Archive for June, 2012
We launched the fourth and final book in the First Aid for Fairies series last night. In a hot and crowded hall just off the Royal Mile (there were groups from at least 6 primary schools there!) we held a launch party for Maze Running.
But what is a book launch FOR? For readers it’s a chance to eat some crisps, and get a signed copy of the book before anyone else. For the publishers it’s a chance to let booksellers and buyers know the book is out there. And for the writer it’s a chance to thank all the people involved in turning a story into a book (and for Maze Running there were lots of thanks, including publishers, agents, early readers, my kids, vets… I hope I didn’t forget anyone last night!)
So a launch is really a hello to a book. A birth day birthday party, perhaps.
But last night was not just a hello. It was a goodbye too. Because Maze Running is the last in the series, I was saying goodbye to the characters and to the series. Which wasn’t easy. And quite a lot of readers in the signing queue asked me to write another one PLEASE! But I can’t write another First Aid for Fairies book. I stood up there and said to everyone: “This is the last time Helen will go on an adventure with the fabled beasts, to heal their injuries, at the solstices and equinoxes.” And while the word “last” in that sentence seems quite definitive, it might be possible to gallop a centaur through the wide gaps in the rest of the sentence…
However, several other readers in the signing queue mentioned that their favourite book of mine was Rocking Horse War, and wondered if I would write a sequel to that, now that I’m done with Helen. So that’s an idea I’m kicking about as well…
But right now, I’m not thinking about what I’m going to write next, I’m concentrating on saying hello to Maze Running, and goodbye to the fabled beasts.
So here are a few (slightly blurry) photos of the launch. Me reading to a small group of fabled beast fans, and a few favourite character pictures from Lorne Primary in Leith and Calderwood Lodge in East Renfrewshire.
Thanks to everyone who helped to launch Maze Running!
Archive for June, 2012
I just looked at the very first folder for Maze Running, created when it was still called First Aid Four, and when I was working on each chapter individually, rather than in one big manuscript.
Looking at the names of the chapter files, you would think that I never sat at my own desk:
In Maze Running, I send Helen and the fabled beasts on seven different quests, missions and rescues, to the south, north and west of Scotland. But I’ve realised that the book was written in even more places than that!
So, does this mean I spend too much time away from my desk? Am I not taking my writing seriously enough? I don’t think so, because I don’t need a desk to write – I just need my netbook, or a pen and a bit of paper. Or I can even just scribble on my other hand, or a napkin…
Does it mean I’m only inspired to write when I’m out and about, rather than at my desk, and should get out more often? I don’t think that either! I write a lot at home too, but because I’m not transferring those files from one computer to the other, I don’t give them such detailed names.
It really just means that my three jobs – being a writer writing, being a writer talking about writing and being a mum – are all part of the same life, rather than neatly separated. So I take whatever book I’m writing with me everywhere I go, and write it wherever I can.
It also shows that I can have really good ideas when I’m sitting outside a ballet class, or in a cold train station. Even if I am typing with gloves on.
I write fast-moving action and set my books all over Scotland, so writing on the run and in lots of different places is probably very good for my stories. And I write for 8–12 year olds, so working out how I’m going to start the next chapter just after speaking to P5 about cliff hangers and just before speaking to P6 about chase scenes, is probably the best way to write!
I wonder where I’ll write the next book?
tools for writing on the run: netbook, notebook, napkin