Friday, February 27, 2015

Author banging on about books... again :)

The best way to encourage your child to read is to read to them from an early age.

Picture books are a great start to reading, and are often aimed at multiple age groups, so have a look around, you'll probably be surprised how much you enjoy them too, and if you enjoy them, that is going to come across as you read them aloud.

The cat lovers among you will find lots to chuckle at in Basil and the Flappy Thing - I wonder if your cat calls you the Feed-Mes and leads you a merry dance with the cat flap... 

There's even a book for adults hidden among the kids books - see if you can find it. Its a true story about how I became Outnumbered by Cats - there's a few more truths in there than there probably should be... but hey - everyone has found themselves hissing back at their cat at some point right...?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writing a picture book in a sketchbook... what could be more natural?

Creating a book - I'm busy painting characters for my next book, and they're coming along very nicely. They've finally made the jump from my imagination, onto the page - yes an actual paper page...! It's a picture book and I'm drawing and writing it in a sketchbook, it seems the characters are happier to jump into a sketchbook than onto a computer screen, and who can blame them...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trying to Focus on a wet Thursday in Feb...

OK time to focus - no not go and drive a Focus - focus on books! But what to do first...?

Create a book - I'm busy painting characters for my next book, and they're coming along very nicely. They're still just hanging around deciding what to do though...

Sell a book well hopefully you can help me with that - go on, buy a book... you know you want to! I'll even sign it for you - it'll be just like meeting at a book signing... except that we won't meet, and we won't have to go out in the cold - well, I will, obviously, I'll need to post the book. But I don't mind, honestly!

Get Lost in a Book - I could very easily go and light the fire early and curl up with a book that someone else has written - all the work is already done, all I'd have to do is to start reading, and allow myself to slip into the imaginary world that's already been created... hmmm sounds good... but no, I shall go and create something new!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The magic of reading aloud...

What could be better on a dark and dingy Monday in February, than to get lost in a book...? Well, one thing maybe - to get lost in a book with a someone...

There's something very special about sharing a book with a child, entering a magical world together and making it yours.

Everyone interprets a book in their own way, and it becomes part of them - think of your favourite book from childhood - reading that book again will take you back to that moment in your life in the same way as a piece of music of a smell, and you'll feel like you're in that moment again. So isn't it a magical thing to share that moment, and become part of that memory.   

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sheep - Promotion or Distraction...?

Wool shopping done, future sheep emergency averted..

So what's with all the sheep...?

Well, they started as a fun thing to put on my tables at book signings, and soon became a talking point. From the small child in a buggy who pointed and said "Baa" to the lady who bought one to put in her crib scene at Christmas - they certainly get noticed.

But where did they come from...?

They're the unruly characters from But I'm not Sleepy - who'd have thought that counting sheep to try and get to sleep could have led to this? So this morning instead of doing what you'd expect an author to be doing, I've been sourcing some more wool to build up my flock.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Judging a book by its cover... we all do it

I was in a bookshop last week, yes a real bricks and mortar bookshop.

I got a book token for Christmas - which took me back to childhood, as I always used to get book tokens for birthdays and Christmas.

I went in with an idea of one book I wanted, and decided to choose another on impulse, and that was when it occured to me that as I was browsing, I was judging books by their covers... and what else are buyers supposed to do when looking for inspiration for something different to read?

It's not practical to expect people in a bookshop to read every blurb in the shop, and we don't all want to simply go to our favourite author every time, or even the same genre - sometimes it's good to try something completely different.

Well the natural thing to do is to look around and see if a cover catches your eye, read the title, read lots of titles, and when one intrigues you enough, pick it up and read the blurb, maybe even read a page or two, and by then you'll have a pretty good idea of whether you want to live in that book for a while... 

    But I'm Not Sleepy - still my bestseller - This book is constantly judged by its cover and title - it seems to strike a chord with many people...

    Wednesday, February 04, 2015

    What age are picture books for?

    I'm often asked what age my books are for... that has to be the hardest question of all, harder even than how long does it take to write a book...?

    Picture books are enjoyed by a wide age range, from babies who enjoy the pictures and the sound of your voice, through toddlers who start to get the story, and love the repetition of being read a favourite story. As children grow they will understand a bit more of what is going on in the story, and ultimately enjoy reading along or reading in turns - they may be able to read a chapter book, but it doesn't mean they can't still enjoy a picture book. And they can still enjoy being read to...

    Picture books are the perfect length for a bedtime story - what better way to end the day than to read the whole book...! 

    Tuesday, February 03, 2015

    Self publish book 10 years old and now in 2nd edition

    February at Lost in a Book

    My first book turned 10 years old at the weekend - The Monster Under The Bed was my first published book, and is still in print - now in it's second edition under my own imprint Lost in a Book, this title never fails to get a reaction - not everyone wants to buy a book about monsters, but everyone likes to talk about them...  

    But what... or who, is the monster under Billy's bed...?

     In my Online Bookshop you can choose a first (while stocks last) or a second edition.