that it has to be 20 lines long without any rhymes. I cheated on the last two lines, but nobody's perfect :)
I Am Bic Pentameter
I do not have a poet in my breast;
No metaphors or trochees pouring forth.
The world is not poetical to me,
All dirt and shame and empty toilet rolls
That get recycled, burned or thrown from cars
By people unconcerned to keep things clean.
I could not coin a phrase to save my life,
Or pick the choicest word from lists of three;
Well read am I, and clever, to be sure,
But not intent on wasting precious time.
Poetic licences cannot be bought
Or won as raffle prizes at a fair...
You can read the rest of the poem by going to my Helium page here.
If you like writing poetry, you could do a lot worse than get your hands on a copy of Fry's book.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The concept of writing with a particular style is a difficult one for many writers to grasp.
That might be because they're not sure what it means, or because style is something they think of as being personal and individual. But even so, there are things you can do to help build style into your writing.
Needless to say, you could write a book or two on the topic of style alone. This article is not meant to be the definitive statement on the subject: its aim is to get you started writing in a manner that will make it easier for your own style to shine through. And for that we'll turn to one of the stylistic masters of the twentieth century, Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway began his writing career at the age of 18 as a junior reporter for The Kansas City Star. He only worked there for 6 months, but that was enough. He used the Star's style guide as the basis for almost everything he wrote after that:
1. Use short sentences.
2. Use short first paragraphs.
3. Use vigorous English.
4. Be positive, not negative.
That's all you need to know to inject style into your writing. And here's why...
1. Short sentences are easier to read. They get the information across quickly. They break up paragraphs into digestible chunks. And they stop you from constructing complex sentences full of commas and semicolons.
2. Short first paragraphs help get your story or article underway quickly. They give readers the crux of what you're saying and make them want to read on. They're the hooks that lure readers into the story line.
3. Vigorous English pulls, moves, races, propels readers into your text. It's packed with energy. Words aren't wasted or used unnecessarily. Anything that saps energy should be removed, including flowery adverbs and adjectives.
For example, look at this sentence:
"The young boy had picked up a shiny blue stone and tossed it unceremoniously at the cur."
That's a rather long-winded and clumsy way of saying: "The boy threw a rock at the dog."
If it's a boy, it must be young. If he threw the rock, he must have picked it up. If it's a dog, call it a dog. And forget the ceremony: it's just an action.
4. Finally, there's the notion of positive v. negative. What Hemingway means is that you should state what something is as opposed to what it isn't. Rather than saying the sky isn't blue, say it's dull, grey or cloudy. That new dress isn't inexpensive; it's affordable.
There are lots of other techniques you can learn to help give your writing style. If you write often, you'll pick up many of these naturally. You can also find information online and in good books by authors and editors.
In the meantime, these four tips from Hemingway should be enough to set you on the right path.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Over the years I've developed a bunch of strategies to keep writing no matter what. These include techniques for changing direction, ideas for injecting life into text, and just simply taking a quick break.
I put these ideas together in a little book called Knock the Socks off Writer's Block. It's available from Lulu.com by following this link.
I know lots of writers who tell me they never suffer from writer's block, or that they don't need any external motivation to overcome it. That's fine with me. But not everybody's so lucky.
If you're one of those people for whom a blank page can be daunting at times, then I think you'll find some of these techniques useful. If so, please be sure and let me know.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Ever wanted to write jokes, gags, one-liners?
Every time you see a comedian on stage, you can bet there's another person behind every clever word that comes out of his or her mouth.
We sometimes forget that joke tellers need people to sit down and write those jokes for them. And that includes one of my favourites types of joke, the limerick.
Limericks are easy to write once you get the hang of it. Typically they're five lines long with a rhyme scheme a,a,b,b,a. Here's a famous example by Dixon Merritt:
A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican
Part of the fun with limericks involves playing with language, and even sometimes corrupting the rhyme scheme altogether, such as this corker by W.S. Gilbert:
There was an old man of St. Bees
Who was horribly stung by a wasp
When they said, “does it hurt?”
He replied, “no, it doesn’t –
It’s a good job it wasn’t a hornet”
Or this well-know anonymous sample that pokes fun at the structure of limericks:
There was a young man from Japan
Whose limericks never would scan.
When asked why this was,
He answered "because
I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as ever possibly I can."
Limericks are lots of fun, for sure. But they're also quite creative. Finding words that rhyme (or don't!) and still managing to write something interesting can tax the best of us.
This is just one of the techniques you'll find in the How To Be Funny course. There's also information on Spoonerisms, tongue twisters, and puns; tips on comedy timing and creating jokes out of thin air; and techniques for incorporating comedy into your social life.
It's a great book, full of useful tips for budding comics, writers or otherwise. I've read it myself, and it tickled my funny bone.
Hopefully it'll do the same for you :)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The interview has also been posted online, and you can read it by following the link below:
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Read & Colour In!
Have you read my children's book Flutter Bunnies yet?
Well, thanks to illustrator Kit Grady, now you can go all interactive...
Kit's produced some colouring pages to accompany the book, which you can download below. There are two pages in total, extracted from the pictures in the book itself. It's a chance to get even more familiar with some of the characters in the story while exercising a bit of creativity in the process.
To download the pictures, simply right click on the images below and select "Save Picture As..."
If you haven't read the book yet and want to give it a try, you'll find it on Amazon by following this link.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
P.S. Kit's added another page for you to colour in on her blog, which you can get to by following this link. :)