Yes, the time has come! Today marks the end of a successful blog tour.
The Ten Penners celebrate the upcoming release of our new anthology. We’ve discovered a great deal about the variety of writing styles and talents of the ladies within our group.
As a final fling, each of us has answered one more question about ourselves, to add to the already abundant knowledge of our group.
Q. What were your goals and intentions in this book? And how well do you feel you achieved them?
A. As a coordinator of a writing group our goals were to have another anthology published. Pulling the team together to have everything on track was reasonably easy because the girls are all very enthusiastic. We are also lucky to have a couple of exceptional editors in Kate Russell and Elli Housden! Our intentions were to produce adventure stories to entertain children and I think we have achieved that. We have had some test subjects who came back with positive comments. Now, we are sending the book out into the general public for scrutiny and we hope to have glowing results as we did with our first two books!
Q. What do you think most characterises your writing?
A. There is always one element that slips into my writing, whatever genre it is, and that’s humour. The Kai Russell stories in Mystery, Mayhem & Magic were deliberately written with a sense of fun (and I hope readers get a giggle out of them) but even when I’m writing something more “serious”, humour always slips in. I did try once, many years ago, to write a Mills & Boon type romance, but I just kept wanting to make my characters do silly things for a laugh, so that didn’t really work! Writing with humour comes naturally to me, so there’s no point fighting it. I know that I’m never going to be able to write some deep and meaningful Great Australian Novel because it’s just not my style. I’ll leave that to some other author! Frankly, I don’t want to write about dark and depressing stuff, because there’s enough of that around you every day. I want my stories to entertain, and I hope I do that. Mostly, I want readers to finish my stories feeling happy and hopeful. Even though my first self-published novel, Shadow of a Soldier, which is romantic suspense with supernatural elements, was written as a more dramatic story, there are still lots of fun scenes in it. You can’t have darkness without light. Lately, I’ve been listening (again) to the Harry Potter books on CD, and JK Rowling balances this perfectly. The stakes are high for Harry and his friends, but even when things are at their bleakest, there is still hope and humour. The darkness is never overwhelming (which is not to say I didn’t bawl my eyes out when certain characters died!). I find that when I try to write something too “serious”, I really struggle. But if it’s fun, the words just fly across the page! Of my own books (I have six novels which I hope to publish over the next two to three years), my favourites feature Kylie Cooper, a teenage witch I first wrote about in Fan-tas-tic-al Tales. I liked her so much that I’ve now written three YA novels about her! And a close second is a murder mystery featuring a crime scene cleaner as the protagonist, because, although the subject matter is dramatic, the main character and her family are great fun to write about. You’ve probably all heard the saying “write what you know”. Well, I think you should also write what you love and what comes naturally to you! I do.
Q. What books have inspired you to write?
A. When I was a child my mother read a chapter each night from Enid Blytons’ The Magic Faraway Tree. I still remember begging her to read just one more chapter even though my eyelids were drooping. At school, I wasn’t a breeze through and pass student, like my older sisters. I had to work very hard. I stopped reading books because school gave me so much I had to read that it became a grind. Then I discovered the joy of reading in a small and simple but heart touching book Johnathan Livingston Seagull. All of my family read and I finally caught the bug when I discovered Ann McCaffrey and her wonderful world of Dragons on Pern, and the many other worlds she created. I particularly loved The Ship Who Sang and Restoree. I still have copies of these books on my bookshelf and on my iPad! From there I became an avid reader.
Q. So, Julie, where do you get your inspiration to write?
A. Life! The wonderful people I meet in my day-to-day activities, the spectacular places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit during my lifetime. Experiences … mine and my friends and family. And throughout my working life … encounters, events … especially in the school situations, I’ve gleaned a myriad of ideas. I’ve read a kaleidoscope of books, poems and plays, all of which contribute to my creativeness. Heroic people who battle day and night to just survive inspire me. Those who battle adversity e.g. the Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma) at present. Lastly, I attribute my motivation to my delightful family; I love them dearly. All of these elements coalesce to stimulate my writing!
Q. Where do you get your ideas from, when writing for children?
A. Most of my ideas come from children and being around them. Lots of ideas and sparks fly being around them. It could be a funny thing they’ve said, a new craze, friendship, or problems they have. Just recently my son went to school with a new t-shirt. His friend said, ‘You have a new t-shirt, I can smell it, it has a new smell!’ All the children went to smell his t-shirt. It was a funny moment and a great idea for a story. My childhood memories, what made me laugh and tick as a child, a photo or picture can trigger a hundred thoughts and develop into good stories. Why? What? When? How? Where? Are always good questions to ask yourself when writing. I love Pinterest. I’m always finding/make up my storyboards with pictures and ideas on it. Every day, I’m finding myself with new ideas for books. I have this big jar, with names of picture books, I want to write. Maybe that might be another book? ‘The never-ending jar of stories!’
Q: What are the advantages of belonging to a writers’ group for you?
A: Giving and getting feedback on our writing to improve the final product.
Q. Why do I write?
A. Because it makes me and other people happy. It’s an achievement to see my stories in print.
Q. How have you found this writing journey creating stories for Mystery, Mayhem & Magic?
A. It’s been an inspiration and has made my life happy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. If you haven’t caught up with previous posts go back now and check them out. Leave a comment so that you can still be in the running to win a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic.
Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers!
“Take the path through a forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures.
From the authors of “Shock! Horror! Gasp!” and “Fan-Tas-Tic-al Tales”, “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” is the new anthology written by the Ten Penners … Come and explore!”
17/10/17 Tuesday – Jill Smith – https://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com/
Candice Lemon-Scott, author https://candicelemonscott.com.au/
18/10/17 Wednesday– Kate Russell – https://katharinerussell.wordpress.com./
Teena-Rafa Mulligan – In Their Own Write https://intheirownwrite.wordpress.com
19/10/17 Thursday –Julie Baythorpe https://juliebaythorpeauthor.wordpress.com/
Gretchen Bernet-Ward – Thoughts Become Words https://thoughtsbecomewords.com/
20/10/17 Friday – Robin Adolphs http://www.robinadolphs.com/
Artelle Lenthall www.journeygirlontheroadtopublication.com
21/10/17 Saturday – The Ten Penners https://thetenpenners.wordpress.com/
We will be attending Gold Coast Writers Meeting to announce our book launch
23/10/17 Monday – Aleesah Darlison – author of Fox and Moonbeam-Greenleaf Press http://www.greenleafpress.net/
Special Announcement – book giveaway!!
There will be a giveaway of a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic! At the end of the blog tour those who have left a comment on this page, or on any of the other hosts’ pages during the blog tour, will be in the running to receive a free copy! The announcement of the winner will be at our book launch at Broadbeach Library on the 4th November.
So, please make a comment to be in the running! Good luck!
There’s also a colouring competition, ‘Plinko’ our mascot, for children to send in via email. The winners will be announced at our book launch on the 4th November at Broadbeach Library. Book to attend – Download our book launch poster PDF here >>> Ten Penners Approved Poster Broadbeach Library
Download the book launch competition form, here >>>Plinko-Colouring-In-Competition-2017_Booklaunch