Agent whirlwind

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 submission....blah blah.....not for us..... very subjective....wish you luck...etc.  This made me think that agents must be people sitting in ivory towers judging us poor authors harshly whilst they twirl around in glamorous literary sets lapping champagne and hob-nobbing with the great and goods.
This year I have been lucky enough (and tenacious enough) to meet a lot of agents and I have only met one I didn't like.  I won't give you a name but I will tell you that we had a one to one session which I had paid for as part of a festival and when we were talking about Zac Mac it became apparent that she was talking about somebody else's book.  Instead of putting her hands up and apologising she fluffed over the whole thing, the bell rang and that was my session over.  Money and opportunity down the drain,  
One bad egg, and yet I have met lots of others who are charming, lovely, generous people.  And guess what?  They genuinely want to love my writing as that is what makes then tick, finding new talent.
Lots of agents I have spoken to have come back with advice on improvements and I have put it all together to re-write Zac Mac.  The first three new and improved chapters are currently sitting with the six agents I think I would most like to work with (of which I have met five so that's not bad going!) as well as the lovely people at Nosy Crow, a children's publishing house whom I visited for a masterclass in children's writing.
I feel hopeful about my writing future.  Hopeful that one of those people will say 'Yippee, I love Zachary Mackerel, I love Kate Poels and I want them both.' But if not then I am hopeful because I am a better writer now and I think my new book (a Lassie meets Wonderwoman story.......) can only benefit from my literary injection.


 

Play Script Joy

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

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

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.

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.

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

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??

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

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

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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