As you can probably see, I've not posted on this blog for ages. In my defence, I've been busy, running a marathon and watching TV, which was highly important in the name of research, you understand. But then writer Matthew Harffy, author of action-packed historical fiction books (www.matthewharffy.com) invited me to join The Blogging Tour, which was as good an excuse as any to get back to blogging on my website. So, here goes:
1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
I've just handed in a draft of my next book, 'FLEECED', to my publishers and am thinking about all that needs to be rewritten for it. It's the story of a valuable sheep to be sold at auction for a lot of money, and all the people that try to steal it for their own gains. It's basically a farce, but (hopefully) with heart, too. Aside from that, I'm currently mulling over an idea that I have for my next book, but that's very early stages.
2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
My books, for 9-12 year olds, are funny, quirky stories but with a moral and emotional warmth at their centre. They're of ordinary kids who find themselves doing extraordinary things - and normally recruiting others along the way to help them - in order to achieve their goal; whether that's saving their village from destruction, or trying to get their Dad sent home from the war safe and sound. I think my humour's pretty unique, too, but the jury's still out on whether that's a good thing!
3. WHY DO I DO WHAT I DO?
The short answer: because I'm incredibly lucky. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I was 7 years old, and first watched 'Murder, She Wrote.' I thought that Jessica Fletcher had a pretty sweet life. So I convinced my parents to buy me a Petite Super International Typewriter for Christmas, and I would sit and type stories out, humming the theme tune. (Annoyingly, number of crimes I've solved is still zero.) But I carried on writing throughout school and uni, and then decided to try and be a professional writer once and for all in my mid-twenties. I'm incredibly fortunate that this is now my job! How amazeballs is that? I write because I've got lots of stories I want to tell, that no-one else can, and I write because somehow, people keep paying me to.
4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
Every single book that I've written has been sparked by an article I've seen in the newspaper. So, I'm normally to be found scouring papers for stories. Once I've hit on an idea I'd like to pursue, the most important thing for me is to create a protagonist to best serve that story. In 'FOR THE RECORD', I'd seen an article in the paper about a village in Spain that had broken the world record for 'Largest Salad Tossed.' And I thought, 'why? Why bother?' What a lot of effort to go to for a record. But then I thought, well, what if the village had to break the record? What if there was something resting on whether they could or not? And whatould that be? The character of Luke, a 10 year old boy obsessed with world records, grew from there. It would be Luke's idea to get the village to break world records to try to save their homes from destruction. In terms of the actual process, I normally write everything down by hand in a trusty notepad; then when I've worked out the basic plot, I'll type myself up a 5/6page outline, which I'll break down into chapters, and then start typing my first draft. This will take me roughly six weeks to write a very basic first draft, and then the rewriting process happens. Oh, the joys of rewriting...
And that's it! Hopefully this has been an enlightening insight into the mind of a children's author. I've had two books published to date, 'FOR THE RECORD' and 'BILLIE TEMPLAR'S WAR', with my third,'THE MUTE BUTTON,' being published on the 5th June. You can find out more about them here, on my website, or on Amazon. Or follow me on twitter: @Ellie_Irving
The Blogging Tour continues next week, with three lovely writers:
JAY ELLIS: I live in the UK. I'm engaged, have 3 amazing kids, and spend practically my entire time writing, thinking about writing, or networking on the internet with other authors/ readers. At present, I'm working on many new books. We have the Amelia Maylock series(Kids/ teen fantasy), the brand new Holly Silverstone books(Kids/ teen gothic fantasy), The Danny Monroe books(illustrated teen horror), dystopian YA with the follow up to 'The Long Journey to Sincerity.' I'm also beginning a new supernatural/ fantasy story that has already involved me growing a beard, wearing a wig and a few new hats. (about.me/authorjayellis)
KIM CURRAN: Dublin-born Kim Curran studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since, specialising in writing for video games. She is also the author of science fiction books for young adults. You can find her on her website kimcurran.co.uk and on Twitter as@kimecurran.
KATIE INNES: Katie has a fantastic blog, which can be found here: crocuses-in-the-snow.tumblr.com