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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Perfect Summer FAB book by Karen King

I'm really pleased to host author, Karen King on my blog today to mark the first birthday of her first YA (young adult) novel, Perfect Summer.

As well as telling us all about the book, which I've read incidentally and heartily recommend, Karen has agreed to answer a few questions about her life as a writer.

Karen has had over one hundred children’s books published. She’s written for many children's magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Perfect Summer is her first YA. It was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition. It's published by Astraea Press.
Karen also writes under the pseudonym Kay Harborne for her romance novels.


How did you get started writing?
I've always written. I had my first poem published when I was 11. I started my writing career with Jackie magazine, writing articles and photo stories.

Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
It depends whether I'm writing to a commission or not. If I'm commissioned I have to plot as I have to send a synopsis and the first couple of chapters to my editor. If I'm not writing to a commission I plot at first so that I know the basic outline of my story but once I get going I write 'by the seat of my pants'.

Are you most productive in the morning or evening?
Morning. Often I get out of bed and start writing right away. I'm full of ideas in the morning.

What’s the most frequent question people ask you.
When I visit schools kids always ask me either if I'm rich. I usually say "No, I'm really poor so please go and buy some of my books!"

Perfect Summer:
Growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government gives people grants for plastic surgery, 15-year-old Morgan can't help being a bit envious of her best friend, Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity client list. Her life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn't so rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down's syndrome - which, according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime.
Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren't interested so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it's too late?

Prologue of Perfect Summer

They were on their fourth game of poker. The air was tense; they played in silence, speaking only when they had to.

The burly man glanced at the five cards in his hand, his expression unreadable. “I’ll see you.” He took a drag of his cigarette and waited.

The woman sitting next to him studied her hand of cards and sighed. “I’m folding.” She placed the cards face down on the table, crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.

They both watched the bald man on the other side of the table. He looked at his cards and frowned. The burly man took another drag of his cigarette and sent a spiral of thick smoke into the air. Then a shrill ring broke through the silence, making them all jump. The burly man grabbed his nanophone and the others waited as he flicked it open. The air was electric with suspense.

Yes,” he said brusquely. He was silent as he listened, then replied, “We will leave immediately.” He switched the phone off, threw his cards down and stood up. “It’s on,” he said, scooping up the handful of coins in the middle of the table and putting them, and the phone, in his pocket.“Let’s get going.”

The woman left her cards and followed him. They both hurried outside to a dark blue van. The man climbed into the driving seat, the woman sat beside him. She took a slip of paper out of her pocket and keyed an address into the E-- Nav. “We’ll be there in a couple of hours,” she said.

How old’s this one?” the man asked.

Three,” the woman replied.

Shouldn’t be too difficult then.” The man started up the van and they set off.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Twitter: @karen_king

Thank you Karen.... Ann

Monday, 6 January 2014

My Writing Process #mywritingprocess by Ann Evans

I'm blogging about my writing process today. It's part of a 'blog tour' that a lot of authors are taking part in. Read more by following the links below.

Author Karen King invited me to take part, Karen writes picture books, children's books, books for teenagers and adults! You can read her blog at: http://www.karenking.net/blog

So, here's some questions and my answers about how I work.

  1. What am working on?
         I've a few writing projects on at the moment, which is my usual way of working. This probably stems from my feature writing days at The Coventry Telegraph, when every week I had to write three double page spreads on three different topics. I would start on a Monday with my deadline for Wednesday. It was a bit like plate spinning to get all the processes of interviews, research and photographs all set up early in the week so I had time to do everything and get it all written up ready for publication. I've recently joined the Romantic Novelists' Association, and at the moment I'm working on a historical romance – it's my first attempt at a historical novel as my other romance books have been set in modern times. I've also just had a Young Adult book accepted by Astraea Press, called Celeste. I'm currently working on the pre-edits for the book. Also I'm writing another children's story which has a working title of Hunted. I write non-fiction too, and I've got a couple of articles halfway finished for Collector's Gazette magazine. And another thing I'm doing is putting together my lessons for the creative writing class I run every week. So no time for being bored!
  1. How does my work differ from others of its genre?                                        To be honest, I don't know if it does differ from others of its genre. I do try to think up different ideas, and I use my own experiences as much as possible, and often base the settings on places that I have been to or seen. And I try to write my stories in a way that will keep the readers turning the pages.
  1. Why do I write what I do?                                                                                  I suppose I write about what catches my interest at the time. Sometimes I'm actively looking for ideas or inspiration, other times something will just crop up and grab my attention, so much so that I end up writing a story or article about it. I write because I enjoy writing – some days more than others! I began writing as a hobby when my three children were little. Then it became a career, and now its a hobby, a career – and a way of life. (And my three children are all grown up with children of their own – and like to read what I write!) I enjoy the variety of having a number of different projects or pieces of writing on the go at the same time as I can switch from one to the other depending on my mood, or the time available to sit and write.
  1. How does your writing process work?                                                               I write best and most productively when I'm at my computer. I share a studio with a photographer friend where I write during the day. However, this is linked to the internet so I'm writing in short bursts in between all the usual distractions of emails, Facebook, Twitter etc.. My home computer isn't linked to the internet so no distractions of that nature when working from home. So then I'm only only battling against the lure or housework, TV and socialising. Then there's my laptop – also not on the internet, where I can write when tucked up in bed – the problem then is that I'm usually so tired, all I want to do is drifting off into the land of nod. Somehow or other, words do get written!

    Next week the following authors Chris Longmuir, Lev Butts and Kathleen Jones will be telling you about their writing process. Here's a little about them, and the link to read their blog:

So, that's my process. Next week authors Chris Longmuir, Leverett Butts and Kathleen Jones will be blogging about their writing process. Here's more about them and their links:

Chris Longmuir is known mainly as the writer of the Dundee Crime Series, although she has written other things as well. The Dundee Crime Series is contemporary crime, and the first in the series, Night Watcher won the SAWs Pitlochry Award, while the second in the series, Dead Wood, won both the Pitlochry Award and the Dundee International Book Prize.

Read her blog at: http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Leverett Butts teaches composition and literature at the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Electric and The Georgia State University Review. He is the recipient of several fiction prizes offered by the University of West Georgia and TAG Publishing. His first collection of short fiction, Emily's Stitches: The Confessions of Thomas Calloway and Other Stories, has been nominated for the 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Short Fiction. He lives in Temple, Georgia, with his wife, son and their Jack Russell terrier, and a couple of antisocial cats.

Read his blog at: http://levbutts.blogspot.com

Kathleen Jones writes biography, fiction and poetry and has won several awards for her work. She is both traditionally and independently published. Her partner lives in Italy so she divides her time between Northern England and an olive grove in Tuscany. Kathleen's latest novel, The Sun's Companion, was shortlisted for the Kindle Book Review's 'best historical fiction' of 2013.

Her blog is called 'A Writer's Life' and the link is:  http://www.kathleenjonesauthor.blogspot.it/

Out now:  Become A Writer - A step by step guide. By Ann Evans