Thursday, January 29, 2015

Most fears are rooted in fear of the unknown, so lets make monsters fun in kids fiction

The Monster Under The Bed - 10th Birthday on 31st January 2015

Monsters in children's fiction - what is it that makes people shy away from buying a book about a monster? 

Children like a hint of something scary, read to them in a safe environment, as long as all is well in the end. go on, buy a copy... I dare you to!

Books about monsters can even help children who are scared of the dark - there are lists of books for just this purpose - and The Monster Under The bed is right up there on the search lists.

Most fears are rooted in fear of the unknown, so making monsters fun goes a long way towards allaying those fears.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Well I really couldn't have predicted what happened next...

 Well I really couldn't have predicted what happened next...

In the middle of my promotion for A Face Full of Snow... sheep started selling...!

That's right, so I ended up doing some emergency sheep knitting, to ship off to Devon. Then another order came in, but don't panic, this one was for a knitting pattern for someone to knit their own sheep... phew...

Anyway the upshot is, I'm getting a little flock of sheep knitted up to avert more sheep emergencies, whilst really hoping that a few more people will buy patterns...

So what is it about sheep that people can't resist...?

...and should I really be doing another book about sheep...?

Or maybe I should just keep knitting... 


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Monster Under The Bed 10th anniversary... because kids love a scary story, read in a safe environment... as long as all is well in the end

The Monster Under The Bed - 10th Birthday on 31st January 2015

It's a title that grabs everyone's attention - it seems we all have a story to tell of the monster that lurks under our beds...

But it's also a title that makes people shy away  in case it frightens their children - hey, come on, it's a children's picture book - it was written to entertain, not give nightmares.

Children like a hint of something scary, read to them in a safe environment, as long as all is well in the end. The Monster Under The Bed has a surprise ending to make you smile... so go on, buy a copy... I dare you to!

  The Monster Under The Bed came out almost 10 years ago, and there's still a few first editions in my online bookshop.

It took it's place in Borders after my in store book signing:


It lead me to do a library opening and feature in Writers' News: 


The Monster Under The Bed was my first published book, and is now in second edition under my own imprint: Lost in a Book

Priceless: being told that a copy of The Monster Under The Bed has been read until it's shabby - it's been a loved book, just like a favourite teddy.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Because sometimes characters have a mind of their own...

The battle between words and pictures...

So here's the thing - I've been splashing around with some paint this week. I thought I just had to illustrate a story that I'd already written and polished. But that's before the pictures got involved...

The trouble started as I got going with the illustrations and the character I was painting just didn't want to go to bed as the scrip was directing - time to turn the story on it's head and accommodate this headstrong character - who knows what'll happen next...? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let the books come to you - from Lost in a Book

January at Lost in a Book:

Time to read, time to write and time to get the paints out and make some mess...!

It's snowing at last! Yes that's right, I love the snow, though it does look a bit wet... no snowman today :(

Anyway, make sure you wipe your feet on the virtual doormat on your way into my online shop, we don't want the floor turning into a skating rink...!

So what's the big idea at Lost in a Book this week? Well since it's snowing, and it is ski season - A Face Full of Snow is my big promotion this week - it's in the shop window on my homepage, where you can read an excerpt, and at the top of my online bookshop 

So come on in and browse around - pop along and have a chat on my facebook page - I'll be happy to drop everything and rush a book into the post for you...


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lost in a Book online bookshop because January is a time to shop from your favourite armchair and let the books come to you...

On the theme of Grabbing Monday and making the most of it - what about grabbing January...?

January has to be the best month of the year for buying and selling books online - why...? because you can stay at home where it's warm, and let the books come to you.

Still not convinced? Well let me show you what's happening in my online bookshop this month...

Right now you can read the next installment of A Face Full of Snow - and find out the secret of how Iver No-Idea and HB managed to gatecrash Eric's skiing holiday..

And at the end of January it's the 10th anniversary of first publishing The Monster Under The Bed - now how can I celebrate that...? The Monster Under The Bed is now in second edition, but I still have a few first editions left... now what could i do with them...? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Grabbing Monday and moulding it into something more interesting...

Grab Monday and mould into what you want it to be...

Why is it that we all celebrate a new year, but not a new week...? Monday should be full of possibilities and new beginnings, and if it isn't - then why isn't it...?

 So what am I doing with my Monday? Well...

What are you doing with your Monday?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book excerpt: A Face full of Snow

“You wouldn’t say that if you met him,” said Eric, thinking about Iver and HB left safely at home. Iver No-Idea and his dog HB were doodles.

But they were no ordinary doodles – they came to life, and words and pictures came to life around them, which was not always a good thing. Iver No-Idea had been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He’d been practising for weeks; he’d gone through every page. He’d skied down every ski run, and now he thought he was an expert.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book excerpt from Lost in a Book's A face Full of Snow

Excerpt: A Face Full of Snow

Chapter 1

Whoosh! Splat! 
Eric’s first attempt at skiing ended up with him flat on his back in the snow, like a stranded bug. He tried to get up, but his skis had other ideas, they felt like a pair of over sized planks strapped to his feet. 
“I’m glad Iver wasn’t here to see that,” muttered Eric, sitting up.
“Who’s Iver?” 
Eric looked up into a pair of green eyes, waggling about on stalks. They were growing out of a green hat, which was pulled over an explosion of orange hair. 

“Hi, I’m Aline,” said the owner of the orange hair.
“Alien?” Eric sat up with a start, his skis clattering together in protest.
“No... Aline. Who’s Iver?” 
“Oh just a friend of mine,” said Eric. He couldn’t tell a complete stranger the truth, even one who had an alien on her head. 
“And is Iver a good skier?” persisted Aline.
“Well he likes to think he is,” said Eric. “If he was here he’d be telling me what to do all the time.”
“That might not be such a bad idea,” said Aline.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Face Full of Snow by Anne M Stephenson - from Lost in a Book

Lost in a Book does best at fairs and book signings, but in January wouldn't you rather browse my onlinebookshop rather than battle through the storms to go shopping...?

 Let me bring my books to you...

This week I'm featuring A Face Full of Snow

Third in the Doodle series:

As Eric crashes his way down the ski slope, totally out of control, his only consolation is that Iver No-Idea isn't there to see.
Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are doodles. But they are no ordinary doodles - they're alive, and words and pictures come alive around them. Iver No-Idea has been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He's been practising for weeks and now he thinks he's an expert, and can't wait to tell Eric how it's done.
But when Iver No-Idea and HB are left behind, they find a way to gatecrash Eric's holiday. They arrive at just the wrong time, causing their own unique brand of trouble.
50 page paperback

Black and white line drawings

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Getting kids reading

I'm on a mission to get books into little hands - because the best way to give children a love of reading is to give them books from an early age.

I often get parents of 2 and 3 year olds saying that their child is too young for books, while another family will happily buy one for a baby under a year old - so what is the secret of these young book lovers?

It's simple, their parents have read to them from being tiny babies. It doesn't matter at that age whether they understand all that is being read to them, they enjoy the closeness of a being held and hearing the sound of your voice.

Choose a book with colour pictures for your baby to look at as you read, and by the time they graduate to stories without pictures their imagination will have learnt to paint the pictures in their heads as they read.

Many picture books are written on two levels - they need to entertain a small child as well as their parent, so choose a book that you can enjoy too... 
    But I'm Not Sleepy - still my bestseller - it seems everyone has a Lucy who just doesn't want to go to sleep. But few will admit that they were just the same at that age...

    Monday, January 05, 2015

    New Year Detox with a difference...

    So, I'm on a New Year Knitting Detox - not your average detox I'll admit, but then who wants to follow the crowd anyway...?

    And why does a writer need a knitting detox in January...?

    Well if you've been following my posts or if you've met me at a craft fair this Christmas, you'll know about my little flock of knitted sheep and my gathering of Basil's... what's a Basil? Well if you don't know then you really haven't been paying attention then have you...?

    Emergency knitting - knitting sheep, production-line style proved to be the quickest, but I'd still rather knit each sheep and finish it before starting the next.

    The ginger wool crisis - a lack of ginger wool, finally put a halt to Basil production, causing a shortage of Basils by the end of the season.

    Then came the lavender cats, these were a very limited edition, and made as gifts, though I might make a few more to sell if there proves to be a demand for them... what do you think... knitted on request - interested anyone?

    Friday, January 02, 2015

    Anyone for skiing...?

    It's January - I know, you've probably noticed... and what is there to do in January...? skiing! or the next best thing, reading about skiing. Find out how Eric got on on his skiing holiday, and how Iver No-Idea managed to gatecrash his holiday... in A Face Full of Snow