Sunday 30 August 2020

Just subbed to an open submission window

 Firefly Press are holding two very short open submission windows today for "diverse and LGBTQ+ authors, as well as authors with a disability" and tomorrow for all other children's authors.


My members found out about this window as soon as I did, so have had time to prepare in advance... maybe you would like to become a member too, so that you've got more time to prepare next time 😉

Friday 21 August 2020

Book Review: "Celdric Kane: The Unwished" by Nina Mofme

⭐⭐ out of 5

In the prologue the character is only 11 so a 13 year old wouldn't read any further... I'm wondering, already, if the author knows and appreciates that children don't want to read about characters that are younger than they are.  I hope the rest of the book is better than it's started!

There have been several bits that don't make sense, purely because of single word choices... "involuntary" instead of "involuntarily" in chapter 8 for example and "won't ever hands over" at the start of chapter 9.  Things like that are making me wonder about knocking off a star... gonna give it a bit longer first though, in case they are genuine mistakes that should have been picked up before it was published.

That's the star gone at the start of chapter 10 "I cannot do anything except waiting"

I've read four pages since knocking off that first star and it reads like the author has given up with using the right tenses appropriately.

Page 27 has soo many errors that the second star is coming off, unfortunately.

A page later and the errors are still there... it's like the author only edited the first three chapters in the hope of getting published, then slowly gave up so that by chapter eight we are reading the first draft instead of the polished story that it should be.

I've skipped ahead to chapter 26 now... it's just such a dull and boring book, sorry.  Keep your fingers crossed that things have picked up in the chapters I've skipped and that it's a better story now.

The author really doesn't understand the audience they are writing for... an 11 year old would never understand what "disquietude" meant for example.

I give up.  There are too many errors, it's boring, too many characters without any kind of personality... there are too many mistakes and I'm not gonna read any further.  A child might enjoy it more, but the author really doesn't understand who they are writing for and hasn't got into the heads of their characters so children don't stand a chance.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

That's 3 agents queried for the first time this year

That competition news was the boost I needed to get my querying head on again, for the first time this year.


I'm feeling really proud and even slightly confident now... I can so do this, 2020 will be my year!



I was wrong about the short story competition yesterday... the majority of the short stories really were rejected but one of them was good enough to be a runner up in that same competition❗❗❗ 😂  My first ever attempts at short stories and one of them was considered good enough to be a runner up❗

I'll have to re-read the email several times before it finally hits that one of my stories was considered good enough to be published in an anthology 😆

I'm gonna submit to agents now with slightly more confidence than I had 15 minutes ago❗  I really can write stories for children and I really do stand a chance of getting my longer manuscripts published now.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Feedback from the short story competition

Just heard back about the stories I submitted to a competition.  None of them were shortlisted but I've got some brilliant feedback to work on and a couple of potential novels in the making instead of short stories.

I can soooo do this, if I take the feedback on board and work with it instead of just leaving it and forgetting about it!

Thursday 6 August 2020

Book Review: "The Witches of Vegas" by Mark Rosendorf

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

I'm really enjoying this book so far. I didn't think I would initially, but the author is really into his stride now and I don't know where the last several hours of my life have disappeared to!

You can tell it's a good read when there's only one paragraph and I've only got 84 pages left to read!  This is a truly amazing book that's a must-read for every teen!

Wowzers!  What an awesome end to the story and an incredible way to spend today!  Thank you for sharing your awesome story with me, Mark Rosendorf!  I wish you amazingly well deserved praise and recognition for this book!

Monday 3 August 2020

Book Review: "In Power And Knowledge" by Joe Lemaiyan

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

OK, first off, this isn't a novel 'cos it's only got 73 pages and the author says it's for Young Adults, so it's less than a quarter of the length of a fantasy novel, so I'm guessing it was self-published.  It also says that it's Book 1 so I'm thinking it would have been better to put the other books together with this one to make it into a longer piece of fiction instead of multiple shorter novellas.

Just finished chapter 1 and there wasn't a single word of speech throughout it.  If it's the same in chapter 2 then I'll be reluctantly knocking a star off.

Yay, we have a sentence of speech, so the book is keeping its five stars so far!

We're back to no speech again now... it's a very 'telling' and very little 'showing' book unfortunately.  If chapter 4 has such a small amount of speech then the star is still coming off... four stars is better than a single star though  ;-)

Chapter 4 has a small amount of speech, so maybe the author is only putting it in every other chapter for some reason?

Each chapter is incredibly short... usually only a couple of pages long - that's not industry standard for a YA novel either!

There's been a small smattering of speech, but nowhere near enough so the first star is coming off, unfortunately.

Oh!  The book finished just as it was getting going!  It's been a good read, just needs to be a lot longer and with oneheckuva lot more speech - if it had both those things it would have been a well-deserved five stars from me!

Saturday 1 August 2020

Book Review: "Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten" by Laura Purdie Salas

⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

The author has tried her best, but she's used language that would confuse a young child and might even make them feel worse.  The only redeeming feature is the illustrations!

You will need to help the child understand every page, unfortunately.  It has potential, but right now it's very much a disappointment.