Saturday, 31 December 2011

A writer's resolution...

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 Another year has come and gone - and it's that time when you take stock of what you've done in the last 12 months...

I'm pretty happy with what I achieved in 2011. I do wish I had finished the new book but the end is definitely in sight - a couple of chapters away and of course the re-drafts.

So with that in mind this t-shirt slogan will be my mantra for the next 12 months. If you're stuck, feel free to make it yours too. Hell, you can even buy the t-shirt!

Happy New Year and good luck with your own writing. I have a good feeling about 2012...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Is it just me...

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 ...or is this top really cool? It's from the brilliant Deviant Art website, where artists from all over the world can showcase their work. Some of the pieces can be bought as prints or downloads but a few can be bought as gifts, including this top - for all the writers!

If this was a hoodie I would totally be buying it...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

How much is *too* much???

 Work on the new book is coming along nicely and the end is definitely within sight! But as I reach the final chapters I'm confronted again with the question: how much is *too* much for a book aimed at 11-14 year olds?

I work with tweens and teens so I'm under no illusions about the kinds of things they're involved in. Life just keeps getting more and more complicated in a world where change seems to happen overnight.

My last chapters involve some fairly drastic twists and turns - a night out which ends with a spiked drink, serious humiliation and the inevitable mobile phone video. Bad as this seems, it pales beside the finale - an act of terrorism with devastating consequences.

In the middle of all this is my hero,  a teenage boy called Adam from a rather unusual family. He's smart and funny and a little bit geeky. He's confronted daily with all sorts of life and death issues when all he really wants is a normal life.

Tween and teen fiction can be a mixed bag - either trying to protect young people or going to the other extreme; in-yer-face 'issues' or gore. I'm constantly amazed and humbled by the challenges life throws at some teenagers and the grace with which so many acquit themselves. In the end most teenagers, like Adam, are simply trying to find their place in the world and a way of making sense of the madness.

So maybe the writer's job is to be honest and unflinching - as long as it's not all doom and gloom. A little bit of humour and escapism goes a long way towards easing the pain - in books as in life!
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