Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autumn was invented for reading, and if it wasn't, it should have been...

Autumn was invented for reading! (or if it wasn't it should have been...)
Now, what can I tempt you with?
Well why not start with Basil and the Flappy Thing - a work of fiction, but based on my own cats. Anyone with a cat flap will know that once you have a cat flap there's never a dull moment, and all that after taking the time to get your cat to use the flap in the first place, when they'd rather just have you wait on them hand a foot...
There's the Doodle series:
Find out what happens when Eric's doodle comes alive and starts picking letters up off the page, and throwing them at Eric to get his attention...
Perfect to read aloud, or for early readers to lose themselves in as they discover the joy of reading to themselves. 
There are picture books to share with the little ones, and spark a love of books.
And not forgetting one for the adults - Outnumbered by Cats. A true story, where I possibly shared a bit more than I should have - it's quite normal to hiss back at your cat right? ...given the right circumstances...
Get Lost in a Book this autumn

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Time to just think...

June at Lost in a Book
15th June
Time to think - the luxury of having time to just think is a rare one, but right now no one is meowing, hissing or barking at me to do something else, so I'm sorry but I'm off...

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Never tell an author you don't like books - they'll see it as a challange

5 Things you should never say to an author at a book signing...

1.   My child is too young for books. It doesn’t matter what age your child is, they are definitely not too young for books! Babies can enjoy books right from the start, and what a lovely activity to it is to share, to cuddle up with a book and a baby on your knee, sowing the seeds of a love of books that’ll stay with them always.

2.   Are you the author? – who me? The one sat behind the local author book signing sign... yes, I get it all the time – I put signs on my table, but people still seem surprised that I am actually the author.

3.   How long does it take to write a book? Well we could be there all day with that question - a book isn’t like a production line item, it could have been born in a rush of inspiration that came tumbling out faster than I could type, or it could have been an idea that lurked around in the recesses of my mind, stubbornly refusing to arrange itself into a story... And then of course there are the illustrations, not just to be drawn and painted, but scanned in, and then technology gets involved, and anything could happen... 

4.   I don’t read books. Never tell an author you don’t read books – they’ll see it as a challenge...  I believe there’s a book out there for everyone, maybe you just had a bad introduction to books, were made to read books you didn’t enjoy... But there are so many books out there, that there must be something you’ll enjoy. What sort of film do you enjoy? Finding a book on the same theme as a film you enjoy is a good place to start, and once you’ve found one, you’ll be able to find other books of that genre, and before you know it you’re a book lover.

5.   My child doesn’t like books. If your child doesn’t like books, could it be that they see you not liking books? Go to a library of bookshop together and choose a book each. If you’re choosing a book for a very young child, then you have a lot of influence, so choose one you like too – if you enjoy reading the story you’re more likely to get that across to your child, and before you know it you’re both enjoying books.

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

Monday, February 20, 2017

February at Lost in a Book

February at Lost in a Book

20th Feb

Do you remember that first book that grabbed you when you were just on the edge of confident reading? The book that took you over the edge into forgetting that you even reading, it just felt like you were magically transported to somewhere else and meeting new friends...

I remember it well, and hope to write books that will do the same thing for new readers who are dipping their toes into new worlds between the pages of a book, because if you dip your toes in enough books, you're going to find that one book that will drag you in and hold a little bit of you there for all time...

#Lostinabook #lovereading #halfterm
15th Feb

Half Term is creeping up, so here's the plan - I've got Doodle Mayhem on special offer at £3.50 and still postage free - so get the kids reading this half term...


First in the Doodle series

Eric would rather doodle than write a story, but when the words start to disappear off the page in front of him, and his doodle starts talking to him, he thinks he must be dreaming.

Eric's doodle has come to life, and he's getting bored; he jumps into Miranda's story, where he gets attacked by a rubber, then he's blown off his feet when Natasha sneezes. Miss Roper is getting angrier by the second. How will Eric ever finish his story, when his doodle just wants to have fun, and create havoc?

Step into a world where drawings come alive, meet Eric's doodles Iver No-Idea and his dog HB as they cause their own brand of trouble.

46 page paperback
Black & white line drawings
ISBN 978-0-9560232-4-7
Lost in a Book
#LostinaBook #amwriting 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Is a true story harder than fiction...?

I did it, I found a little chunk of time between looking after animals, and stuff to do, to get some writing done - ah that feels better.

I'm writing a true story at the moment, which ought to be easier than writing fiction, but I'm finding it harder than fiction, maybe because fiction is just me and my imagination flying off wherever it needs to go. True stories involve other people, and an obligation to get it right...

But time is short - not like the puppy who is far from short these days, and needing more and more exercise to keep him happy - time for a walk I think...

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Writer rambling her way through another January

January again, new year same issues – write new stuff or try to promote what I’ve already written... The answer of course is to do both, keep the momentum going and never give up, because giving up is NOT an option...

So what am I writing now? – Well it’s a little bit out of my usual knowledge base, it’s a horse story. But not just any horse, it’s my daughter’s horse, who is just too big a character not to be written about. And yes she is a very big horse, I know this because I somehow got talked into getting on her, and it did look like a very long way down...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Don't panic It's Christmas

Don’t Panic It’s Christmas

            Here I go. I can do this, so what if I forgot my list? How hard can it be to stock up for Christmas?
            “Are you sure you can fit my shopping in the car as well as your own?” asks Margo, my ultra organised neighbour. Not however, organised enough to learn to drive.
            “Of course,” I smile; after all I have got a seven-seater estate car – with the seats folded down. I briefly wonder how much shopping she’s likely to need for two people.
            “We can always come back round with another trolley if we can’t fit it all in one,” she says, looking doubtfully into the depths of her trolley.
            I smile, or was it a grimace? No no, it was definitely a smile. Here we go. As we go round the shop I can feel the tension levels building; so much for peace and good will, more like ‘will’ get the last ‘piece’ of food on the shelves. Everyone has the same determined look on their faces; this has to be the shop to end all shops, the one where everyone buys everything they could possibly need over the festive season; along with a good many things which are destined to be thrown away in a future cupboard clear out. I blame the shops; how can they close for twenty four hours just when we need them most? It’s a shocking neglect of their customers, who’ve now grown used to twenty four hour shopping. What if we have unexpected visitors, and we’ve run out of the very thing that they want to eat? I wonder who these inconsiderate people are, who turn up out of the blue making impossible demands; and think that maybe my life would be a lot easier if I became one myself, instead of fretting about them descending upon me.
            “Isn’t Christmas exciting Mummy!” I hear a small child say to her mother, her face lit up as the bright lights reflect off the tinsel which she has wrapped around herself like a glittery boa. Yes, Christmas is supposed to be exciting, but as I look around I can’t see much sign of it, I grab a piece of tinsel off a shelf and wrap it around my neck. The little girl points and smiles; everyone else just stares. I don’t think I can be entirely blamed for what happened next, if the shelves had been stacked better, and not booby trapped to make everything fall off as innocent trolleys go by, I never would have thought of setting off party poppers in the middle of the supermarket – I do hope I don’t set off a security alert! Some serious looking men in uniforms are stood staring at me, Margo is flapping about trying to distance herself from me and several children in trolleys are trying to escape, to come and join in.
            I try to get my mind back onto the task of shopping; I manage to put several things in my trolley before Margo snatches one out.
            “You can’t buy that! Didn’t you see the documentary last night?”
I look at her blankly.
            “It’s full of that dangerous chemical that kills rats.” She takes several other things out of my trolley, tutting disapprovingly. “You really should read the small print.”
            I head for the fresh produce, there’s no printing at all on that; unless it’s already bagged, and then it says 5 on it, no matter how many items the bag contains.
            “5 a day,” explains Margo, as if addressing a small child. “You must have heard of that.”
            I wonder if a chocolate orange would count as one of my 5; but probably not. I wonder how many pieces of produce I should buy in order for six people to have 5 a day for a week; and where I could keep it all cool enough not to become something that resembles a science experiment. I begin to panic buy, anything to get out of here. When did shopping become so complicated?
            “I noticed you haven’t got any of these,” says Margo thrusting a pack of little plastic bottles at me, which look just like the bottles of cat milk I buy for the kittens.
            “They’re full of good bacteria,” she assures me patiently. “You should drink one every day.”
I have a mental image of bacteria sorting themselves into goodies and baddies and having little battles in my intestines, and I wonder how many more calories I will have consumed by the time I get through all the things I must have everyday – and what time I will have to get up each day, in order to get through it all.
            “It’s a good thing I came shopping with you isn’t it?” says Margo smugly. I just smile in defeat as she takes it upon herself to help me to all sorts of things I didn’t know I needed.
            “Ooh look, wrapping paper’s on a multi saver, of course I bought mine in September, but you can never have too much can you?” several rolls land in both our trolleys. She’s on quite a roll herself now, and reaches for everything in twos. On a good day I can be quite assertive, but all the fight’s gone out of me by this stage, and I trudge along behind my trolley, consoling myself that I should have enough here to hibernate till spring. It’s no accident I decide, that the booze section is at the far corner of the shop, just at the point when you know you deserve a treat. So despite protests of:
            “We don’t need that isle; I bought my sherry weeks ago.”
I carry on; my trolley, by now gaining momentum, and far too heavy to turn at a moments notice. Now it’s my turn, I can shop in twos as well; two for me, two for Margo.
            “But I don’t drink,”
            “Didn’t you see that documentary last week? A little bit of alcohol is good for you – it relieves stress.”
            “But I don’t suffer from stress.”
            “You might have visitors,” I assure her. “Spirits – good for a sore throat, and unwinding after shopping.”
            “I haven’t got a sore throat, and I enjoy shopping.”
            By the time I get to the cash out, I’m feeling slightly revived, the shiny bottles decorating my shopping like baubles on a Christmas tree.
            “Would you like help?” asks the cashier. I look nervously at Margo, but she’s too busy with her own shopping, trying to hide the shameful amount of booze that seems to have found its way into her trolley.
            “Yes please,” I smile, what do I care if my potatoes are packed on top of my bread, or the cat tins on the tomatoes? It’ll all turn out right in the end, Christmas always does; and anyway, what can possibly go wrong when I’ve got an army of goodies in little plastic bottles. I’m a great believer in the goodies always coming out on top.
Anne M. Stephenson
Published in ‘Cauldron’ Magazine 2005