Monday 27 July 2020

Do I dare to get hopeful?

I sent out several manuscripts for a writing competition back at the end of April.

I haven't been rejected yet.

I also sent out a submission to an open submission window in May and people have been getting rejected for that over the last week or so.

Not me though.

Dare I get hopeful that I've maybe made it through to the next round❓  That the open submission one will request a full manuscript and that the writing competition will consider me for the anthology❓  That maybe, just maybe, my writing and editing is good enough for serious consideration now, rather than be immediately rejected❓

I've come a loooong way... so do I dare to allow myself to dream of at least getting to the full request again❓❓

Please keep those fingers crossed 🤞 for me that things finally work in my favour.  I'm not gonna publish the names of either the writing competition or the publisher with the open submission window until they are finalised and the sucessful authors have been announced.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Book Review: Bea's Thanksgiving by A. White

⭐ out of 5

OK, before I even open the book I'm confused about two things - firstly why the editor is credited and secondly why there's such a huuuuge age range... 10-18 years old covers at least two age ranges of book - Middle Grade for the 10-12 year olds and Young Adult for the 13-18 year olds.  I'm also guessing that the book is either written in or set in America as British kids would barely have a clue Thanksgiving even existed, let alone why it is a holiday in America!

In under 10 pages I'm thinking it should be Young Adult because of several word choices that a 10 year old would never understand but the main character seems to be a lot younger than a teen, so maybe that's why the author gave such a huge age range for the target audience?  IMO it should either have easier words and be aimed at the younger end of the target audience or keep the words but significantly mature the main character.

The main character is 8-10 years old, so it's younger even than middle grade 'cos children prefer their characters to be a couple of years older than them, so it should be an early chapter book for 8-10 year olds, maximum... there's no way an 18 year old would read a book with a main character who is a decade *younger* than them!!

The end of page 11 and not a single word of speech so far... a child would definitely have stopped reading the book and closed it up, never to pick it up again by now, so the combination of all these things means the book already loses a star.

Sixteen pages into the book and there have been three thoughts but still no actual speech. It would be so easy to do with a bit of minor editing, but the author obviously decided against it, unfortunately.

A huge knocking off of a star because of the swearing!  Do you really want a 10 year old to ask how you pronounce and what a b***ard (my own stars in place of the full swear word in the book) is?

Finally!  Page 17 and we've finally got a small amount of speech!

Another swear word... f**k this time.  That's another star gone and we're not even through the first chapter yet!  If it was aimed at Young Adults then I would maybe have let them slip through, but there could be 10 year olds reading it and there's no way I would want them reading swearing like that in a book!

F**k has just been repeated in less than a paragraph.  If there's one more swear word then I'm stopping reading the book.

Three times in a paragraph.  That's it, the book is losing the final star and I'm not reading any more... I haven't got a clue how the book was published for such a huge age range and without even lesser swear words used.  The rest of the book may be better, but I'm stopping reading now and giving it a single star because I can't publish a review without a star rating.

Friday 3 July 2020

Book review: "Kat and Juju" by Kataneh Vahdani

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Immediate thoughts on the cover, really cute and deserves the five stars that every book I review starts off with, so far... I wonder if the author is also the illustrator though?

Lets get the book opened  ;-)

Oooh!  It *is* illustrated by the author, which is even better!

This is a great book... still a very well-deserved 5 stars and I'm already tempted to buy the hardcover version for one of my nephews!

The author has really got inside the head of young children who feel left outside of the popular crowd at playgroup/nursery/primary school and this is still a five star book, half way through... I've usually found something negative in a book by now, but this book is proving me wrong this time!

What a perfect ending, nothing negative or critical to say at all!  A very well deserved five stars and I'm gonna go and buy it for my nephew now... a must buy for any parent or carer or even childcare place with a child (or even several children) who feels very lost and alone and seems to be a lonely outsider!