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Still waiting

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, September 13, 2017,
Who said the world of publishing is slow?? Was it the snail or the sloth?  Having spent the last 6 years living and breathing the world of books I thought I had a pretty realistic grasp on the length of time it takes to get anything done.  I know how pressured everyone's time is, I know the phenomenally huge piles of work every agent and editor have.  Yet there is still a little (ok medium....fairly large if I'm honest) part of me that still nurses the bubble of impatience.
Jo and I went out o...
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Final push on the edits

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, May 18, 2017,
Since signing with the rather lovely Jo Moult I have been revisiting The Boy From The Cellar which has been lovely as it feels like seeing old friends again after a bit of a break.
Jo has made some suggestions which have all made the book a better beast.  We are now almost ready for it to be fledged and find it's way in the publishing world.  Then it will be fingers crossed all over again that one of the publishers who reads it thinks it is worth taking.
I am going to have to fill the next roun...
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Officially agented and officially OVER THE MOON!

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, March 1, 2017,
The title of this post about says it all really!! Last week I became an agented writer and am so very very excited!
Getting an agent has been something I have been trying to do for such a long time and now I can hardly believe it has finally happened!!!
I am utterly delighted to announce that I am now represented by Joanna Moult of Skylark Literary Agency.
🎉🎉🎉🎉 (this calls for my first ever emoji blog post!) 
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A Little Bit of Success

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, December 7, 2016,
A small foot note to the NaNoWriMo post.
I mentioned that I believe fate plays a hand in the things that happen in my life.  The chain of events that led me to completing MIMA MALONE AND THE MAD BAD INVENTOR were not planned by me.  I had expected to spend the whole of November writing my 1984 story but had to scoop up Mima when I realised the problem with re-imagining a story written less than 80 years ago.
I am so glad I did though as, not only did I have an absolute ball writing a story that...
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My NaNoWriMo experience

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, December 7, 2016,
November started for me with the NaNoWriMo writing challenge.  I decided to go for a story that had been knocking around in my head for a while, a re-imagining of George Orwell's 1984 for a modern MG audience.  Great, I thought.  The over use of screens for the modern child is current and the possibility of them being used by an evil force to control the kids in an Orwellian way might be quite an interesting concept.
I got a few thousand words in, planned the entire thing in more detail than I...
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NaNoWriMo

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, October 18, 2016,
What a title! To those of you who thought I had just sat on my keyboard, no..! NaNoWriMo is a real thing. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is a challenge that I have just signed up for!  It means that over the course of November I will come up with at least 50,000 words of a brilliant novel.  Only in first raw draft but complete and ready to edit and polish.
That is a lot of words!!
Just need to decide which story to write.  Wish me luck.
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The Federation of Children's Book Groups

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, June 8, 2016,
A couple of years ago I met a lady called Sarah Stuffins.  Sarah won't mind me saying (I hope) that she is a bit of a chidren's books nut......I think that is why we get on well!  Sarah is the chair of my local branch of the Federation of Children's Book Groups (FCBG) and has just handed over the role of National chair to another fantastic lady called Jane Etheridge.
And so my journey with the FCBG began.  To start with I joined as a family so that my girls would have the chance to vote for th...
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Total immersion in children's books

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, March 23, 2016,
I think that if it's possible to overdose on children's fiction then I am currently in a bit of danger.
Yesterday evening I was in London for the monthly book group held at Nosy Crow. It is brilliant being part of a group that only discusses children's books (and its held at the Crow's Nest which is always an exciting trip!)
Today I signed my children and I up for yet another talk at the Oxford Literary Festival in April.....that makes 4 talks now but when you get the chance to be creative with...
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New ventures

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, March 1, 2016,
Since my last post I have been spending rather a lot of time at my desk in the attic (which has luckily been converted into a bedroom for my smallest child with a tiny workroom as a bonus for me!)
I have finished my second book for mid grade children, aiming at an audience slightly older than Zachary Mackerel, around 9-12 years.
It is called Dog-Girl and tells the story of Lily Ritson, a twelve year old girl who discovers she not only has super powers but also the ability to morph into a border...
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Meeting the Children's Laureate

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, October 27, 2015,
It is half term and what better way to begin than by letting my two daughters take me to an author event at our local book shop.  A tiny book shop but my favourite, (Chapter 1 in Woodley if you fancy going along to say hi to Mary and John there.) A visit to a book shop is never a bad thing to do and can be a very happy way to spend an hour or so.  Yesterday Chapter 1 had an added attraction, not one literary hero in our household but two.  A F Harrold, poet, author and very funny entertainer ...
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Agent whirlwind

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, October 19, 2015,
You may have thought that I have been sitting at home twiddling my thumbs over the summer as my last blog post was back in June. Not so!! 
I have been busy meeting people left, right and centre in the hope of securing an agent to help take me to a main stream publisher.
I have found that agents are actually, on the whole, rather lovely.  When I submitted my adult stories to agents I sent cold submissions and my postbox was flooded with standard, two line rejection letters....thank you for your ...
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Play Script Joy

Posted by kate Poels on Sunday, June 14, 2015,
Last week I went to a Primary School to spend the day talking to children about creative writing.  This is always something I love as children's imaginations never fail to tickle me.  
This time though I had an extra treat as I was presented with a piece of homework that one little girl had done and wanted to share with me.  She had turned a scene from Zachary Mackerel into an amazing play script.  I hope she got top marks from her teacher, she absolutely deserved it!
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Writers and Artists

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, June 8, 2015,
Last Thursday was my birthday.  Usually for my gorgeous (but not always quite on the right track) husband that means raiding my card box and stopping off at Tesco on the way home from work for a box of chocolates.  This year though I took matters into my own hands and bought myself a day out on his behalf.  
And so it was that on Saturday I spent a very sunny time in the heart of British publishing, Bloomsbury.  The Writers and Artists' Yearbook is a volume that I buy religiously every year an...
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Family

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, June 2, 2015,
WARNING; vaguely slushy mushy blog post about preciousness of family.
You were warned, so if you are still reading then I have to assume the odd bit of smush doesn't bother you too much.
Whenever I give talks to schools about writing stories I always begin by asking the children to consider purpose. (If you are at Birch Copse Primary then you have until Tuesday to come up with some really good answers!) Part of the purpose of story writing has to be to entertain an audience, so for that you mus...
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Dragons in Reading.

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, May 5, 2015,
There are dragons flying around Reading at the moment.  Real dragons, who breathe fire and melt wheelie bins.  You thought it was just gangs of youths finding ways to amuse their tiny minds didn't you?  No, it is the dragons.  The terrible wind that is battering our fences and blowing over our trees at night at the moment.....dragons!  if you don't believe me then come along to St Laurence hall next Saturday (16th May) and prepare to be proven wrong!  
www.fcbg.org.uk/reading-childrens-book-gr...
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Children have pretty amazing thinker uppers.

Posted by kate Poels on Sunday, April 19, 2015,

Any time I can find a good reason to quote Dr Suess I generally like to take it and today was the real epitome of brilliant 'thinker-uppers.'  
I had the pleasure of sitting in the book tent at our local community fun day and talking to children about writing stories. They each had a very simple planning sheet to write on, scribble over, colour in, whatever they wanted to do under the headings; Crazy Characters, Super Settings and Priceless Plots.  
I am very glad to say that the bombardment of...
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Totally literary submergence

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, April 16, 2015,
What a week it has been, what an incredible, exciting, slightly surreal week.  I feel as though I have been swimming on a tide of children's literature since Friday when I jumped into the FCBG's annual conference feet first. If someone was to draw a cartoon of my world at this precise moment it would show a large pool of books with me in the middle wearing one of those 1950's flowery bathing caps with a chin strap trying to master the back stroke.  
In the past week I have talked books with Ka...
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To make up or not to make up??

Posted by kate Poels on Saturday, April 11, 2015,
Whilst on my way up to Lincs yesterday for the children's book conference I had a text from nature (she too has updated and finds this easier than calling as she used to) which meant I had to find a service station.  Right by the entrance to the coffee shop that I hadn't intended to visit but I swear had some sort of alien trapping device set on max power pulling my flip flops and hence their owner towards it, was a make up selling team.  When I say team what I really mean is force of the dev...
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Book conference excitement

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, April 9, 2015,
Not 3 words that go together to float everyone's canoes but for me the thought of a weekend in a hotel being entertained by some pretty marvellous names in the world of children's books sends shivers down my spine....or maybe that's the ice cream I just ate. Either way I am thoroughly looking forward to the Federation of Children's Book Groups' annual conference starting tomorrow. 
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Broken arm

Posted by kate Poels on Sunday, March 15, 2015,
Just as I need to be firing on all cylinders I go and trip over in the school playground and break my elbow.  Who knew elbows were so important for so many things? I knew I needed two hands to do some things but I was glibly unaware of exactly how much.  For the last week and a half I have been as useless as a lawnmower made from jelly.  I can't cut up my own food or brush my own hair and my wonderful Mum had to come and stay just so that my family could eat more than just scampi and chips.
Th...
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school visits and agents

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, February 26, 2015,
I am really excited about next week for two reasons.  To celebrate World Book Day I am going to be visiting three local schools to talk to the children about different ways they could start scribbling a story.  I love these sessions as I'm never completely sure where the children's imaginations will take us.  The last time I did an author talk was before Christmas so it's been a while and I have missed it.  Instead I have been using my spare time to polish my submission package.  This is the ...
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World Book Day

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, February 26, 2015,
Next Thursday is World Book Day in the UK.  Unfortunately our school is not dressing up this year, much to the disappointment of my daughters who had already chosen to be Pippi Longstocking and Matilda with costumes at the ready. Oh well, they can don there lovely outfits when they get home and we can have our own book celebration.

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Breaking News!!

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, February 3, 2015,
I have decided on a title for the second book in the Zachary Mackerel series.  It is going to called 'The Battle of the Genies' and brings us back into the lives of Maisie and Zachary along with some other friends from the first book.  We also meet some, well lets just call them interesting for now, new faces including, as the name not so subtly suggests, a second genie...and this one is even more repugnant than our little purple friend.  I am well on the way with the first draft and am worki...
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Happy New Year. Here's to 2015.

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, January 6, 2015,
I enjoyed 2014 immensely so it is with a little sadness that I leave it behind me and step into the unknown 2015.  I can't get used to it, this morning I signed a cheque for my daughter's school and put 2014 at the top.  But 2015 it is and 2015 it will be until I am used to signing the correct date and then 2016 will sneak up and bite me.
So, as its here, I am going to embrace the fresh start and hope that it is a jolly good one for everyone who is reading this.  For me I am hoping for family ...
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School visits

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, December 11, 2014,
This term I have been very busy visiting schools, libraries and drama groups.  I have met so many wonderful children and am being constantly amazed at the brilliance of their imaginations.  The very best feeling in the world is to receive e-mails from children who have been inspired to do their own writing.  One lovely school is blogging about their writing and the quality is really something to be proud of.  We truly are bringing up a generation of aspiring writers, already authors in their ...
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NZ play

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, December 4, 2014,
I have just heard that a group of school children in New Zealand have turned Zachary Mackerel into a play.  If only they weren't half way around the world!  That is something I would truly love to watch.  If you are part of that group and fancy e-mailing me a video that would be brilliant!
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Faulty Hardback re-call

Posted by kate Poels on Saturday, November 29, 2014,
If you have been utterly gorgeous and bought a hardback copy of Zachary Mackerel then please check to see if page 74 is present and correct.  We have just discovered that a batch of faulty books has been sent out with a page missing. The printers are re-printing so if you contact me to let me know we can organise an exchange.  I am really sorry for the hiccough and will fix as soon as I can. 
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On the social media track

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, November 26, 2014,
I am an author.  I write books and that is what I am good at.  However I have been learning over the past few years, especially since the publication of Zac Mac, that I am having to be a businesswoman as well. That is not what I am good at. In fact I am completely lost in the big wide world of real life which is probably why I immerse myself in my made up worlds where the characters do what I tell them to!
With that in mind I decided to take the bull by the horns and go on a social media cours...
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What a lot of lovely people there really are,...all around!

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, October 15, 2014,
Since term began again in September, Zachary Mackerel and I have been spreading our wings.  I have been to several absolutely brilliant schools (and one less than lovely school but I am choosing to block that from my mind!)  and have met a huge amount of interesting people.  I am find it truly humbling how generous people can be, so humbling in fact that I am turning into a Santa's sack full of gushing cliches.   
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Wheeeeee!!!

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, September 3, 2014,
I have a book....and it is really made from paper....with a lovely shiny cover....and my name is there, right there on the front cover!!  
It has been a very long process and has taken an immense amount of time and energy but I am thrilled with the end product.  Now the really hard job begins. The big promotion push.  I am useless at telling anyone other than my husband how great I am.  I am more of the; 'Read my book, but only if you want to, in fact I think you might prefer a good Jaqueline ...
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Nearly there

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, June 26, 2014,
Well it is all very exciting in the land of Zachary Mackerel.  We've made the final edit and the cover design is almost finished too.  Zac and I now have a publication date and it is only a month away.  1st August should see the purple one hit the bookshelves.....with my name sitting at the bottom.  Excuse me for a minute (wooooo hooooo!!) that's better. 
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Big Smoke

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, June 3, 2014,
I went into the smoky city today to meet Jag, my cover designer.  What a talented feller!! We spent a very productive couple of hours going through ideas and putting some initial designs together.  My terribly mediocre sketches came to life when Jag picked up a pencil and did a few quick squiggles.  Very much looking forward to showing you the finished article when it is ready.
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Jogging along nicely

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, May 27, 2014,
I am having a wonderful time working on Zac Mac.  It has become a whole family affair with Lily giving her advice on heading fonts and Mum and Dad proving to be a lot better than the on line thesaurus for the words editor Ian doesn't like.  
Next week I am zooming up to London to meet with Jag, the cover designer, which I am very much looking forward to.  Each day is another step closer to the first edition. (And then the hard work REALLY begins!) 

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Change of plan.

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, May 20, 2014,
I try to make my mind up and stick to a plan without being too fickle but in this instance I have u-turned completely due to a rather lovely change of circumstances.  I have been really lucky to find someone who believes in Zachary Mackerel enough to fund his publication without any pre-orders, so this is the path that Zac and I are now treading.
It is both hugely exciting and a tiny bit scary to think that I will finally have my name on the front cover of a real paper paged book.  I am now in...

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Very exciting news (well for me anyway)

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, April 29, 2014,
I am getting used to hearing the big N.O from publishers and agents so it was very lovely to finally get a 'we love it hooray!' for a change. It's not the traditional route to paper publishingdom but there is now a chance that Zachary Mackerel will find his way onto bookshelves at some point this year.  
Before that happens I have got a lot of hard work to do as the publicity is mostly down to me. If I persuade 250 or more people that they are going to love my story enough to pre-order their v...

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Blog Gremlins

Posted by kate Poels on Friday, April 18, 2014,
For some reason my blog has been attacked by cyber gremlins.  I have been trying to post here all week with no luck. Lots of messages telling me that the the web page couldn't be found.....even though the message was typed in the text box on the very page it couldn't find.  The most I managed, as you can see, was a title with nothing else to follow.
I have taken all pocket money rights away from the computer for such teenaged pranks (it is now 4 1/2 years old which I think is late puberty for ...
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Well I did warn you!

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, April 15, 2014,

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Guess who's back......

Posted by kate Poels on Saturday, August 31, 2013,

Well, it has been a while hasn't it.  I have had a very busy year and somehow it has disappeared without much going on here on the website.  I am really sorry about that, and in advance I am sorry if it takes a further few months before the next posting.  I have a new attic with a bedroom for my tiniest daughter and a little extra space that I have claimed as my workroom. It is in need of the special touches which has given me a super project. I am in the process of learning to stain glass wh...


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At last!!

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, August 1, 2012,
"About bloody time!" I hear you cry.  There have been many hiccoughs along the way this time but it's finally published.  So now you can find out if Alice and Ben make it down the aisle!
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A finished book!

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, July 16, 2012,

A huge apology to everyone who has been patiently waiting for the sequel to 'Isn't Life Strange?'
The good news is that 'Isn't Life Good?' is finished and in the final stages of editing so it should be ready for you very soon.  The artwork is being done too so I am aiming to have it on Kindle by the middle of August.
I have been bitten by the Authonomy bug and have spent a lot of my writing time on there which is why it has taken me much longer to write my own book than I had hoped.
If you haven...


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Wow, where did that month go?

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, June 14, 2012,

A moment ago I was welcoming May and the promise of summer , warmth and open doors.  Well May came and went and I had to get our winter coats back out and buy new umbrellas.  The beginning of June saw the Queen's jubilee and our street came out in force, shutting the road (legally I assure you) and planning a grand knees up.  My new friend Kajsa, whom I have been living a few doors away from for years but only met during the planning stages of the party, and I sewed over 300 metres of fabric ...


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What Not To Wear.

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, April 12, 2012,
I am a mixed bag when it comes to clothing.  I profess to not caring what I wear but if that were totally true then I would surely not have such an over-stuffed wardrobe.  It is true that I don't spend ages choosing what to wear in the morning, nor for that matter in the evening but I do love shopping especially for a bargain and I am a terrible textile hoarder.  Put all of that together and I am pretty sure that I must look like a charity shop reject most days.  For example today I am wearin...
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Easter Egg Extravaganza

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, April 3, 2012,
I needed a couple of hours to myself so I decided to do the unthinkable and use a DVD as a babysitter.  I am meant to be trying to DIY an access hatch into the boxing around the gas outlet pipework.  Why do I have to do this?  Apparently it was was all absolutely fine the last time the gas man checked but there have been new regulations brought in by those people who sit in offices thinking these things up.  My boiler now has a great yellow sticker slapped on to tell us that it is unsafe and ...
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On a role!

Posted by kate Poels on Friday, March 16, 2012,

My little fingers are happy to be speed typing once more as I have regained my writing mojo!  I have written more in the past two weeks than I have for the rest of the year so far and I am loving it.  I do need some new music to listen to though as I am a bit sick of the old writing tunes!  Only stipulation is that it has to be lyricless or else I find myself singing along and then typing the lyrics instead of what I intended to write!  Any suggestions very welcome.


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Twitter???!!!???

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, March 12, 2012,
So Twitter.  What do I make of you?  I think that in all honesty I might hate you, and yet I have found that my twitchy fingers can't help loggin on pretty much any time that I get my phone out.  It used to be checking my e-mails once or twice a day, but now its e-mails (on two different accounts), Facebook and Twitter.  That annoyingly addictive thing that I swore I would never get involved in and yet here I am twittering (although I have now learned that it is actually called tweeting) on a...
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Spring is not to be.

Posted by kate Poels on Saturday, March 3, 2012,

Alice was very forthcoming when I was writing book 1.  I had bags of motivation just thinking about the fact that I could publish it and get it seen.  I loved seeing her on the Kindle and knowing that people were reading about her nutty life.  Being me I got caught up in the whole thing and decided to try my luck with the agents.  Hearing the plop of rejection as replies fall through my letter box has been a big motivation killer and I am deflated after hearing ....not for us....not taking on...


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Pensioner Fury

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, February 21, 2012,
I thought that pensioners were supposed to have lived through their wrath, used up all their aggression and come to a warm and fuzzy realisation that there is no point in getting worked up about things that really don't matter.  Stress can only encourage high blood pressure and speed their ticking clocks so I thought that most preferred to sit under crocheted rugs whilst they knit another for their neighbour.  In my experience people in the over eighty category are usually the ones most likel...
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ten thousand words

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, February 2, 2012,
I have to admit that the second book in the Alice Templeton series has been a bit slow off the mark.  I blamed Christmas, New Year, flu, slogging the promotion of the first book, anything to stop me feeling guilty that it took virtually as long to complete the first chapter as it did to write most of the first draft of 'Isn't Life Strange.'  No more excuses, on with the show!!  Writers block has thankfully gone and I have caught the writing bug again.....thank goodness.   Ten thousand words d...
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Agent hunt - and it isn't pretty!

Posted by kate Poels on Sunday, January 15, 2012,

Every evening this week I have been very busy going on the hunt.  I didn't need a shot gun and a beater (although the hip flask was useful) and neither have I joined the ranks of Edward and Bella Cullen (If you are not acquainted with the world of the Twilight Saga then you will have to Google to find out why they hunt in the evenings.)  My hunt has been for someone to help me see my books on the bookshelves of every house in the English speaking world.  Actually I'd be quite happy with enoug...


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Happy New Year, lets make some resolutions

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, January 4, 2012,
Well 2012 is here, the year of the Olympics in London, America will go through another election (and we will have months of watching the campaigning on the news), the Queen will have sat on the throne for sixty years - wow - and my youngest begins the road to needing me longer by starting pre-school.  What will I be doing?  Well I am keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed for some success in paper print.  Failing that I will be happy to just survive the year with no more grey ha...
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Chapter 1 ready for you

Posted by kate Poels on Wednesday, December 21, 2011,

As promised I have the first chapter of the second book 'Isn't Life Good, The World of Weddings According to Alice Templeton' ready for you to have a squiz at.  I hope that you enjoy it and it leaves you wanting more.  I will keep you posted on the book's progress and hope that it will all be dusted and ready to go in the Spring.  Have a very Happy Christmas and New Year.


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Porsche v Volvo??

Posted by kate Poels on Thursday, December 15, 2011,

What is the main difference between a Porsche driver and a Volvo driver??  Manners!  I was patiently waiting at a junction where two lanes of traffic merge to one today.  You know how it is supposed to go...one from the left, one from the right, and so on.  Well when it came to my turn to merge (by the way I love that word!) this idiot of a Porsche driver (who was fat, balding and old...so obviously the Porsche was a substitute) glared at me whilst gripping his steering wheel far too tightly ...


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Christmas Block

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, November 29, 2011,
I have realised that the Christmas run up with small children is definitely not conducive to writing.  I am busy during the days and exhausted by the time they go to bed.....and it's only Nov 29th.  What will it be like by December 25th?  I promise that the first chapter will be edited and on the website by then, but I am thinking that not much more will be finished before January.  On the flip side of the writing coin, the dark cold evenings beckoning in the new year will be perfect....nothi...
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The Good, The Bad and the ???

Posted by kate Poels on Tuesday, November 22, 2011,
The Good - Have almost finished chapter 1 of Isn't Life Good
The Bad - Am now out every evening for the rest of the week leaving my poor husband, Will, to babysit
The ??? - What will I be like in the morning after a glass of wine with the girls tonight???

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New book underway

Posted by kate Poels on Friday, November 18, 2011,
I have the skeleton of the first few chapters finally drafted after an evening locked away from reality and plugged into my far too loud II-pod.  Page 1 written, am hoping chapter 1 will be more than notes by the end of the weekend.....here  we go!!!!!
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Ho hum, back to the drawing board

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, November 14, 2011,

I have just spent the best part of two hours going thorugh a a brilliant website so that I can self publish a print version of Isn't Life Strange.  All brilliant, set to go and very excited.  They wait until the very last page of the enormous document that I had to read before I could go any further before they hit me with the costs.  Four THOUSAND pounds!!! I swore just once, closed my eyes and breathed deeply before hitting the delete button perhaps a little too hard and delving further int...


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Virginal Blogger

Posted by kate Poels on Sunday, November 13, 2011,

To be honest before I began this whirlwind ride through the technological world of building a website, Twitter and Kindle publishing I didn't know what Blogging was.  When my husband suggested that I try a spot of blogging I hit him hard with my rolled up copy of the Financial Times (Okay so it was Hello magazine but don't tell anyone.)  Once he had explained that it wasn't a code for something that I would most definitley not partake in but that I was thinking of dogging, I decided to give i...


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