Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's blog hop time! The next big thing...

Thanks to Lee Murray (author of award winning Battle of the Birds) for including me in her fabulous blog hop. You can read her guest post on the very popular review site The Phantom Paragrapher to find out about her next big thing...the novel 'Misplaced'.

But for now, here are my answers to her questions about my next big thing. Or in this case... 2 things:

1. What is the working title of your book?
My junior fiction/YA novel is called Brave and True. My next picture book is called The Very Best View in the World.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Brave and True came bouncing out of those two names Brave and True. Somehow the names transformed into characters, the characters morphed into a whole new world and voila! The novel was born.
The Very Best View in the World came out of my desire to write a kind of 'mini quest' book along the lines of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, which is such an amazing classic.  Of course it's nothing like the bear hunt, but it is a family journey.

3. What genre does your book come under?
A good coffee - aka writing fuel
Brave and True is a fantasy adventure novel for 9-13 year olds. I wrote it with the junior fiction category in mind but really it's turned out to be aimed a somewhat older age group - perhaps catching the end of primary school though.
The Very Best View in the World is a picture book story for pre-schoolers through to about age 6 or 7.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
How about this chap for Brave? Click here to see the picture! Although maybe he is a bit too clean cut and we'd have to change the colour of his eyes! Or this little guy has a great look: click here . For True, I'd like someone from NZ but couldn't find any photos, so how about this girl - just picture her with way more hair and a wild, feisty look in her eye!

5.What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Brave and True is a story about a boy who's journey through a fantastical, alternate world to find his mum puts him up against strange magic, malevolent enemies and helps him recognise the value of wonderful friendships.
The Very Best View in the World is the story of what happens when the whole family decides to take Mum on a walk for her birthday to find her favourite picnic spot with the very best view in the world.

6. Is your book self-published or published by an independent publisher or represented by an agency?
No, no and no. Brave and True is with an independent publisher just now for reading, so I'm thrilled it's made it that far. My picture book is a work in progress.

7.How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Off and on over a year for Brave and True - up to 99,000 words, but now it's on a much more presentable 60k. For my picture book text, off and on over a day. I applied for and received a NZ Authors mentor and later received a NZ Authors assessment. It's really worth joining the NZ Society of Authors.

8.What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'd compare Brave and True to the Lost Island of Tamarind, which is a fantastic junior fiction book.

9.Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My children.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Brave and True has a lot of very unusual animals in it, as well as a boat called Smoothie and a camel called Humpty-Do. In an ideal world my picture book will be illustrated by me. Still working on that idea!

NOW IT'S TIME TO BLOG HOP... BOUNCE ON OVER TO one of the Bay of Plenty's most successful futuristic romance writers

Virginnia De Parte, her blog is and she'll be answering questions about her next big thing on 5 June. Here's a run down of her work and a link to her facebook page too!
Love's Bright Star
Love's Red Heart 
A Talent for Loving 

Next up on the blog hop is DAISY BANKS, a UK based romance writer. Here's the link to her blog:  Her NEXT BIG THING questions will be answered on 12 June. Her website is:

Last but not least and a total change of direction! 
New Zealander GARTH LAWLESS - junior fiction fantasy writer and author of Guardians of the Shimmer, part 1 Dreamtime (available on, will be TELLING US ALL ABOUT his next big thing on his blog on 19 June

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