I had good intentions to write a post every couple of days on this blog – but life got in the way. Since I posted last, I’ve been to Christchurch, Wellington twice and Auckland several times. I’ve endured earthquakes (4.5 – 6.6), stormy weather, late nights and a very busy schedule. But when you do something you love – it is a pleasure!
Today I chatted to an e-book club at Christchurch Library. The kids had all read my books and had some great questions for me. I was able to tell them about my new kiwi book ‘Operation Nest Egg Chick’ coming out in Conservation Week at a very kiwi place – Auckland Zoo in the Elephant House (8th September 11am). The techie person from Pixel Book is weaving his magic so that the enhanced digital book can have drop-down boxes, activities, videos, slides and Bruce Potter’s stunning artwork tops it off. The book is about the survival of a kiwi chick raised in the Operation Nest Egg programme. If you want to see a sample of it go this website after 8th September: www.pixelbook.co.nz At the moment you can see our first digital book ‘The Rock Standing in the Ocean’, which is about the birth of a volcanic island.
I’m also writing for the Girl Guide Association, and reading biographies about famous New Zealand sporting stars for my next book: New Zealand Hall of Fame: 25 Sporting Greats. The famous athletes’ stories are very inspiring. I love reading their biographies and interviewing them by phone. Many of the athletes are overseas so sometimes I Skype them (I was talking to World Aerobic Champion Angela McMillan in Vietnam yesterday). This book won’t be out until August/September next year.
On Monday, I received a contract for my first picture book, which is being released early March. ‘The Last of the Maui’ is about a young Maui dolphin who has to rescue his friends from the grasp of the set nets. Bruce Potter’s underwater scenes are just gorgeous. So do look out for that one.
I’m going to end with some tips to get your writing career started:
1. Read widely – you’ll absorb the different styles, the intricate language and it will inspire you to write your own stories.
2. Write every day; whether it is emails, a diary, essays or notes. You’ll find that your thoughts, and pen/keyboard will fly when you write that often.
3. Keep an Ideas Notebook – once you open your mind to the possibility that there are ideas all around you, you’ll want to record them. I get ideas from the TV, radio, people talking, when I go walking or driving, and sometimes I wake up with ideas.
4. Proof-read your work and replace over-used words like car, tree, pretty, beautiful, walk, etc with vibrant verbs and precise nouns. It’ll help build pictures in the reader’s mind.
5. Don’t give up on your dreams. I started with determination and worked hard to get my successes. It doesn’t come easy but you’ll find you’ll learn from every mistake and misfortune, and you’ll enjoy the journey along the way. Plus you’ll make great friends!
Ka kite ano!