Wednesday, 22 October 2014

TAKEN makes the 2015 CILIP Carnegie medal nominations!

25th July 2006 Mr Leo on his birthday with unbelievable clouds
How cool is this? My second novel has found its way onto one of the biggest literary awards in the world - the Carnegie CILIP award! I am well chuffed, especially as all of those people who know about such things tell me that second novels don't do awards.

It's a wonderful surprise, especially as TAKEN is one of my favorite stories. I explore lots of themes and feel really close to my characters. One thing that worries me though is the LEO reference. Apparently one of the criteria the judges will be looking at is believability. None of the judges will believe that Izzy could experience something so weird! The thing is - it happened to me. Cue the X File music.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reviews of TAKEN and TORN in the same week!

Over the last week or so I have had some great emails from readers in Illinois:

A review of TAKEN by Mekenzie Wheeler on 17th Oct 2014

I am an 8th grade student from a smalltown in southern IL. I particpate in many sports and I love to hunt, fish, anything outdoors. I don't have much time for reading. However, in my English class we were told we are starting a book project.

For my book, I selected TAKEN. I started reading it and just couldn't put it down! I love the story between Ash and Rio. How they fell in love. You made it to where I felt like i knew these charecters personally. I was in disbelief when I read Izzy passed on. I didn't want this book to end.

My mom was very suprised to see me reading. I think it made her happy. Thank you for creating such a powerful and detailed story.

Yours Truly,
Mekenzie Wheeler


 And this review of TORN by Jack Rumer on 15th Oct 2014

Mr. David Massey:

Hi, my name is Jack Rumer and I go to Pella High School. In English we are doing book reports and I wanted to send you a business letter telling you how much I enjoyed reading Torn. Your book caught me by surprise with its action and suspense.

When the British Army was told that the Navy Seals were coming to the base, Heidi said, 'There are plenty of other bases the Americans could use.' I understood that she didn't like the Americans, or didn't like someone in the American forces. I enjoy reading and your book was very enjoyable to read. I especially enjoyed the intense fight scenes and how the Navy Seals came into the story to find Aroush for General Macallum.

I also liked how you included the Young Martyrs in the last battle scene when they were all fighting the terrorists. In total, yo ur book was the best book I have read all year. You have inspired me to become a writer and to find inspiration in all things, good and bad. I was wondering, is there a second book to this series? I would really enjoy reading a second part of this story.

Jack C. Rumer

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Vicarious Adventures

As I plumbed in the new washing machine this morning it struck me that this is not what I signed up for as a writer. I should be in some French Gite downing wine, smoking a cigar and thinking of the next novel while I am waiting for the baguette to be delivered. Instead I'm up to my knees in old drain water and doing battle with a hose.

Doing practical stuff does give you time to muse though. I found myself entering alternative worlds in my imagination just so that I could escape this one. It's not a bad strategy, used I think by the majority of 11 year olds in maths lessons. I'm thinking of doing something similar next time I'm stuck for an idea...

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

About Writing

Well, unless you are JK or Stephen King, I think this boils down to how much writing can you fit around your day job? The answer for me is little or nothing. I've tried the 1000 words a day thingy and never have the time or the space to commit. If Harvey isn't whining for his food something else will be cracking off. Then (as a published author) there is Twitter, FB, Blogging and the like which seem to be custom built to stop writers from getting on with the task of well, writing stories and such.

So - for me the only option is Christmas... I am a Christmas writer. A regular 'Father Write-mas'. Both TORN and TAKEN were birthed in the festive season. When the world slows down just enough for me to jump off and hide in some cubby-hole, then I can get down to it. It would be so much easier if I had a few elves to delegate to.

I do dream of the pipe and the fireplace or some dream shack in the Tuscan hills, which writer doesn't? Until those materialise I'm afraid that the real world has to suffice. Ho hum. or should that be Ho Ho Ho?