I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that I entered the 2015 Ampersand Prize, a writing competition for young adult and children’s writing, and managed to attract the attention of one of the judges. I’ve also mentioned that I failed to win or even be shortlisted, despite attracting that attention.
The likelihood of happily ever afters in writing is, as it has ever been, very small. The numbers of people who win competitions or simply succeed in getting published are comparatively low and the numbers just keep getting lower as you add the extra elements of happily ever after. Good reviews. Good sales. Awards. Subsequent publishing contracts. Financial security. Fame.
So this is me enjoying the moment as I share with you parts of the correspondence I received from that Ampersand judge. Sure, the moment is long over but the memory of that moment is still a glowing ember – blowing on it gently brings it back to life and casts it in a warm light like an orange sunrise breaking over the horizon. Continue reading
Two days ago I posted the first chapter of White Wash, the currently unfinished sequel to my currently unpublished next novel, Black Spot. What follows below was originally the first chapter of White Wash until I realised it wasn’t working. It wasn’t working, I believe, because this series of books is Livia Black’s story, not Sebastian White’s story. I hope you agree that I’ve made the right decision. Continue reading
This is the first chapter of the currently unfinished sequel to my currently unpublished next novel, Black Spot. My next post will be what was originally the first chapter of White Wash until I realised it wasn’t working. When you compare them, I hope you’ll agree that I’ve made the right choice.
At the heady heights of the Twilight movies success and as The Hunger Games movie was beginning to grip everyone as well, a friend suggested that I should attempt to write a similar series of books. Young adult for all intents and purposes but with mainstream crossover potential and, most importantly, with film adaptation in the forefront of my mind.
Perhaps for those who aren’t writers, it seems that writing a successful book series that becomes a successful movie series is as simple as having the idea and seeing it through. But knowing what will strike a chord with young adult readers and Hollywood producers at any given moment is almost impossible – I’m still trying to figure it out.
(black spot n a place where something bad exists or happens)
There is no wind, no sound, no movement. The dawn that rises over the mountains is the most quiet, still morning that Livia Black can remember. Not that she remembers them all. Not since the car accident that wiped the slate clean of her memories. Continue reading
I have a habit of coming up with characters and story ideas and then setting them aside for years before finally getting around to doing anything about them. This was the case with Livia Black, the heroine of my complete but unpublished crossover young adult novel called Black Spot. Continue reading