Hi! Welcome to Ann Evans' blogspot.

Whether you've found this page by design or accident, I hope you enjoy my random ramblings.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


FOR those who know me will know that I'm part of Tysall's Photography Studio in Nuneaton, working alongside photographer pal, Rob Tysall. It's a words and pictures kind of thing with Rob taking the pictures and me doing the write ups whenever necessary, such as for magazine articles.

A few weeks ago we had a FAB idea.

FAB stands for Fiction Authors Books and we've teamed up with a variety of well know authors to have signed copies of many of their titles on display in our studio and for sale to the public.

I've always had my own books on display for customers to browse, and being a member of the Scattered Authors' Society I thought why not have other authors' books on display too. But to make it extra special, we persuaded the authors to sign every copy first so that anyone buying a book will have they very own signed copy to keep.

I'm so pleased to say we've got some fabulous signed books from such authors as former Carnegie Medal winner, Susan Price; also Linda Chapman writer of many series such as My Secret Unicorn and Loving Spirit. Also Pippa Goodhart whose picture books such as You Choose, have topped the million mark. Mystery and thriller writer, Malcolm Rose is another author on board as well as Karen King who has more than 100 children's titles under her belt. Rosalie Warren, Josephine Feeney, funny man Ian Billings and writer, poet and playwright, David Calcutt are also among the list.

On Sunday 28th August from 11.30am-3pm there will be a drop-in and meet the authors event where aspiring writers, avid readers, and parents with youngsters can call into the studio and chat with a number of authors who will be here. Anyone interested in writing or becoming a writer will have a unique opportunity to chat to successful scribes and pick up a few tips on writing and getting published. And for any autograph hunters, every book in the studio is signed by the author.

So far, (all being well), Karen King and Rosalie Warren will be joining me. If there are any other Scattered Authors in the vicinity who want to pop in, bringing their books with them to sign, they would be most welcome. Please let me know first though.

Studio owner, Rob had this to say, "Ann's side of the business has always been Words and Pictures as she's the writer in the team, so I'm delighted to be able to boost the interest in children's fiction. Plus, I think the idea of having each book signed by the author is a fab idea. We're looking forward to some of them dropping in next Sunday."

Checkout our websites for locations and contact details etc.

www.annevansbooks.co.uk and www.tysallsphotography.org.uk

Saturday, 14 May 2011

I've discovered something that's almost as addictive, challenging, frustrating and satisfying as writing.
What is it? Creating new website pages. Does that sound sad? Sorry if you were expecting something more dramatic and exciting. However, that's what I'm up to at the moment.
The Christmas before last I asked Santa to bring me The Dummies Guide to HTML which he kindly left in my stocking, along with another 'how to' book - Easy Steps to HTML. Yes I know I should have asked for perfume or jewellery but I thought these aids to surviving in these days of Ebooks and websites would come in more useful.
It was like reading gobbledeguke to start with as I tried to get my head round it. The crunch came when I started dreaming in html!
Lucky for me, my son, Wayne is an IT wiz (and I now forgive him for never going to sleep when he was a kid/teenager, staying awake playing on his computer to the early hours.) I see now he was studying!
I'm even more fortunate in that he has created the two websites that I use all the time, but I still need to update them. So those HTML for dummies books have certainly come in handy.
But the reason for my blog - and my excitement, is that I'm trying to create some new pages into my website which tie in with my soon to be released series of eBook whodunnits, the Little Tyke Murder Mysteries (formerly a sealed mystery series pub'd by Scholastic and now out of print).
After days of struggling to get the pages laid out and behaving like I want them to - and on the point of giving up, the penny dropped! I started to understand what all that gobbledeguke was saying. An Eureka moment if ever there was one!
I've still got loads of work to do - but now it's fun! Yes, I know, I should get out more. Ah well!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Book signing day is getting ever nearer. Could call it B Day - only that sounds like something you'd find in the bathroom. Although I probably will get a bit flushed on Saturday when I'm sitting in Waterstones hoping someone is going to walk through the door and show an interest in my latest book.
It's a 'Children's History of Coventry' and I'm really thrilled about it (a) because it's brilliant to get the opportunity of writing about my own home city; (b) because of the work the publisher, Hometown World have put into the lively layout and fun illustrations; and (c) because I love the idea of (hopefully) thousands of Coventry kids picking up this book and discovering something they didn't know about the place where they live.
If anyone reading this happens to be in Coventry city centre on Saturday 30th April between 10.30am and 12.30pm please pop into Waterstones and say hello. Exciting though it is to be doing a book signing, it's also terrifying to think I might be sitting there all alone for the duration.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Just-a-walking the dog.

Where do ideas come from? It's a topic that always comes up when doing a school visit or an author talk. One of my answers being, when I'm walking the dog - and I know I'm not alone in this. Writer, David Calcutt told me that whatever writing dilemma he's trying to work through, he's usually got a solution by the time he's come back from walking his dog.

Today, my dog-share dog, Lola (she's my daughter's dog really) and I went for our regular walk to the park. I was thinking that I needed to come up with a short story for the Coventry Writers Group Short Story competition which the group are organising, with the deadline just a month away. The aim is to publish the entries as an ebook anthology and as a print-on-demand book - the theme being Coventry Tales.

Considering I've just has my non-fiction book, Children's History of Coventry published and my latest fictional book for young readers is set in Coventry, I had no excuse for not having a go at a 'Coventry Tale' for the competition.

Setting out from home with Lola I hadn't a clue what my story was going to be about. Halfway to the park a little spark of an idea began to flicker. By the time we'd reached the park I'd got the opening line, the main character and the last para. Throwing the ball for Lola I could see my character talking. I know her name and her age, and I know how she's feeling as she tells this tale.

The interruption from a gorgeous, bounding, floppy-eared Spaniel who wanted to play with Lola stemmed the flow for a while, but that didn't matter. I'd got my idea - that spark which provides the excitement needed to start writing. Maybe some expert might be able to explain how simple physical exercise or activity can unlock the creative side of the brain but I've no intention of looking any deeper into how it works. For me, just-a-walking the dog is the perfect solution for when you need to come up with a new idea. And as for Lola, there was a nice tasty treat for her when we got back home.

I wonder what methods other writers rely on when searching for an idea?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Children's History of Coventry

It is such a privilege to be able to write about the history of my own home town, especially as it's for young readers.

An illustrated Children's History of Coventry

So pleased with the cover and the illustrations - and the information too of course!!

Words and Pictures.

It's always brilliantly exciting when your new book finally gets launched and you can hold it in your hands and turn the pages, feel it - smell it even. For me, when my latest book came out just last week, I found it such a thrill as not only was it was my first illustrated book but also my first children's non-fiction book. Before this one, my books have been novels for junior-aged children and young adults, without illustrations - apart from the cover, obviously, but this one - an illustrated Children's History of Coventry, is packed full of wonderful illustrations and fabulous designs. I was just blown away by the additional efforts the illustrators at Hometown World have put in. Thank you guys!

Friday, 18 March 2011

New to blogging

Well, here goes. My very first blog. The whole world seems to be blogging, so I thought it was time I joined in. Considering I write for a living, you'd think that blogging would be second nature - but it's not.

I'm quite used to jotting down my thoughts and ramblings, but usually in a diary that's slipped away out of sight, or in a notebook with all kinds of jumbled ideas about a new story or changes to a plot. How odd to be writing down my thoughts and then publishing them to the world.

So, something of note I think. Something of interest...

Such as the great weekend I've just had. Belonging to the Scattered Authors Society, which are a group of children's authors - scattered far and wide as the name implies, we meet up occasionally to discuss all things to do with books, writing, agents, publishers etc., which is inspirational and great fun.

One of the nicest things about children's authors is their willingness and eagerness to share their knowledge. They are keen to explain how they do it, to talk about their experiences, the ups and downs of their writing career, and to pass on masses of tips and advice to each other.

Fantastically, children's authors, in my experience anyway, just don't have that 'closed shop' kind of attitude. If they have the answer they will tell you. Maybe that's what's so special about writing - it's the writing community that goes with it.

Here endeth my very first blog.