POEM: My Sister Loves Worms

Girl with wormA

My sister loves worms
She loves how they wiggle
My sister loves worms
She loves how they jiggle
My sister loves worms
Wherever they are found
My sister loves worms
Under muddy ground
My sister loves worms
On her comfy bed
My sister loves worms
On her silky head
My sister loves worms
Sat on our telly
My sister loves worms
Squirming in her belly

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The Writer’s Life

Writing and pen

When I visit schools, children often ask me questions about being a writer and what it is really like so I thought I would attempt to answer some of the most common questions I am asked here.

Are you rich?
The answer is no. Most writers are not rich. The average yearly wages for a writer is £10,500 so that means most writers have another job as well, like me. Unless, you are super succesful like JK Rowling. Then you can write all the time. I’m afraid to say I don’t live in a big house and have twenty-eight cats. I have two and a goldfish.

Are you famous?
No. Very few writers get recognised on the street. The ones that do tend to have been celebrities before they became writers, like David Walliams. They were famous for something else first. Of course, there are a few exceptions like Michael Rosen, Roger McGough or Anthony Horowitz who have also been on TV after their books became well-known. I’ve only been recognised in the street once by a girl whose school I had visited. She yelled, “Look, there’s that writer who came to my school. He’s going into that house!” Otherwise, I walk about never noticed. I could be sat by you and you wouldn’t know.

What do you do when you write? What’s it like?
When I write, I take myself out of the house away from distractions like the TV, cats, fish, reliable internet and go to a place I call ‘the office.’ There I can get endless cups of coffee for just £1.25.
I settle down at the table, look at the outline of my book I’m currently working on, open up my tablet and keyboard and begin writing. I write using a programme called Scrivener which was specially made for writers. While I write, I usually listen to music without voices to cut out any background noise that may distract me and put me off. I might write non-stop for an hour or three. It depends how easily the writing is coming. As I write, I talk to nobody except my characters and imagined audience. They are my only concern.
Writing can be lonely. You sit by yourself, not speaking, not knowing if your writing is any good or worth reading. You just hope it is and carry on. That is why I am also a member of two Writing Groups. There, I share my work, find out what people think of it, if my jokes work, and talk about writing issues such as the best way to solve a problem with point of view.
Sometimes things are different. Sometimes I get to meet my readers when I am invited to a school to do a talk or run writing workshops. Then I get to share my love of writing and talk about books and we do some writing together. It’s great fun.

Have you written any other books?
Yes. Three others but they’re not published yet. One is for grown-ups, one is a kind of Tolkien adventure, and another is about an elf which I’m sending to Literary Agents. I am also working on another one at the moment.

I hope all this helps clear up the things I’m most asked. If you’ve any other questions, just ask in the comment’s box below.

POEM: Pages


We’re going on an adventure
Through tall trees and over mountains
Pass great creatures in fields
And in taverns littered with gold

We’re going on an adventure
Across wide rivers with sea serpents
Through boggy lands where monsters hide
Two brave heroes with armour of foil

We’re going on an adventure
Across plains of racing dinosaurs
Pass cavemen crouching over fires
With our jam sandwiches in our packs

We’re going on an adventure
Under the three moons of Mars
Zooming across the planet on jets
Eating protein pills for energy.

After The Launch

 

Well, well, well the brilliant book launch went ahead smoothly and there was a good gathering of parents, children and teachers to hear my little speech and then extracts from the book, Wishbone Billy. The nice people of Big Green Bookshop are stocking the book and sales have gone well with little left of the original stock.

If you can’ t get to the shop and want a copy, the book is available on Amazon for only £4.99 and has received some great reviews:

Fantastic read for primary aged and young teens. Well-paced Dahlesque adventures will keep the kids gripped.   Doug

Great read. We loved it.   Andre

A fantastic read for children. Both my kids loved it. We all particularly enjoyed the scene with the cow and the bedroom scene with Cuddles is hilarious. Where’s the next book?   JL

What’s it about?
Well, it’s a  non-stop, edge of your seat ride with Billy on his magical journey in search of new, better parents. Have your parents ever annoyed you? Have they ever done something you could never forgive? Well, Billy has annoying parents. In fact, he has the worse parents IN THE WORLD! They are lazy, selfish and cruel. His life is terrible. What can save him? One day, something magical happens: Billy gets a wishbone and wishes for new parents. But as everybody knows: you better be careful what you wish for. This book is full of eccentric, zany characters that will have you laughing out loud.

If you want to get a taste of the book, the first few chapters are on here.

 

Book Launch

 

dfw-sf-wb-cover-small
To promote the launch of my book 
Wishbone Billy the marvellous people at Big green Bookshop, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London will be hosting my book launch.

The event will be taking place on Sunday 16th July from 3pm to 5pm.

You are all welcome to come join me and have some nibbles and drink while listening to part of the book. I will even answer questions if you have any.

Look forward to seeing you there.

big green book shop

 

POEM: Teacher says…

midnightfrog_just-your-imagination

 

Teacher says
my writing is not very good
But I dream of slaying serpents
with a dappled sword of light

Teacher says
I should use more connectives
But I search the fathoms of Hades
for the last souls of the unforgiven

Teacher says
it would be better with subordinate clauses
But I dance with moonlight maidens
on an ocean of stardust from Mars

Teacher says
my work lacks imagination
But I journey home, sword broken
and the beast of burden victorious