Posts tagged Cristy Burne

Young writers and artists! Feeling creative? Enter our Monster Prize Competition

Monster Prize Competition Takeshita Demons

TAKESHITA DEMONS MONSTER PRIZE COMPETITION!
Win one of ten $50 prize packs!!

cristy burne and headsHi everyone! It’s Cristy Burne here…I was a Star Author for this blog last year and I’m sneaking back this year to let you know about an awesome competition we’re running.

Many of you entered our Make-a-Monster competition last year and invented some incredibly cool monsters. Now is your chance to DRAW them.

The monster can be your own creation (sketch it, paint it, sculpt it out of belly button fluff and earwax, whatever you like) or it can be your fave monster from a book or a movie. You simply grab an image of your monster (take a photo of your monster drawing, monster cartoon, monster sketch, monster life-size diagram, monster sister) and email it to: bestfriendsrbooks@gmail.com

You pic will be posted in the MBFAB blog gallery (coming soon) for everyone to see!

VOTE by posting a comment on the MBFAB blog.

MOST POPULAR ENTRIES WIN!
So get to it! Ask your friends to vote, ask your parents to vote, ask your teacher to vote, ask your penguin to vote!
And if you don’t have a penguin, get thinking! You need more votes!

COMPETITION RUNS 1 AUGUST TO 21 SEPTEMBER
TERMS AND CONDITIONS HERE

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Announcing the winner: Make a monster competition

Takeshita_Demons_coverHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

July is almost over, so it’s time to announce the winner of our Make a Monster competition! We had some incredibly creative and spooky and funny entries, so THANK YOU!

Our winners will recieve…

…a copy of Takeshita Demons, the first book in my series of spooky adventures featuring Japanese demons.

What is Takeshita Demons about?

Miku Takeshita knows she’s in trouble when her relief teacher turns out to be a nukekubi cut-throat demon – a bloodthirsty creature who can turn into a flying head and whose favourite snack is children.

That night, in a raging snowstorm, Miku’s little brother Kazu is kidnapped by the demons, and then it’s up to Miku and her friend Cait to get him back.

The friends must break into their snow-locked school, confront the dragon-like Woman of the Wet, and outwit the faceless Noppera-bo. At last, they come face to face with the Nukekubi itself – but will they be in time to save Kazu?

And so who won????

Well, the competition was a really close one. Everyone’s entry was creative and funny and many were incredibly gross as well (thanks!). You all produced demons to be proud of: what crazy, wonderful creatures! I hope you can use your creations in your own spooky stories and I look forward to reading your stories one day…perhaps on this blog?

But, in the end, we had to choose just one winner (well, in fact we could choose two winners)…

…and strangely, both of our winners are called Sophie!

So congratulations to Sophie (and the HobbleGobble demon), and to Sophie Yeoman (and the Oglesmock demon). Your demons were terrifically funny and scary at the same time: we loved them! Zac from the blog will get in touch with you about your prize very soon.

So that’s it from me and the month of July. WELL DONE to everyone who entered the make-a-monster competition… Your demons ROCKED and you do too!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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New Zealand’s ‘devils of the night’ – the giant weta

cristy burne and headsHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

July is nearly over, so don’t forget to enter our Make a Monster competition and win a copy of Takeshita Demons! We’ve had some awesome entries so far!

As some of you already know, I love writing about monsters and crazy, spooky things.

Well, some of the craziest, spookiest things are not imagined in books or stories. They’re real!

A great example — and a spooky creature I  love — is New Zealand’s giant weta.

What a weta!

Giant weta have been around for about 190 million years, and they look like it too. The giant weta on Little Barrier Island, off the coast of New Zealand, are known as ‘devils of the night’.

Their Maori name, ‘Wetapunga’, translates to ‘god of ugly things’.

Here are some cool facts about weta:

– Giant weta are orthopteran insects of the family Anostostomatidae. They look like wingless, leggy grasshoppers, and their bodies alone can reach around 8cm in length.

– They can weigh more than 70 grams, or about three times the weight of a house mouse.

– Many giant weta are not really so giant, and smaller species such as the Nelson Alpine Weta tip the scales at a not-very-scary average of 7 grams.

– Wetas are more likely to dine on treetop leaves than small children. They’re too heavy to jump, have no wings, and are slow to get around, making vegetarian cuisine the more affordable menu option.

– In a fight, wetas are sadly ill equipped, with only their spiky back legs and devastating bad looks for defence. Some will even roll over and play dead in an attempt to trick would-be predators.

– New Zealand’s new predators — the rats, cats, stoats and hedgehogs — often find that giant wetas make a decent-sized snack. This means giant weta populations are dwindling, and where Wetapunga were once common in the north of the North Island, they are now found only on Little Barrier Island, off the coast of Auckland.

– One weta species, the Mahoenui, returned from mainland extinction when it was discovered in 1962 hiding out in some gorse bushes in the North Island; the spikes of the introduced gorse had kept hungry hunters at bay. This weta weed patch has since been declared a protected area, and more than 200 endangered weta have been relocated to Mahurangi Island, in the hope of baby wetas on the way.



Aren’t weta awesome?

I find when I am having trouble thinking of something to write about, I can find inspiration in real life and amazing science. There are always strange things happening in the real world.

Where do you get your writing inspiration?

Anyone ever written a story about a giant weta?

If you want extra weta inspiration, you can get more weta-riffic facts from NZ’s Department of Conservation.

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Monster Matsuri cover art….revealed!! What do you think?

Hi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

This week has been an exciting one in the world of Takeshita Demons

Why? Because the cover for Book 3, Takeshita Demons – Monster Matsuri, has been revealed!!! Woo hoo! What do you think?

Takeshita Demons: Monster Matsuri coverMore demon stuff to do…

Read the first page of Monster Matsuri at my blog

– Read an interview about writing the Takeshita Demons books here on the My Favourite Books blog

– Try this quick quiz: IS YOUR PERSIMMON HAUNTED?

Check out some demon-themed activities for the holidays or the classroom (make a papier mache Daruma; try a hiragana word search; test your memory with a demonic game, and MORE!)

– And a Japanese language question: Does anyone know what “matsuri” means in Japanese? What do you think a monster matsuri might be?

– Enter the Make a Monster competition and win a copy of Takeshita Demons! We’ve had some awesome entries so far!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Check out my blog
Like The Filth Licker on Facebook!

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BEWARE: 8 spooky Japanese proverbs – Cristy Burne

A great place to find superstition is in proverbs. Here are a few you may recognise:

Step on a crack, marry a rat
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Cross my heart and hope to die
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

Let’s check out some awesome Japanese proverbs.
(and don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!)

1) If you give a boy’s name to a girl, or a girl’s name to a boy, they will grow up healthy and strong
You may wonder why your parents gave you such a weird name. Well, maybe this is the reason? Switching boys’ and girls’ names is a way to confuse (and hopefully avoid) the demons who bring disease and bad luck.

Lined sole fish

Do you want to look like this?

2) If you scowl at your parents, you will turn into a sole.
You know the old saying “If you make a face, the wind will change and you’ll be stuck that way”? Well, this is the Japanese equivalent. Basically, it’s a warning to be nice to your mum and dad. Because if you don’t, you’ll turn into a flat fish with both eyes on one side of your face. (Don’t worry: you will still taste good served with chips!)

3) When a weasel cuts across your path, he will bewitch you if you don’t throw a stone at him.
In Japanese culture, animals like weasels, foxes and badgers are known to have magical powers over humans, including the ability to shape-change, and they love to trick you out of your money. Throwing a stone is a quick, easy way to make sure you stay safe.

4) If you put spit in your eyebrows, the fox will not bewitch you.
Here’s another simple way to stay safe from demon foxes: simply spit into your own eyebrows and mix well. (This belief comes from the idea that saliva is powerful and can help your eyes to see the truth behind magical  spells)

5) If you kill a cat, it will haunt you and your family for seven generations.
Yikes! Better be nice to your cat! In Japan, cats who grow very fat and very old are also thought to turn into giant, man-eating cat demons. So your only hope for survival is to own a dog instead. 🙂

6) If your sandal strap breaks, evil is heading your way
This is a great reason to check your shoes and shoelaces before you head out on a dangerous mission. (If you’ve read The Filth Licker, you now know the secret double meaning behind Cait’s broken shoelace…)

7) If you pick up a comb, you will pick up suffering.
This superstition comes about because the Japanese word for comb is “kushi”, which is made up of two sounds: “ku” (the Japanese word for “suffering”), and “shi” (the Japanese word for “death”). So, instead of bending straight down to pick up your dropped comb, it’s better to stand on it first. Standing on the dropped comb drives out any evil spirits that are in it, making it safe to pick up. Phew!

8 ) A person who uses red things will only suffer a light case of smallpox

Takeshita Demons cover

Carry this lovely RED book at all times, if you want to stay safe!

This proverb was around before the smallpox disease was eradicated thanks to vaccination, but it shows clearly that red was a colour of protection in Japan. Why red? It’s the colour of flushed, healthy cheeks. It’s the colour of warmth and cheerfulness. And it’s also the colour that many sick people wore in old Japan, to protect themselves from disease. (Red is also the colour of the first Takeshita Demons book…no coincidence there! Miku needs all the help she can get!)

What do you think?
Do you know any spooky or strange proverbs or superstitions?
Would you walk under a ladder?
Go out on Friday 13?

What would you do with a 4-leaf clover?
Do you believe in superstitions?

Let me know in the comments (and watch out for shape-changing foxes and cats!)
And….don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Check out my blog
Like The Filth Licker on Facebook!

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5 Japanese demons you may know from books and movies – Cristy Burne

cristy burne and headsHi!  Cristy Burne here, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

I hope you like scary stories, because that’s exactly what I like to write. And believe it or not, the Takeshita Demons books are based on truth.

That’s right! All the Japanese monsters I write about are real…I didn’t make them up! In fact, I was only inspired to write Takeshita Demons after I started studying the history and mythology of Japanese monsters (or yokai in Japanese).

The Filth Licker and more…

Monsters in Takeshita Demons (like the Filth Licker (aka-name), the Snow Woman (yuki-onna) and the  Cut-throat Demon (nuke-kubi)) have been part of Japanese mythology and stories for hundreds of years.  They’re much the same as vampires, werewolves and fairies in Western culture.

Many of Japan’s demons are very unusual, but here are some you may recognise…How many do you know?
Don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

5 Japanese demons you may know from books and movies

Hanako of the toilet1) Toire no Hanako-san

‘Toire no Hanako-san’ means Hanako-of-the-toilet. Hanako is the ghost of a young girl and she haunts particular toilet cubicles, usually at school. Remind you of anyone you might remember from a certain school for wizards?

In Japanese legend, Hanako is usually shy…

BUT…if someone is mean to her or teases her, then…watch out!

If you want to meet Hanako, you need to knock three times on the door of her haunted toilet and call out: “Are you there, Hanako?”.

Why don’t you give it a try next time you’re in the school toilets?

2) BentenThe goddess benten

Aha! I bet you thought Benten was a boy with a really cool wrist watch! You did, didn’t you?

Well, think again. Benten is actually a woman with eight arms and a whole bunch of dragons as friends. In Japanese mythology, Benten is one of the 7 lucky gods, and she’s around 1500 years older than the Benten you might know.

Still, the goddess Benten is a good person to befriend: she can help make you rich and give you good grades at school (she’s also the goddess of wisdom and prosperity).

yagyo-san3)  The headless horse

You’ve heard of the headless horseman, right? He’s a famous legend that grew from a character in a story published in America nearly 100 years ago.

But…have you heard of the headless horse?

The headless horse is the favourite method of transport for a Japanese ogre called Mr Yagyo, or Yagyo-san.

Yagyo-san has been around for hundreds of years, coming out only once a year to wreak havoc on the human population. On this one day — the day before Japan celebrates Setsubun, the beginning of spring — Yagyo-san roams the streets tossing spiked soybeans at people.

According to Japanese stories, the only way to escape is to lie face-down on the ground with a pair of sandals on your head.

ningyo_japanese_mermaid4) Mermaids

When I say ‘mermaids’, do you think of beautiful half-fish, half-woman creatures with long golden hair and perfect skin?

Well…that’s not the only kind of mermaid in the sea!

Japanese mermaids are called ningyo and although they are half-fish, half-woman, they’re not exactly what I would call beautiful.

I’m researching ningyo now as part of the next Takeshita Demons book… Apparently, eating the flesh of a Japanese mermaid can make you immortal, and even just seeing one can add three years to your life. Pretty cool, huh.

(Japanese mermaids also have some unfriendly friends, like the sazae-oni, a poisonous demon formed when a very old sea snail mutates into an ogre.)

tengu5) Tengu (or the tengu’s invisibility cloak, at least)

Tengu are a half-bird, half-humanoid Japanese demon that live in the mountains. You often see tengu masks in Japan and they feature in traditional Japanese stories and theatre.

But, you probably know the tengu’s cloak more than the tengu.

Tengu have many special powers and own many magical objects, not least of which is the invisibility cloak.  This is a cloak that makes you totally invisible when you wear it. Ring any bells?

There is another story of a tengu who owns a magical fan that can make your nose grow. In the story, the tengu accidentally fans himself… Maybe that’s why he looks how he looks!

So what’s my point?

My point is that you don’t always have to invent everything when you’re writing a fantasy or horror story.

Some of the craziest things you can imagine happen in real life (just read the newspaper sometime!). Some of the most unbelieveable things ever are actually true (700 million people around the world have blood-sucking hookworms in their guts). And some of the best writers and books use little bits of history and science and real-life-fact to inspire their incredible stories.

So, when you’re writing your own stories and books, take some time to research some real-life topics that might be relevant. The Christchurch library has a huge non-fiction section filled with heaps of fascinating facts and stories…. Check it out and you will be amazed!

How many of the demons did you know?
Any fascinating facts you’d like to share?
Drop us a comment!

And don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

Follow me on Twitter
Check out my blog
Like The Filth Licker on Facebook!

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Introducing Cristy Burne: Star Author for July

cristy burne and headsHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July. Nice to eat you!

I was born in Tauranga, but now I live in Australia (my dad is from New Zealand and my mum is from Australia so we moved to Australia when I was 13).

Below I’ve answered my Top 5 questions to myself. Since it’s a bit sad to interview yourself, please ask me your own questions by commenting at the bottom of this post: I’d love to answer them for you.

But for now…

My Top 5 interview questions for me : Cristy Burne

1) Why did you become a writer?
Because I love making stuff up. When I’m writing, I can do whatever I like. I can introduce new characters, kill off old characters, make something really terrible happen to my favourite characters and then rescue them again. It’s like having a videogame inside your head. It’s like being the director of your own movie. There is seriously nothing cooler than inventing a whole pile of stuff and seeing it come to life.

2) Do you like reading?
Yes! When I’m reading, I can do anything. I can slay dragons, fight aliens, climb mountains, win races, explore new countries, fall in love… I can get inside someone else’s head and have an idea of what it feels like to be them. So yes, I love love love reading, especially in bed at night, when everything else is quiet and it’s just me and my book and the adventure.

3) How many books have you written?
Takeshita Demons and The Filth LickerTakeshita Demons was my first published. Before Takeshita Demons I wrote heaps of other things: articles, short stories, diaries, poems, riddles…plus three other books that have never been published because they’re hidden in my bottom drawer.

There are at least three books in the Takeshita Demons series: Takeshita Demons, The Filth Licker (out now!) and Monster Matsuri (out next year!). I’m writing the next Takeshita Demons book right now!….

4) Has Takeshita Demons won any prizes?
Yes (and thank you for asking ;-)). Takeshita Demons won the 2009 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award. This prize is awarded to a story that features a character or a culture whose voice might not otherwise be heard. In the case of Takeshita Demons, that’s the voice of Miku Takeshita, the star of the story. Miku is a Japanese girl who has moved with her family to live in England. She and her best friend Cait end up having to break into their school in the middle of a snowstorm to fight a headless demon who’s pretending to be their supply teacher. Spooky!

5) Is it true that you’re incredibly good-looking and intelligent?
Well, I don’t like to comment on that (blush).  But thank you for asking. 😉

(So, as you can see, when you’re writing you can make up whatever you like! It’s fabulous fun.)

And don’t forget…if you have any other questions, put them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Happy writing and reading!
And…don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

Follow me on Twitter
Check out my blog
Like The Filth Licker on Facebook!

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