Friday, 29 April 2011

The Final Frontier!

Rather like Burly I feel as though the vast unknown is stretching out before me but I'm just as determined as he is to explore and find out what's out there.
These last few months really have been a steep learning curve for me and I'm learning something new every day about how social media works and the way everything links up - blogs, facebook, websites, linked in, etc. - it's vaster than anything I could have ever imagined.
The young seem to have it sussed though!  I thought I was pretty clever in setting up a Burly and Grum facebook site http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Burly-and-Grum/220263631322349 but was struggling to get followers (or maybe I was being impatient!).  Then a 17 year old showed me how it was done - her fingers moved like a colony of tiny ants running over the keyboard and within 20 minutes she had got me another 14 followers!  I was in absolute awe - thank you Rosie, you are now officially my social media manager! 
This weekend I'm going to insert the new artwork Rob has sent me, I'm going to proof read the copy once more (or maybe a few times more!) and then finally, yes, finally send it off to Smashwords to process.  I'll let you know how I get on!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Beyond the Forest

Beyond the Forest is my first book and I have been incredibly lucky to have had the support of Rob Jones, a talented illustrator who has brought my characters to life. Thank you Rob!
The story line is that Grum has been thrown out of his home and has to prove himself a brave and worthy groblin, so he goes to town to find a human and bring it home. He has many adventures along the way!
The following piece will give you a flavour of the book - I hope you like it!
"Burly was overwhelmed immediately he entered the pet shop. Birds squawked, mice and hamsters scrabbled, puppies yipped and the smell... He looked around in panic, his first instinct to run, his breath became short and ragged. These animals were captured and stuffed in cages - what did humans do with them? Kill them? He was about to rear up when he saw Max reach down and pick up a tiny black and white kitten. Max’s face softened and he was gentle as he held it, making mewing sounds to it.
“What do you think?” asked Max holding up the furry creature to show him. The kitten mewed and tried to climb onto Burly's arm. “Hey he likes you!”
Burly relaxed and smiled. Then he looked over Max's shoulder. A kitten's tail was hanging out of Grum's mouth. With a quick slurp Grum sucked the tail in. “Grum!”
Burly smacked Grum hard between the shoulder blades and a kitten shot out and landed on the floor. Max stared open mouthed at Grum, his eyes like saucers.
“What?” said Grum. “I'm hungry!”
The three of them stared at the slightly damp kitten who was making his way back in a rather wobbly fashion to his friends. Max gently put his kitten down next to him. “I think we'd better go,” he suggested.
“Good idea,” said Burly tightly.
“What?” Grum was cross. “We have them all the time at home - delicious and nutritious my mum says.”
“Are you sure you're in the parade?” asked Max suspiciously.
“Positive,” said Burly. “Now come on Grum and don't do that again.”
Mumbling and complaining about harassment Grum left the shop closely followed by Burly and Max.

Let's start at the beginning

Hello, my name is Kate and although I've written for years these past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind and somehow I now seem to be on the verge of self publishing my first children's book called 'Beyond The Forest'!
Life if full of coincidences and takes you along sometimes rather obscure paths to get where you're meant to be. In August last year I left a full time, secure job for various reasons and did some temping locally. Out of all the many thousands of people I could have met, I found Stuart Wakefield (great blog by the way - Relief from Words) who introduced me to the National Novel Writing Month. We loved it so much that we formed our own writing group, Writebulb, with two other amateur writers, Brigid Makau and Jane Lomas.
I learnt an incredible amount in a very short time but what really blew me away was how big a part social media networking played in the book world. Then we had Penelope Fletcher, a young Indie writer, in to talk to us and it was as if everything fell into place - I can do that, I thought. So I finished a Burly and Grum tale I'd written, spoke to the incredibly talented Rob Jones who brought my characters to life, read all about Smashwords (wonderful, wonderful concept), contacted the Born Free Foundation to see if they'd be interested in working with me and they said yes, I bought myself a Kindle and in a couple of weeks hope to publish my first ebook! Wow!
Am I excited? Yes? Terrified? Funnily enough no - I'm just ready to give it a go! Wish me luck and I hope you enjoy reading a little more about my characters, Burly, Grum, Max and Mike.