Friday, 21 December 2012

The Darkest Day...

... and beyond.

I'm blogging today on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure

More Rosalie Reviews coming soon!

Happy Christmas and all best wishes for the New Year,

Monday, 26 November 2012

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wonderful young readers and writers at King Henry VIII School, Coventry

I had the lovely experience last week of being a visiting author at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. My session was organised by Kirsty Kinmond, the enthusiastic librarian at the school. I was aksed to give an informal one-hour talk in the library, where I would say a bit about being a writer and answer questions from the students.

Embedded image permalink
With students in the library at King Henry VIII school

One of the things I love about King Henry VIII is that the students are always so full of questions - and so ready to answer my questions to them. As the lunch hour progressed, more people came along and some had to leave to go to other things, but that was fine - it all added to the informal atmosphere. We had an interesting discussion abotu where fictional characters come from, and how it often feels as though you are not really making them up at all but listening in and watching to see what they will do next. We talked about favourite characters from books we'd read, and tried to work out what made a character really special. Many of us liked the idea of a hero/heroine who is not always very confident - someone who, like all of us, has doubts from time to time and maybe doesn't see him or herself as a hero at all (Frodo from Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings is a good example of that). And I was delighted to discover how many of my audience are writing books, stories, plays and film/animation scripts of their own.

But enough from me and over to Joe, who was one of the participants in the discussion. Joe has very kindly written the following piece about my visit, which I enjoyed reading very much. So thank you Joe, Kirsty and everyone else who made me so welcome at King Henry VIII School. I hope to see you all again soon.

Rosalie Warren visit
On the 7th of November 2012 Rosalie Warren visited the library. She brought some of her books like Coping with Chloe and Charity's Child in the library. She asked some questions about some of our favourite characters out of books and films and we also got a chance to ask Rosalie Warren some of our own questions like how were you inspired to write and she said, 'I have always loved reading books and writing from a young age,' and that is apparently how she was inspired to write books.

We also all got a chance to give her some of our ideas for books and some of us explained characters that we had made up for our own books. We also had a pleasant biscuit while we were listening to Rosalie Warren's interesting points of views on certain books.

The visit from Rosalie Warren really put us in the shoes of a writer and how it amazed us to see how she got to where she is now.

A bit about Rosalie
'I always wanted to be a writer... even before I could write! I used to make up stories by drawing cartoon pictures of my characters and their adventures. The stories were mostly about big families, because I was a lonely little girl who didn't have brothers and sisters. Come to think of it, my stories are still mostly about families, because that’s where so much of our lives happens, both good and bad.
I have always loved reading and my all-time favourite books are the William books by Richmal Crompton.'

Proudly made by Joe Scott

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Writer's IF - with apologies to Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when every agent
Rejects your work without a kindly word;
If you can trust yourself to go on writing
When publishers ignore you by the herd;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
For months or even years for a reply;
Or, being scorned repeatedly, don’t waver
In your attempt to catch a reader’s eye...
If you can keep your dreams and go on writing
Five hundred or a thousand words a day;
If you can meet with five stars or with one star
And value what both those reviewers say;
If you can bear to hear the words you’ve written
Mocked and reviled by critics young and old
And see the stuff you hate sell by the million
While yours stay on the bookshop shelves unsold...
If you can make a pile of your advances (ha!)
And lose them in the weekend’s lottery toss;
Work on your novel in between the phone calls
And never get caught at it by your boss;
If you can force your laptop, mouse and keyboard
To go on working even when they’re old;
And keep on typing when the muse is hiding,
Your confidence is broken and you’re cold...

If you can sit in shops and keep your patience
And not feel daft when no one stops to look;
If you can smile when, after two hours’ waiting,
No one has stopped to buy a single book;
If neither friends nor family can hurt you
When they suggest it’s time to drop your pen
Then welcome to this crazy world of writers –
You’ve proved your worth, you’re totally mad, my friend. 

Rosalie Warren
November 2012

Keeping going in the face of disappointment...

IF you're looking for clues on how to treat those two imposters - triumph and disaster - just the same and all that Kipling stuff, then don't read this...

But if like me, you're made of lesser stuff, then feel free to read on...

I received a horrible disappointment today about a writing project of mine.

Before I go any further - a note to those of my fellow writers who are not yet published - don't be under any illusions that it gets easier once you've published your first (or second, or third) novel. Oh, of course it does, for some. J. K. Rowling was laughing by that stage of her career. But for some of us... it definitely doesn't get any easier and I'm inclined to think it may sometimes get harder.

I can't say exactly what my latest disappointment is. All I can reveal is that, while I understand the rationale behind it and don't hold any grudges, it hurts. Oh my, does it hurt...

But only in the way that professional disappointments hurt. It's work, not life, when all is said and done. No one's life is under threat. However much I love writing - it's just work. It's not my family, my kids. The only thing that will suffer is my silly pride. It might well make me a better writer in the long run. (If only I could make that scan, it might actually sound a little Kiplingesque...)

The hard bit is picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and carrying on with the book you're currently writing - not listening to the taunting inner voice that cries, 'You're rubbish and this proves it!'

Not listening, do you hear?

I can write and I will write. What's more, I am writing. Good luck to all you other writers out there, whatever stage of your career you are at. Don't let anyone or anything stop you.

Best wishes

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Why it's not a simple matter to report child abuse...

I've hesitated before writing this post, for a number of reasons.

The main one is that I feel very uncomfortable about the idea of using the recent allegations against Jimmy Savile to promote my book. The idea that I'm somehow exploiting the suffering undergone by so many young people appals me. This is why I've already begun this post on two previous occasions and then deleted it.

But... the subject needs airing. We all need to talk about it much more. It was almost impossible to tell anyone, back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, that you were being abused. It's easier now, I'm told. But it's still not as easy as it should be. There is stigma and there is shame associated with being a victim of such abuse. There shouldn't be, but there often is.

My book, Charity's Child, is set in the 1980s. I don't usually tell people it's about child abuse, because I don't want to give away the plot, though I do tell them that it deals with some difficult issues.

But who cares about giving away a plot, in comparison with what we are now discovering has been going on in real life? My story offers reasons why a young girl in the 1980s, a member of a small church, found it impossible to tell anyone what was happening to her. I'm not claiming that her reasons are typical or common ones. There were and still are all kinds of reasons why young girls and boys find it difficult, if not impossible, to tell anyone what's happening to them. This is just one instance. It is not based on a true story. The events in the book did not, I'm very glad to say, happen to anyone I know. But sadly, I know that there are many people who have experienced something similar.

Charity's Child is a book for an older YA (14+) and adult readership. It does not go into graphic detail about sexual abuse, but the direct and indirect effects of such abuse on the lives of two young girls are explored. If my novel can play even a small part in helping to raise awareness of the abuse of children and young people, and make it any easier for people to recognise and report it, I would be very pleased.

If you are interested, you can find the link to my book in the right hand column of my blog.

Best wishes,

Friday, 19 October 2012

My Review of 'The Bower Bird' by Ann Kelley...

... is posted on An Awfully Big Blog Review today

Ann Kelley's wonderful YA novel 'The Bower Bird' is a sequel to 'The Burying Beetle'.

It's a great story - part of the Gussie series - highly recommended for age 12+.

More Rosalie Reviews coming soon!

Happy reading,

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Thursday, 4 October 2012

ALEXA'S SONG is now available on Amazon

It just went live!

Cover design by Rob Tysall

Note: It's aimed at adults, and is a love story of a kind between two creative people who are each fighting their own demons.

Watch this space for news of an exciting competition on the theme of the book, coming soon....

See Alexa's Song on Amazon UK

... and on Amazon USA

More soon,
Best wishes,

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Exciting news - I'm now a fully qualified proofreader

Just heard that I've been awarded a Merit for completing the 'Basic Proofreading by Distance Learning' course run by The Publishing Training Centre. This qualification is highly regarded by the publishing industry and I'm very proud of my achievement. It was hard work!

You can see my proofreading website (run by my alter ego, Sheila Glasbey), here.

I offer a quick and reasonably priced service to anyone who wants to make their prose as perfect as possible ready for publication. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

'Alexa's Song' is almost ready to go!

It's been a long time coming. Back in June, I was preparing my new novel for adults, Alexa's Song, for publication, when the sad and sudden death of my father intervened. Since then, I've barely had the time or the inclination for any writing activities at all.

But I'm slowly getting back to something vaguely approaching normal... and I'm back at work on formatting Alexa ready for release as an eBook for Amazon Kindle. If all goes well, it should be ready to download by the end of this week. I'll let you know...

Alexa's Song is a book close to my heart, because both of its main characters have mental health problems and their conditions interact with their personal and creative lives in all kinds of (I hope) interesting ways. Jake is an artist and Alexa a musician - a pianist and composer of both classical and pop music. Jake has been in love with Alexa for years and they lived together for a while, until along came Alexa's brother, Steve, who rather disrupted their relationship. But now Jake has a hope of winning Alexa back - except that she is pregnant and it's unclear who the father is (it's not Jake - that much he knows...)

Jake's life is complicated by the fact that he has bipolar illness. His medication helps, but he believes that he does his best painting when he comes off the tablets - with disastrous results for himself and those around him.

Alexa suffers from recurrent depression owing to a traumatic event when she was a student, years ago.

The big question is, can these thirty-somethings find happiness and fulfilment in among all these conflicting demands and desires? And will the song Alexa wrote for Jake be enough to save him, when he gets himself into real trouble?

Here's the cover, which I love - beautifully designed for me by Rob Tysall of Tysall's Photography, Nuneaton.

More on Alexa soon!

Happy reading

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Review of Ann Kelley's 'The Burying Beetle'

My review of Ann Kelley's wonderful YA novel 'The Burying Beetle' is on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure today

More Rosalie Reviews coming soon...

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

'The Wolf Princess' by Cathryn Constable - Reviewed by Heena Pala

Today I'm very pleased to post another great review by Heena Pala, aged 13.

It's a review of The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable,, which is due out in paperback in October 2012 (Chicken House).

Over to you, Heena:
The Wolf Princess is a fantasy book about an orphan called Sophie. Sophie dreams of having some adventure in her boring, boarding-school life. When he was alive, Sophie’s dad told her stories of forests and wolves and adventures. Sophie promised herself she would go there and see the tall forest trees and the thick snow falling at her feet. One day...

When a school visitor comes and wants Sophie to show her round the school,she seems very intrigued with Sophie’s life. And then she fulfils Sophie’s dream of an adventure; she sends Sophie and her two friends on a trip to Russia. But this is not what the young girl had in mind. There, waiting for them in Russia, is princess of the lost Volkonskaya Winter Palace. Sophie thinks she is from a boring, broken family but she discovers it’s a lot more complicated. Soon, the three girls realise they can trust no-one…

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Wolf Princess. The story was well-structured and the way Cathryn Constable describes the abandoned palace makes you feel like you’re really there. Some parts send a shiver up your spine and you forget the world around you - like someone’s picked you up and put you in Russia with Sophie, Marianna and Delphine. There’s not one part without some sense of adventure. One criticism would be that it is a little slow to start. The main part happens in the last half of the book.

RATING: 8/10

PUBLISHER: Chicken House
RRP: £6.99
View the book on Amazon UK

Many thanks, Heena.

More from me soon.

Best wishes,