Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Rosina and the Show

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Rosina and the Show- 1985/1990 (Post 208)

Rosina and the Show is the second of three books about Rosina Paul, her friend Kate, her calf Star and her baby brother, David. Rosina and Kate have been best friends for a long time, but Rosina's devotion to her calf is still something of a sore point with Kate, who sees herself and the friendship losing out too often to her four-legged rival. In this story, Rosina has entered Star in the local show, and Kate has found herself sidelines yet again. At the show, however, Rosina comes by an accident when a panicking horse knocks her flying. She is hurt and cannot lead Star in her class. Dad can't help, because Star must be shown by a child. Will Kate help out? It would be pretty obvious to any reader that Kate will, but the horse incident has a knock-on effect leading into the third book in the series where Rosina's chickens come home to roost. As was general at this period, Rosina and the Show came out in an orange hardback, matching Rosina and Her Calf, which has a bright blue cover. Again the cover was illustrated by Noela Young, who has such a wonderful touch with children and animals. Five years later, after the third book came out, Rosina and the Show was released as a paperback with a red background. The first and third books never came out in that edition which seems odd, but that's publishing for you!

 About the Blog 


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Everything You Want to Know About Writing and More, Much More

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Everything You Want to Know About Writing and More, Much More - 2016 (Post 207)


Everything You Want to Know About Writing and More, Much More is the omnibus edition of a three volume how-to I wrote by updating twelve existing how-tos and combining them with a lot of new material. It's not quite everything, obviously, but it's most of what I've picked up about writing for fun and for profit for forty-seven years. I've been writing how-to books for around ten years now, and since the writing world continually updates itself, so much advice. Even seasoned old stagers need to update, learn, re-shuffle and brush up on their skills, and after all these years I'm still picking up new tips and new experience. Everything is composed of the yellow Book 1, which gives the basics of character, plot, ideas, etc, the blue Book 2 has diverse subjects such as writing verse, picture books, children's books setting, networlding and common problems, while the red Book 3 is more about the authorial life, options, career courses and so on. The green one has the whole shebang in one massive doorstopper of a volume. The print's a tad smaller than it is in the other vols because otherwise the spine would never have stretched to fit.

The table of contents is below, but here's the link to more info and to the BUY ME area.

Introduction                                                                 1
How to Use this Book

Vol One Chapters
Chapter 1: 
Pre-Writing Plans and Preparations
Chapter 2 Ideas to Go             
Chapter 3 Plots and Plotting    
Chapter 4 Writing with Style         
Chapter 5 Characters and Characterisation
Chapter 6 Confident Conversations: Writing Dialogue  

Vol Two Chapters
Chapter 7  Fantasy (and Historical) Settings               
Chapter 8 Networlding                                                      
Chapter 9 Writing Metrical Verse                                 
Chapter 10 Writing Picture Books & Ten Picture Book Mistakes        
Chapter 11 Non-Fiction        
Chapter 12 Children’s Books        

Vol Three Chapters
Chapter 13  T
wenty Top Tips and Unwritten Rules of Writing      
Chapter 14 A-Z of Writing       

Chapter 15  
Writing a Manuscript Proposal & What Publishers Want    Chapter 16 Self-Publishing        
Chapter 17   Whoops Words          
Chapter 18   Special Projects
Chapter 19 You: The Author
Chapter 20 
Final Words                           

 About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Effie the Outrageous Elf

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Effie the Outrageous Elf- 2010 (post 206) 
Effie the Outrageous Elf is #5 in the Little Horrors series. The covers, as you can see from this example, are interesting in that the figures are black and white while the rest of the cover has one strong focus colour. The colours are yellow-orange, pink, green, red and purple and the six books together look quite startlingly bright. Effie is a lively elf child whose laid-back brother Om annoys her by being exceedingly zen and smug with it. Effie takes off to join a circus. In the course of her story she bothers everyone, including the Polly-Fae, the parrot fairy assigned by the Hags to assist her in her bid for a Badge of Badness and subsequent entry into the Abademy. The story, as with the others, was fun to write, but the title caused me a few problems. Having dealth with Flax the feral fairy, Mal the mischievous mermaid, Nanda the naughty gnome and Tikki the tricky pixie, I had established a style of title which used either alliteration or assonance or a bit of both. The word Elf didn't lend itself to either, really. The publishers didn't fancy "evil", and anyway, the "e" sound is wrong. I thought of Excitable and Extravagant, but neither was quite right. In the end I went with Outrageous which, somehow, works even if it doesn't really fit the mould. The Polly-Fae joined the Dog-Fae, the Gull-Fae, the Fox-Fae and the Filly-Fae, and was again a slight departure from tradition... but "Polly" is strongly associated with parrots, so I thought it would be okay.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Ducktators

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The Ducktators- 2007- (post 205) 


10th anniversary edition

The Ducktators. Flip Chase is used to her brother's friend, Duncan Plotznik. He arrives, vanishes into the shed, and guts a few computers on a regular basis. When Duncan invites her on an outing, she is quite nonplussed. It's not a date... is it? But then the ducktators enter the scene and Flip is too busy to think about anything else.
E-book

I wrote The Ducktators after learning a few things about imprinting (which I have used in a few other books too) and the way animals can will humans to do things. I had lots of fun with this one and the sole reviewer that ever took notice liked it too. Here's the review! Flip's friend Berry shows up in another story taking place in the same reality, which is very nearly ours. The AgriFair at which Flip and Duncan acquire the ducks is based somewhat on Agfest to which I have been two or three times. Finding something weird at a fair/show is also a theme I've used more than once; notably in "Drummond" and "The Magician's Box".
The Ducktators is available in PDF, ebook and paperback. Click on the links to see details of cost and availability. The cover image is by Lu Cotter aka The Duchess of Drumborg.




About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)
PDF

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Pen and Ink

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Pen and Ink- 2017- (post 204) 


Pen and Ink is the fifth story in the Fairy in the Bed series written under one of my pen names; Lark Westerly. Pen Swan (and the oddity of her name doesn't escape her) is a widow of three years' standing when her friend Skye invites her out for a birthday treat. Skye, a dressmaker, is making Pen a dress for a wedding where she'll be working as an artist, making quick sketches of the bridal party. Pen is delighted to visit the penthouse suite of Peckerdale Grene Tower, but somewhat less pleased when Skye and her friend Ril make a peculiar suggestion. Only the intervention of Peck Grene, the young mechanic, saves Pen's evening from meltdown. Peck too has a startling disclosure; one that leaves Pen with a dilemma; should she take a chance on an almost-unbelievable possibility, or should she retire to her lonely house and the life of an eccentric cat-lady?

Pen and Ink follows on from Honey and the Harvest Hob and shares two characters in common; Skye and her husband Simon are Honey's parents. Peck Grene appeared in his own story; Green Balls, which was #3 in the series. The stories all stand alone, but take place in the same world and some characters segue from one book to another. The cover of Pen and Ink is one of my favourites... and yes, the black cat lording it over the couch is Ink. It was fun writing about an older heroine; in fact most of the characters in this one are in their forties. The next in the series is a short called Hot Summer Knight and the one after that continues with Pen's wedding.
Pen and Ink was published TODAY. The ebook version can be viewed and purchased at http://www.extasybooks.com/pen-and-ink/ while the paperback will be available later.
As with the others in this series, the story is a comedy fantasy romance, suited to adult readers. As well as being a romance, this is also a story about friends, loneliness and the choices in life.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Myths of the Mind

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Myths of the Mind- 2016- (post 203) 
Myths of the Mind has a subtitle which says it all, really. I started the project in 2012, when I began collecting together some of my fantasy poetry. Despite the title, you won't find existing myth-people here, but characters whose names, stories and attributes I invented myself. When I discovered fiverr and some other similar sites I was able to realise a daydream I'd harboured for a long time; hire illustrators to picture my characters. I hadn't done iT before because I couldn't justify the expense on a project I knew would never be commercial. I should probably add that I am in no way saying illustrators aren't worth their fees; simply that the fees for forty-plus pictures would have added up to something I wouldn't pay. The resulting pictures, costing anything from $6.00 or so to $80.00, are an eclectic bunch, gathered over two periods. I got quite a few in the beginning, but then had a few problems with jobs not being finalised or being misinterpreted. I gave up for a while and then started out again. I also repurposed some pictures intended for another project which I still hope may one day go ahead. If you're interested in seeing the pictures I ended up with, check out my Pinterest board at MYTHS OF THE MIND BOARD. Printing in colour is expensive, (24 pp picture books can attest to that, and this book has far, far more pages than those), but as mentioned before, I always knew this project couldn't be commercial. Nevertheless, I finished and published it, and had a couple of copies printed just for fun. It is truly a poetical pictorial indulgence. Incidentally, I did also project an ebook which is available HERE for a fiver.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Special Day

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 A Special Day - 2006- (post 202) 
A Special Day is one of a series of topic-based stories I did for the US market. The brief was to write a story about a child who played in a mariachi band. I had no idea what a mariachi band was, and even when I found out there was the little problem that children don't play in them. Still, it was fiction, so I sorted that out fairly quickly. Writing a story set in a culture of which I know little is possible if the story is short and for a young audience. In this case I found it interesting because the research was fun. Mariachi, in case you don;t know either, is a Mexican tradition.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Crocodiles Swim in the Swamp

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

 Crocodiles Swim in the Swamp - 1999 - (post 201) 
Crocodiles Swim in the Swamp is one of the entry-level non-fiction titles I did in the 1990s. It is very simple but factual and, I hope, entertaining to young readers. Making a text at this level stand out isn't easy, but in this case I went with alliteration in Swim/Swamp which tied to the S at the end of Crocodiles. Having fun with sentences in this way helps to give kids an easy path to undeerstanding how stylistic tricks can make reading (and writing) fun.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Pup's Tale

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

 The Pup's Tale (post 200) 
The Pup's Tale is the sixth in the Pet Vet series.
Once again, we had fun with naming our characters after people (and animals) we know... in this case, two sheltie breeders. In the story, Tiny is a chocolate Lab pup... the smallest in Goldie's huge litter. He isn't doing well, so Trump and Doctor Jeannie find him a foster mum, a charming sheltie named Pipwen. (We have a dog named Pipwen.) Pipwen looks after Tiny until he is old enough for his new home, but before he can go, Trump has to help him to understand he is not, in fact, a sheltie!
 The title came about because Cranky Paws had already been renamed "The Cat's Tale" for the UK market, so we thought we might as well preempt the problem of different names for the same story. The Pup's Tale has a lovely cover... possibly the most appealing of the whole series.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Kitten's Tale

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

 The Kitten's Tale (post 199) The Kitten's Tale is the fifth in the Pet Vet series.
In this story, Trump's old friend Higgins is in trouble, but he won't admit it. The homeless kitten, Magnus, needs Trump's help as well. Can she find a solution for both of them? Meanwhile, there's something nasty on the loose in Jeandabah Park...
 We named Magnus Claw'd and Higgins after Magnum and Higgins in the '80s show Magnum PI, just for fun. We were hoping to do a spin-off series starring Magnus and Higgins, but the publisher preferred another dog series instead.  The title came about because Cranky Paws had already been renamed "The Cat's Tale" for the UK market, so we thought we might as well preempt the problem of different names for the same story. The Kitten's Tale is one of our favourites.  
The Kitten's Tale, to our surprise, features on a YouTube video...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMyjfy-F7uQ 

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.