I wrote my last blog post about preparing for the launch of my humorous middle-grade book, and can now report that the night was a huge success!
The venue was a quirky second-hand bookshop that is gorgeous anyway, but another level of space-related gorgeousness was carefully applied.
Various activities were set out, including ‘colour your own robot masks’ and ‘build a model spaceship’.
One activity that proved popular was a prop I made featuring four of the characters from my book, with the main character Dethbert Jones’s face cut out.
Perfect for selfies!
The nibbles were mostly vegan (veggies/pitta bread/hummus) plus I baked mini glueberry (blueberry) muffins (referenced from the book) and bought a large sponge cake featuring a Precious the Chickensnail topper.
There were fruit juices to drink, and I also invented a cocktail called a ‘Nebula’, consisting of prosecco/blueberry juice/lemonade/silver lustre (which swirls around, causing a pretty glittery effect). It seemed to go down very well with the adults, and some children even had a prosecco-free non-alcoholic version.
Everyone had loads of fun, and a photographer even turned up from the local paper!
‘Happy Birthday, Dear Earthling… Happy Birthday to youuu!’
At long last the arrival of my first-born book is imminent!
The launch party is roughly planned (I don’t do *perfection* as it’s a sure-fire way of turning success into perceived failure).
The reviews are still flooding in, thanks to interested book bloggers and facilitated by my fab publisher, Common Deer Press.
Some of the book’s characters have even guested on the CDP blog in the launch run up.
I’m hoping that Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent turns up in plenty of Christmas stockings this year and goes on to capture the imaginations of children across the world.
Read more about Dethbert Jones, Andi Social and Precious the Chickensnail on the Dear Earthling website!
Sometimes it’s worthwhile — even if you usually write full length novels — to have a go at writing flash fiction. Challenging yourself to tell a story in 500 words or less (the shortest piece of flash fiction I’ve ever written was just 12 words!) means paring back to the essence of your tale, so it’s great editing practice. Plus, in these busy times, readers sometimes want a quick, undemanding read at the breakfast table, or on their commute into work.
I wrote Tilly’s Tale after visiting a medieval castle, and submitted it to Common Deer Press who have published it on their website as a ‘Short Tail’ (pun intended!)
If you haven’t done so before, why not have a go at a piece of flash fiction yourself?
Tell me how you got on in the comments!
This is a minor character from a book I’m writing and illustrating at the moment. I’m torn between Rosie and Toffee — or can you think of a better name for this cutie? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!
My illustrated middle grade novel Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent is being published in fall 2018 by Common Deer Press.
As my illustrations feature heavily, I was asked if I wanted to create the cover art. After a few attempts at different styles and formats, and constructive critique from The Herd (as the CDP family are collectively known) I came up with this design.
I hope it gives a sense of the book’s format (letters from an alien), reflects the humour and showcases some of the characters held within.
Totally smooshed to announce that I’ve only gone and sold a book!
DEAR EARTHLING will be published by Common Deer Press this Autumn – – check out their Web page for the blurb!
He wears the coat,
it bends him over
as he shuffles along
the gritty road.
Aches and pains merge with
deep sorrow is the thread that
binds it all.
crowd his shoulder
in his ear.
Yet the thing weighing most
is wrong he’s done to others,
his conscience is bundled
on his back
like a tumour of wet rags it
Then one day he wakes and
his arms slip easily
from the coat of
He laughs like a boy
and dances wildly
free at last from
Pen Avey — June 2017