Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Storyteller // Flash-fiction // Unexpected Fairy tales

I've most likely totally missed the point of this competition, but thought I would give it a try. If nothing else I've got a head start on where my next book, after Amelia Black 2, might go. Or might not. That's a weird and wild thought which is currently too far in the future right now... 

So yes, Anna Meade (@ruanna3 through Twitter, seemingly lovely lass I started following recently), has laid down the challenge of an unexpected fairytale. It should contain 350 words max. With the deadline only hours away as of publishing this blog post I thought I would contribute something I've been pondering for a long time now. So my wonderful readers, a tale simply called The Storyteller...

Claudius sat down in the bus shelter. It was a bright day. It was a new day. Much like it was the day it happened to him. His eyes had seen many things; the world had changed so much. He rarely would look in a mirror, but only needed to see the countless wrinkles in his hands to know.

Now was the time to pass it on.

            “Mommy, mommy, when’s the bus arriving?” He looked up to see a woman and a little girl, no older than seven, sit down beside him. He politely smiled at them both.

            “It’ll be here soon, dear, now sit down,” said the mother.

            “Oh, okay.” The little girl swayed her head, then looked towards Claudius and boldly said, “Hello!”

            “Hello there,” said Claudius.

            “That’s a big beard!” said the girl.

Claudius could do nothing but laugh, “Yes, it is.”

            “Penny! That’s very rude. I’m so sorry, sir.”

            “It’s no trouble at all, honestly,” he said. Little Penny edged closer towards Claudius, becoming curiouser and curiouser. Claudius held tightly to the ivory head of his walking stick.

            “What do you do?”

            “Me? It’s a secret,” he replied, giving a knowing wink.

            “Secrets? I like secrets, I’ll keep it, I promise!” she jumped up and down and gave a charming smile.

            “You have to promise.”

            “I promise! I promise.”

            “Okay,” he whispered. “I’m a storyteller.” The little girl and the mother looked baffled, never hearing such a wild title before.

            “What’s a storyteller?” asked Penny.

            “A father, a brother, a wizard, a hero, a villain, an adventurer and above all a dreamer. Someone who can see hundreds of lives yet live just one. Someone who can spark a revolution. All with a little imagination.”

            “Wow!” said Penny.

Claudius brought out his golden pocket watch. The time was 1.05pm. “I don’t have much time but if your mother allows it I’ll tell you a story. I warn you though, once told it can never be untold. Once I’m done you must tell it to others.”

“Yes, yes!”

“Are you paying attention? Good. Now, once upon a time...” 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Amelia Black in The Looking Glass & The Lucky Seven Game

I mentioned in one of my last blog posts that a chapter extract of The Unseen Chronicles of Amelia Black would be featured in the first issue of Dublin based children's literature magazine, The Looking Glass. Well after days of waiting eagerly by the door, the jolly postman finally delivered me a copy - as displayed in the photo above of course.

It's a great read and seeing all the other talented writers featured does make one feel ever so slightly intimidated.  Huge thanks to Elena and Joanne for featuring the work of Gill and I in it. If you want to support the publication definitely pay their Facebook page a visit over here ::

The Lucky Seven Game

Now, if you follow other writer blogs about you'll have noticed this doing the rounds. My next book is only a few months away - potential illustrations and couple more edits pending - and thought it would be fun to give the first extract from A Boy Named Hogg. So here it lines, from the seventh line, from page seven of the new book.

“Hello, I’d like to be your friend.”
“Hehe! Awk, you are just too sweet,” said the stranger, softly. Sebastian suddenly felt at ease, giggling more happily and more innocently than he ever had done before in his all too brief lifespan.
A thunderous crash came suddenly from the other room, and William and Rosie were shouting once again. Sebastian wasn’t fazed, in the slightest. His attention was still fixated on this mysterious stranger in his living room. 

As you can see that reveals pretty much nothing, but as the months go on I'll filter bits and pieces of the plot and some sort of launch plan. I'm starting to become really excited by it, and I hope when it's published you will too.

More to come.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Unseen Chronicles of Amelia Black now available in No Alibis bookshop!

Sitting proudly next to Herge's Tintin books. If that isn't a dream realised I don't know what is...

After putting it off for god knows how long, I finally worked up the nerve to pop into one of Belfast's leading independent bookshops, No Alibis and enquire about stocking the book in their glorious little emporium. As you can probably tell by the photo above it was a success! So yes, as of today the book is on sale in No Alibis for the same price as it is on at £6.99.

So if you haven't yet got a copy of the book and happen to live in the Belfast area please support your local retailers and grab a copy. Or if you don't want to, that's okay too! Bit hurtful, but I guess I'll get over it...ahem, anyway, at least pop down to this glorious bookshop, located on Botanic Avenue near Queen's University, and show your support!

Quick line of other topics of interest while I'm here...

  • My next book, A Boy Named Hogg is still on course for a Summer release. Can't really discuss too much yet but as always watch this space. 
  • The Unseen Chronicles of Amelia Black recently featured in a new Dublin based Children's literature magazine, The Looking Glass. If you're in a position to purchase a copy, please do! Once I get mine I'll post a few photos of it on the blog! Support the lovely ladies putting it together at their Facebook page here ::
  • Thanks for the lovely comments on Twitter and Facebook regarding my lovely Flash Fiction piece, Quentin and the Picnic. 
That's it for today from the mindless ramblings of myself. Thanks for reading.