Posts tagged guest post

Guest Author: Mara Shaughnessy on Lego Man in Space

Lego Man in Space was one of the top books of 2013 that we selected for our Holiday Reading Guide.  The creator, Mara Shaughnessy, has very kindly written a guest post for us about her book.  Check it out and grab a copy of Lego Man in Space from your library.

So far, more than 3 million people around the world have tuned into YouTube to watch the real-life voyage of LEGO® Man in space: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwLmGR6bPA

But you can also read about this incredible feat by asking your librarian for a copy of LEGO® Man in Space: A True Story.  Inside, you’ll see how two teenagers, Mat and Asad built a spaceship, sent it into near space and brought it back to earth safely. The book is packed with facts and information and you’ll also find cool ideas for your own science and engineering projects, as well as LEGO®-themed games and crafts.

If you STILL can’t get enough LEGO® Man in Space, you can check out the colouring sheets, worksheets and activities at www.littlemonster.ca/legoman.

Ever wondered how to draw a LEGO® Man or Woman? Here is a fun activity to get you started!

draw-a-lego-man

Happy inventing, drawing, writing, building, creating and dreaming!

Remember that little kids + big ideas = big things!

Mara

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Seriously Spooky Guest Post: Joseph Delaney

I got my idea for the Spook’s Apprentice series when I moved to the village of Stalmine in Lancashire. It has its own boggart, ‘The Hall Knocker’, which was exorcised by a priest who laid it to rest under the doorstep of a cottage. So boggarts are important in the books!

My son’s first house when he’d just got married was in Hamlet Road in Fleetwood. It was a creepy house badly in need of decoration and it had a bad feeling about it. Strange things began to happen which culminated in a weird event. One night Stephen and his wife were in bed upstairs when they heard a tremendous crash from the kitchen below. The doors were locked and they thought they might have an intruder/burglar.

Nervously, they went downstairs to find a pan in the middle of the kitchen floor; inside it was half a cup. The other half of the cup was yards away near the door. Not only that, the cup was cut into two perfect halves as if a laser beam had sliced it. The cups and pans had not been next to each other and there was no explanation for why they ended up on the floor like that. They had no children (at that time) nor pets that might have caused that and the doors were locked. Nobody human had entered the house!

One explanation is that it was a poltergeist. If so I think that’s what boggarts are. They move things; break thing, make raps and bangs in the night. So the name ‘Hall Knocker’ is a good one for the Stalmine Boggart. You can imagine hundreds of years ago similar kinds of phenomena happening at the big house at the top of the village. The stories would have been passed down through the generations as folk tales, eventually being written up. There are different names for such things in different parts of England but in Lancashire (the County) we call them boggarts!

 

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney

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Guest Post: Brian Falkner on 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Northwood

Brian Falkner’s new book, Northwood is one of the best books I’ve read lately. I always enjoy his books because they’re really unique.  I asked Brian if could tell us a little bit about Northwood, so here are 10 things you didn’t know about Northwood.

1. Northwood, Lake Rosedale, Brookfield, and many of the other place names in the book are real places in Albany where I used to live.

2. When it says at the beginning “usually at this stage of a story the person telling it has some idea of how it will end, but I can tell you quite honestly that I have no idea at all” … that was true! I wrote the first chapter without any idea what would come next. The story just grew naturally and I found out what was going on one chapter at a time!

3. To some extent Northwood was inspired by my favourite Roald Dahl book: Matilda. I wanted to write a book like that about a girl with a special ability.

4. The very last sentence in the book is based a quotation from Bhudda that I found intriguing. I actually used this quote also in Brainjack, but it got removed in the final edit.

5. As a kid I loved Enid Blyton books, full of mystery and secret passageways. I always wanted to include a secret passageway in one of my books, and finally I did, in Northwood!

6. The story of Princess Annachanel of Storm was originally going to be a book by itself. The idea sat around for a long time and I never managed to turn it into a book, so I decided to include it as part of Northwood. I thought it worked well and added a sense of history to Castle Storm.

7. Jana, who comes from the Bahamas, originally spoke in “Broken English” which is a version of English spoken in the Bahamas. However it was a bit hard to understand, so we changed it to English, with just of tint of the Bahamanian style of talking.

8. I once had to spell rhododendron at a Trivia night, and failed.

9. Mr Jingles,who owns the safari park in Northwood, was the name of the mouse in a Stephen King story called “The Green Mile”.

10. My favourite line in Northwood is when Cecilia tries to explain to the twins where pizza comes from. I won’t explain it, you have to read it.

I hope you enjoy reading Northwood as much as I enjoyed writing it!

See ya

Brian

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Graphic novels – just another way to tell a story

My name is Garen Ewing and I’m the author and artist for a graphic novel called The Rainbow Orchid.

Graphic novel? What’s that?

Put simply, a graphic novel is a term used for a comic (as in ‘comic strip’) that is published in longer book form. It may be a book that collects lots of shorter episodic comics together under one cover, or it may be a comic that is created and published as a book in its own right. Graphic novels and comics can be about anything – adventure, science-fiction, biography, superheroes, soap opera, comedy – it’s a medium that is able to accommodate any genre you you can think of! There are comics for boys, girls, children, teenagers and adults … everyone. It’s just another way to tell a story.

But what an excellent and compelling way to tell a story! Comics are a wonderful fusion of words and pictures that engage both halves of your brain and pull you right into the tale from the first panel. You can make anything you want happen in a comic and you don’t need a huge special effects budget to do it. Basically, comics are great!

So what is The Rainbow Orchid?  A few years ago I wanted to make a comic that would be the perfect story to suit my own tastes; a comic, basically, aimed at readers just like me. So it’s got everything in it that I love – a soaring adventure story featuring ancient mysteries, exploration and plenty of excitement and intrigue. Many of my favourite comics come from the ‘Franco-Belgian’ tradition, particularly those that are drawn in a ‘clear line’ style (such as Hergé’s Tintin, Jacobs’ Blake & Mortimer, or Chaland’s Freddy Lombard adventures), so that’s the style I decided to lean towards when I drew it.

The story itself concerns the search for a rare and possibly mythical orchid that takes the main character, Julius Chancer, and his friends from the south of England to France and then on to India and the hidden valleys of the Hindu Kush, with a bunch of nefarious villains in hot pursuit.

Read my next post to find out how I create a graphic novel.

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