The A to Z Challenge starts today!
Since my theme for this year’s April A to Z Challenge is going to be stories – mainly my own, but with some book reviews thrown in – I thought I’d better start by acknowledging the sources and inspirations.
First, though, I need to tell you about the Giveaway running all through April. There are some great middle grade (9-12 age group) ebooks as prizes including all those reviewed in this Challenge and some from earlier in the year too. First prize is a copy of the Princelings of the East Trilogy in paperback, open internationally. Click the button for details.
I try to acknowledge people at the start of my books. It’s hard to know who to include and who to leave out. There are actual helpers, like my cover illustrator, Dani English (who is featured under the letter K for Kanizo.co.uk) and my editor, beta reader and inspiration, Dawn. Then there are all those who help me promote and market the books, except that I only know them as Twitter friends, Goodreads friends and Bloggers. Of course, the wonderful reviewers should be acknowledged. I don’t know who they all are either, although I tend to hope that some of those who have reviewed in the past might do so again. Thank you particularly to my earliest reviewers, MikeJ, Friday_Sam, Megan and Denise. I also have to acknowledge those who inspired me – mainly the guinea pigs, not all of whom are or were mine.
Among the stories there are pieces which could be termed flash fiction, and also excerpts or new tales from the world of the Princelings. I am including some exercises I did in a Creative Writing class, so I must acknowledge Sarah Bower and all my co-writers at the Unthank School of Writing class last year, and thank Hilary, Judi and Jon for taking part in this challenge with me. In turn I should acknowledge all those writers or editors whose ideas Sarah used to set us exercises. The exercises I liked most were those where you had a number of disparate characters and a setting and had to weave it all together. I think Pickpocket was my favourite; Burial at Sea was the first we did, and has been slightly extended since I could foresee the ending when I wrote the shorter exercise. Just for fun, I’ll tip you off when there are key words or phrases given to make a story out of – you can guess what they are and check at the end.
I think most authors would probably also admit they acquire ideas from overheard conversations or events in daily life, so I would like to thank all those who unwittingly laid bare their souls when a writer was nearby, to be transcribed into a story for a kind of immortality. As a ‘notice’ circulating among writers’ circles on Facebook says: “Don’t upset me or I’ll put you in my book and kill you!”
Blogging from A to Z this year is going to be particularly hard when I’m also trying to keep up with other regular features – book reviews, the Kid Lit Blog Hop and the Pre-1960s Classic Children’s Book Reading Challenge. I’ll work it all in somehow… it adds to the fun. Enjoy!