Why NaNoWriMo Would Never Work For Me

  I run a private Facebook group for aspiring authors and illustrators. You might have heard of it (ahem). It’s called The Duck Pond. Hop on my mailing list if you’d like to join. I also run a private Facebook group for those who are doing my online course, Scribbles. I love both groups equally…

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Oi! Here’s an easy way to liven up your stories

Does your writing sometimes feel a bit, erm, pedestrian? The following post will give you some fresh ideas, help you shove more energy into your stories.   Dear Diary Will letters, notes, doodles or lists add interest to my stories? Yours sincerely Inventive Author These days kids have words and images coming at them from all…

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Book Week costumes and another TV appearance!

Lights! Cameras! Book Week! I LOVE dressing my characters. Over the years lots of readers (and their parents) have sent me their Truly Tan pics from Book Week. I’ve compiled my own little parade to give you some ideas. See below.  Scroll down for other costume ideas, too! Plus a little bit about my next…

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How Point of View can save your story (Part One of two posts)

If your story isn’t taking off, maybe you’re telling it from the wrong perspective. The wrong point of view. I’ve been known to go on about this. But it’s important. I’ve grappled with it so often it’s become a fallback for when things are going badly. If my story is dragging its feet, I reassess. I think, okay, can…

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Rhyme and rhythm in picture books

Earlier this week I dreamed that I wrote a Little Golden Book— but somehow forgot to tell anyone. In the dream, I was flicking through the book (which was illustrated by Lucinda Gifford but in the style of Gabrielle Wang!) and I thought, ‘This is lovely. I must blog about it.’ I don’t know whether…

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In conversation with a wolf (who is also an illustrator)

When I was an aspiring children’s author back in the 1980s, the only career guidance I could find was Mem Fox’s autobiography. Ahem. Aside from that there was one other book, a textbook, kicking around. But it was fairly lacklustre and I don’t recall its title. Other than that, it was just me and me typewritin’ machine (it…

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