I love singing folk songs and show songs to keep awake driving the van. Sadly, the cups I won as proof of my tunefulness had to have other peoples’ names scratched on them or melted down or pawned or something. I also love making things.
I’m touting a couple of novels for kids aged 8 to 112 yrs. I’ve recorded some below…
I was born in Portsmouth and when I was child I believed Basingstoke to be the border with Scotland.
The house I grew up in wasn’t full of books. The few I remember are Enquire Within, Whitakers Almanac a big black family Bible and a ladybird book called Ned the Lonely Donkey . I don’t remember my mum or dad reading to me but I do remember the agony of having to read the same old Janet and John to the teacher. In spite of all that I did start to pick up books: Enid Blyton, Malcolm Saville, Just William, What Katy Did, Anne of Green Gables, PG Wodehouse and Dorothy Sayers were some of my favourites. Like many people, I have the library to thank for that.
I love the challenge of making stuff at home for nothing, usually sewing something. If I can’t remember how long ago I bought the fabric, it’s like it’s for nothing isn’t it? Sewing is something I do remember doing at home – with my dad.
I have a job,hooray. Need the money. As jobs go, I’m lucky. I spend time in a lovely park talking to people mostly. And they call that work!
But, what I want to do most of all, is make stuff up, lie through my teeth. Books, e or otherwise, for kids, like a whole host of other wannabe chldren’s authors. The first I’ll admit to is called You’re Magic, Duggie Bones and the pitch goes like this:
Three chavtastic bullies, some pseudo voodoo and an eleven year old misfit, You’re Magic, Duggie Bones is the story is of a boy’s journey into self belief. He’s not a wizard or a superhero, or even a popular kid at school, but he is magic.
You can listen to me trying to do a Stephen Fry here. More may follow, depending on kids, barking dogs, ringing phones, slamming doors and the general hullabaloo. The second is called Bert… so far and you can read the first chapter here.
I’ve been writing voluntarily since the turn of the century, I love that. For a while I tried my hand at picture books – youngest had just started school – I was in the zone. I thought it would be easy! I had a few good ideas, very often shamelessly plundering the kids goings on for material but I didn’t have the skill to really pull them off. I even drew the pictures for one, some are ok ish.
It wasn’t until ’06 when I did a creative writing evening class and found out that I could write longer stories, total fabrications not having to use family antics for inspiration. After a few more years on read, write and review sites like the BBC’s Get Writing, which evolved into WritersDock, and an MA later, I’m still on the journey.
I am still hopeless at punctuation, commas particularly. I’m weaning myself off exclamation marks (that’s been hard, they’re so friendly) but I do love ellipses…
I settle most happily into writing for the 8 to 12’s, probably nearer 12 than 8 but I occasionally have a go at short stories, a couple I’ve posted here.
I you feel moved to comment on any of these pages, I would be delighted.
No chocolates, coins or tickets to ride slip out of the random sockets on your machine but you may get a warm fuzzy feeling with the knowledge that you’ve brought a frisson of excitement to this poor woman’s otherwise bland day.
So to echo the wonderful Mrs Doyle in Father Ted “Ah go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on GO ON!”