Have Fun Writing for Children – Guest Post By Darlene Foster

If you like children and are quite childish, something I´ve often been accused of, then writing for children may seem easy and natural.

I began my love affair with words many years ago. Some of my fondest memories are being read to as a child, visiting the library, and discovering the ability to read by myself. I still have worn copies of favourite childhood books, such as The Bobbsey Twins, Little Women, Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables; and revisit these old friends from time to time. Books and children go together like toast and jam. Recently, one seven-year-old friend said to me, “Who doesn´t like books?” I never show up without books as gifts for my grandchildren. I am known as The Book Grandma.

It´s not surprising that I love writing stories for children.

While writing for children can be fun, it isn´t easy. It requires removing yourself from the adult world and thinking like a twenty-first-century kid (unless you’re writing a historical novel, then a kid from whatever century you are writing about). Fortunately, I like to hang out with kids, listen to the words they use, observe the gestures, the looks, the trends. I also enjoy reading children’s books to see what sparks the interest of today’s young people. Children notice things adults don’t and could care less about things adults think are important. It’s necessary to get into their headspace. And guess what? While I’m writing, I get to be a kid again – and what could be more fun!

Here are a few tips, based on what I’ve learned after writing eight middle-grade books.

  1. Kids like strong main characters, role models. Characters willing to take risks and sometimes mess up, but coming out on top in the end. Keep in mind the characters you liked as a child.
  2. Young people often act childish, but they can also be very mature, especially under pressure.
  3. The hero/heroine can possess extraordinary skills, but they still need to be real so readers can identify with them.
  4. Dialogue moves the story along, breaks up description and gets the reader to know characters better. Each character needs his/her own voice.
  5. Show emotion, don’t tell. This is true in all writing but especially when writing for kids. Instead of writing Jane was homesick, how about, Jane spent a lot of time looking at pictures of her family, often bursting into tears.
  6. Listen to kids talk so you get the lingo right. They are not teenagers so they won’t talk like them, not yet. They often parrot their parents and other adults around them.
  7. Watch movies and TV shows with kids in them, observe how they act and talk.
  8. Be aware that kids speak differently in different parts of the country, and the world.
  9. If you aren’t sure about something, ask a kid. I do this all the time. In fact, I have a street team of young readers from age 7 to 12. They are so helpful. Don’t ask a parent, they are the last to know how their kids talk or act!
  10. Kids are always giving me ideas. I keep a notebook and write down things they say and do, often incorporating these in my stories. They can be so clever too. Often wise beyond their years.

Writing for children is important because I want children to develop the same love of books I had as a child. A love that doesn’t fade with time. Children’s books create lifelong readers; readers who eventually buy adult books.

So if you have been thinking of writing for children, give it a try. Have fun and let yourself be a kid again!

 Thanks, Aurora, for the opportunity to talk about something I’m passionate about. If anyone has questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments.


About Darlene:

Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.

 Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Her books include Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021. 


Connect with Darlene:

website http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/darlenefoster
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/


 

Author Spotlight – Steve Anderson

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

I’m Steve Anderson, a ten year veteran of the US Navy, a world traveler, and lately, a teller of tales.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

At age twelve, my father gave me a manual typewriter.  I wrote my first fantasy story with it to go with a map I had drawn of a magical world.  I wrote on and off while on active duty, and as a personal past time after leaving the service, but I didn’t get serious about writing until 2017.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

The sheer joy of creating a compelling story.  Having an immersive world is nice for the reader to escape their daily life.  Connecting to characters, living through their struggles, and their victories reaches deeper into what makes us human than escapism in general.  I like to provide both.

 

 3. What genre do you write in, and what made you chose this particular genre?

Both Science Fiction and Fantasy, but my focus for the past year has been exclusively Fantasy.  Specifically, the contemporary fantasy world I’ve been building.

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

It may sound anachronistic, but I want to spread hope.  My stories involve perseverance despite overwhelming odds.  My protagonists exude hope the way Lady Liberty holds her torch.  I’d like my writing to reach a broad audience, but mostly, I just want to share my stories with like-minded readers who seek a little bit of awe and wonder in their reading.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block, and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block.  I can always write; it may not always be great and may throw a night’s work away after I’m done.  I still believe it’s essential for this author to write every day.  I wrote over a million words in the past two years because I believe that a writer’s job is to write.  When I got serious about the novel I wrote I finished it in five weeks.  For me, writer’s block is a sign that I’m struggling to overcome how to present an idea or a scene in a story, not that I can’t write at all.

  

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? Write.  Don’t focus on craft to the exclusion of your voice.  If you write enough, your voice will come through, and you can learn the craft as you go.  The most important thing is to put words on the page.  You can make them pretty, or horrifying, or technically correct after they are out, but until then, they are just ideas in your mind.  The world needs to hear those ideas, and you alone hold the key to their freedom.

  

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

My work is expansive.  I have six short stories set in the same world as my first novel, Fantastic America.  The premise is that magic has always existed, but was largely absent throughout recorded human history.  It came back on December 21st, 2012.  The world didn’t end, but it changed forever.

Fantastic America looks at how people react to the return of magic, through the lens of a reporter caught up in those changes.  She doesn’t believe everything about magic is evil, despite prevailing wisdom to the contrary.  Her antagonist is a federal agent willing to do anything to prevent the miracles, monsters, and magic representing those changes from tearing apart the world he knew before the solstice.  He’s like a modern-day little Dutch boy trying to hold back the ocean with his finger.  What neither of them know, is that a dark and deranged killer has learned to harness magic to unleash a killing spree that will affect both of them and the world at large.

That’s just the first book.  It gets weirder from there!

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Steve’s Books:

 


Meet the Author:

I’m originally from Raleigh, NC, but now live in Ottumwa, Iowa.  I’ve traveled all over the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  My hobbies include sharing drinks and good food with friends, gaming, studying history, and collecting comic books since age five.  I’ve been a sailor, a security guard, a tax preparer, an insurance salesman, a telemarketer, a DJ, and a bar manager.  Traveling and doing, I’ve seen a lot and love telling stories, some true, some not.  Which is which?  You decide!


Connect with the Author:

www.renegade-galaxy.com  And soon: www.thesorcerersrealm.com

https://www.facebook.com/ReneGalaxy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-anderson-1b371810/

https://www.pinterest.com/sea52501/

So, I have some good news! – Written By Kawanee Hamilton

Author Kawanee Hamilton reports that her writing is progressing. I cannot wait to start reading her work. She’s a wonderful writer and just recently picked up her work again. Way to go, lady!


It’s been a long time coming, but I FINALLY finished editing my Paranormal Romance called Nwa Pante Rising… (I’m not married to this title, so if anyone has suggestions, I am open to them.)

Nwa Pante is Mayan for Black Panther, the book is sprinkled with phrases from the Mayan and Lakota languages. It has a little bit of everything; magic, science, romance, sex (I mean when a were-panther goes into heat, it’s gonna happen. If this offends you… please don’t bother reading it.) there’s kidnapping, torture, murder, mystery and yeah, scifi as well. 🙂 As usual, the book is written with my weird sense of humor, and our heroine has a bit of it.

Continue Reading Here

I’m The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Featured Author Today

Lately, I was interviewed for the website of the Paranormal Romance Guild and was informed that the interview would be on the website today. Thank you very much for the great feature, Paranormal Romance Guild! I’m very excited!


Interview with AJ Alexander
by Sherry Perkins

AJ Alexander — author, poet, lover of Maine coon cats. Don’t know what a Maine coon cat is? It’s a ball of fur with attitude. But I digress…I met AJ through the Paranormal Romance Guild and an incidental Facebook encounter where she was holding the Halloween poetry contest she sponsors every year. She was looking for contest judges. I volunteered.
To be honest, I’d also been following her blog, “Writer’s Treasure Chest,” for quite a while as well. AJ’s blogs are filled with goodies such as writing and marketing advice, the occasional bit of comedic relief and even pictures of Maine coon cats. But more than that, she’s a writer who loves what she does — whether it’s novellas, poetry or paranormal romance and fantasy — and it shows.

She took a minute away from promoting her newest book, “Demon Tracker,” to answer a few questions.

1. Short stories, poetry, and novels–which is your favorite to write, and why?

I love writing novels (and novellas, in my case), and also, I write poetry, some of which I published on my blog “Writer’s Treasure Chest.” I enjoy the flow of the words and the rhymes when I write poetry. I could get carried away within the verses. The novel writing is my true passion. I have a straight plot; then I start knitting the “side-stories,” put my pen on the paper and start writing. Often there is even another one or two more side stories or unexpected characters coming up. I love the creating of worlds, weaving my imagination with the characters, and see how they develop.
All this is rarely possible with short stories. I’m not saying they’re a terrible thing, but they need a lot of planning to get one entire story inside of around 7,500 words. I love it to be carried away by the story, and it is almost a punishment to limit my fantasy into a word-frame.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Book Marketing during Covid-19 – Written By Tim Grahl

This might be an article that interests many of us. Thank you for featuring that sensitive subject, Tim!


on Book Launch:

Over the last few days, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about what to do with book marketing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve got all this time, what should I do with it?

Is it rude to try to market right now?

Am I going to annoy people if I do outreach?

In this article, I’m going to walk you through do’s and don’ts of how to put a book marketing silver lining around this world crisis.

Continue reading HERE

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

On this day, today, as a writer, I’m happy for many things and accomplishments:

Two published books

plenty of paper

useful pens

a working computer

a new printer

the time and chance to write

the God given talent to be a wirter

ideas for stories, posts, and books

– and last, but not least –

YOU – Followers, Friends, and Readers

Picture couresty of Google.com

*********************************************************************

I wish you and your family, an enjoyable and blessed:

Picture courtesy of happythanksgivingpictures.com

 

Can You Sell Books On Amazon That Have No Words? – Written By Derek Haynes

Derek Haines teaches us about selling books on Amazon. Thanks so much for another one of your valuable lessons. I very much appreciate your educational posts, and I’m sure not the only one, Derek. Thank you!


Selling books on Amazon is a tough business

If you are a self-publishing author, it is easy to forget that Amazon sells a lot of products apart from books.

Listing your books for sale is only a tiny part of what Amazon sells. It sells everything from home-delivered groceries to complex security installations.

But can you imagine that there is a lucrative market for wordless books?

Well, in fact, a wordless picture book can earn far more than you are earning for your fiction book of 100,000 words.

Continue reading HERE

Making a Comeback – Written By Don Massenzio

Welcome back to the writing and blogging world, Don Massenzio!! You were sorely missed!!

Author Don Massenzio

Well, it’s been a while. I used to be a fairly active blogger and writer and, frankly, I’ve missed it.

It’s been months since I’ve made an original post. My job has been very intense and it prevented me from being the blogger and writer that I wanted to be.

What I’ve decided to do is to make a gradual comeback. I’ve got some announcements about audio books that are now available and upcoming writing ventures that I want to share.

I also miss reading some of my favorite blogs and passing them on to my followers.

I might not post every day, or every week for that matter, but i will be on here and I will be reading and sharing select blog posts when I can.

I hope all of you are doing well and I’m looking forward to some interaction, no matter how intermittent.

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Author Spotlight – Raymond Walker

Hello, please introduce yourself.

Hi, My name is Raymond Walker and I am a writer. I write under a few aliases as well as my own name so some of you may know me as “Ray T Walker”, Maeve O’Connell, Robert Anderson, June Rutherford and Elijah Plane but most of my books are written under my own name; Raymond Walker.

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing, way back in the mists of time, the seventies, little more than a child, I was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere and there was little to do other than work study and read. A village lay close by; Peninver (Pro peneever) and it was there I attended school. As is the case with most writers they were raised a reader. I started reading for myself at a rather young age but no more so than many others. I was no savant, rather just a young boy with little other to do than read.
I remember reading Alan Garner’s, “Weirdstone of Brisingammen, Jack London’s “Call of the wild” and White Fang” My very first of the, sagas, “Njals saga”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Watership down” when I was barely into double figures.

I started writing in my teens but most of the tales told were not worthy of notice. A country boy from a farm in the middle of nowhere, I had to travel across the country to College and ended up in the capital. Beautiful, filled with history, the site of the new renaissance, the Athens of the North, I was only Fifteen when I picked up sticks and headed east. University took up some time, but I think that I learned more from the people and streets of Edinburgh than I did from my tutors. I was studying Polymer Process Technology under some of the luminaries of the age but the ancient hoariness, the Gothic spires and dreadful history of Scotland’s capital seeped into my lonely country bones. Already imbued with a taste for the “Horror” story, the dark and unusual, the environment, the dark wynds, the overwhelming mystery, could not help but fuel my taste for the macabre.

I qualified with no problem but was disappointed with the course even as I was studying it. Science was never to be for me I thought at the time.
Whilst in Edinburgh I found “The Science Fiction bookshop” and met some cool people and through them I started working for the magazine “Uncanny Tales” part time, whilst still studying Polymer process technology and later, Mechanical engineering.

My first published story “A Shiver” appeared in “Astounding stories, Amazing Tales” and “Wondrous Tales” in 1980. In 82’ “Nut Brown Eyes” was published as a novella and serialized in “Uncanny Tales”. A version of the same tale appeared later in the noted mystery magazine; “Tales of mystery and imagination”. I wrote for many mag’s at the time and was regularly published but only earned a little. Married, and then with children I put writing aside and looked to earn a living and so entered the business world. The less said about that the better.

2. What motivates you to write?

I have very little motivation to write. I enjoy the creation of something new and original but have not the impetus of those wishing to “make it” or “write the great novel” rather I just like telling a good tale that others appreciate. Generally I write because it is in my nature to do so. (be glad of a short answer) The idea sits in my head, it hatches and I try to write it. Sometimes that is easily done, at others it is a dreadful misery and I do not get it right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am never drawn to genres, I always think; that is to my detriment. My very first novel, as you may expect, was a tale of the unexpected. “Nut Brown Eyes” a narrative tale set around the wild woods of Northern Scotland. My Second “My Peculiar Guinevere” a fantastical historical piece done in snippets of each of the characters lives. I have written historical fact, historical fiction, fantasy, contemporary romance, faerie tales, generic fantasy, Ghost stories, Science fiction, horror and even political comment over the years. Genre matters little to me. I always think that a good story will be a good story wither it is of birds in the sky or dragons in the mist. I have never found a genre I do not enjoy reading in.

There are some genres I prefer more than others, as Is the case with all readers but I have read fantasy that has fascinated me, Erotica, that has aroused me, Science fiction that sent me in deep stasis, thinking, others that have bid me soar.
Crime fiction that has assaulted my senses, Philosophy that has made me understand a little more of what I am and so on. I shall pause there, I may be assaulting your senses and ability to be bothered listening to me for much longer. Lol- but I have much more to say. I shall just finish his by saying that there is little difference between Hard Sci-fi and a bodice ripper. The good writer will tell the tale well no matter what it is; the bad……..

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Many of my peers have ambitions. once I also had the same dream, the great writer, the bestseller, the Nobel prize (lol), writing the perfect novel. To be honest, I am aware of my abilities, I am a good writer (not great) many enjoy my tales, and hopefully always will. I look to make each one better than the one before. I sell a few books here and there. I no longer look forward to the bestseller, the great book. I keep writing because it is now a habit like smoking or drinking, it courses through my blood and I suspect that it will until my blood and internal organs are replaced with formaldehyde. Something that I suspect will happen in the not too distant future.

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I have never suffered from writers block, I cannot imagine anyone so afflicted. I have a large ring bound book into which I place ideas for new books, new stories, short or long, That book is not only filled but there are many other sheets of paper, folded and added with outlines and Ideas I will not live long enough to tell. It does not really matter wither your struggle is writing the next tale or deciding which tale to write next. Just get on with it. Others may disagree. The big thing is telling what tale you wish others to read. As often you will get this wrong. I know I have, Often.

Those that I wish others to read, may one day be written but I suspect that I will complete few of them, and perhaps not even the ones that I wish to before my demise.
Each day I come up with ideas for new books, still untold. Some I will write, others will die with me. I hope however, to tell many more tales over the years remaining to me.

6.  What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

To new Authors I would offer only two pieces of advice; Learn your trade.

Write short pieces first, write for newspapers, magazines, periodicals and even business papers. With a little ability and a great deal of reading even the most mundane of us can become great writers.

The Second piece of advice, I know, Seems to contradict the first. Spend time writing your best work, let the world pass by and do not rush. Wait for the right words at the right time. When those words are not coming, write something else. On Facebook, an article, a newspaper story, for the printed press, a column, a contradictory piece, a short tale for a magazine. It is difficult to make your living as a writer. You need to be hard-working, capable and clever. Of Course your cool novel may suddenly make you rich but In my experience it rarely does. So you spread yourself and work and if willing to put the effort in and talented enough (and I am not that good) you make a living.
Then you have the time to wait and see if people like your books.
Some will. Some will not. No book is wonderful to everyone.

7.  Please, tell us about your work. 

I enjoy writing, even when it is difficult and you review what you have just produced and decide that it is terrible, unworthy of what you imagined when you set out to write whatever, whichever tale you imagined.
Yet the opposite also applies.
I recently started putting together a collection of tales and realized that it was a little short. So I thought to add a tale from a little read book to complete the collection. This tale I found delightful, well written and approaching wondrous. So I know that I can produce a great work.

Thank you very much for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here. Please come back anytime!


Connect with Raymond:

Main author site; www.raytwalker.com

The new Novel website; http://sheweptblacktears.yolasite.com/

Another author site; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/raymond-walker

Online Presence for the Wondrous Tales and Mercurial Tales magazines (under construction though visible); www.mercurialtales.com
For Horror tales only go to; http://raynayday.weebly.com
For Fantasy Tales only go to; http://raymondwalker.weebly.com
To read my blog go to; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/stories

Amazon Authors page go to; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raymond-Walker/e/B002CB59VA/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

E-mail; raytwalker@googlemail.com


Raymond’s books:

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How To Survive Being Married To A Writer #WritingCommunity – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell published a very helpful post on her ‘Blonde Write More’ blog. The post is mainly helpful to a writer’s better half and I think she gets a few points that not only made me smile but nodding enthusiastically. See for yourself. Thanks so much, Lucy!


It’s not easy being married to a writer. We are strange creatures.

Here are some useful tips on how to survive being married to a writer:

1. Accept the fact that you will spend a lot of your marriage talking about people, events and locations that don’t actually exist.

2. When your writer wakes you in the small hours with an amazing new idea for their next story you need to wake up, switch on the light and let them talk it through. Moaning about what time it is, how tired you are and what you have on at work is not going to help your writer. This is a big moment for them, it’s the birth of something wonderful. Your support is needed 24-7.

3. Marital relations and their writing ‘ups and downs’ will become interlinked. When their writing is going well you can expect good times, kisses and smiles. When their writing is not going so well you can expect tension, tears and tantrums.

Continue Reading Here