Monday 30 September 2013

Well as you may have seen from my tweets today, I'm pleased to say that Anthem for Jackson Dawes has been doing OK in the awards stakes. I have to thank so many people and have done in my tweets, but really, if New Writing North hadn't encouraged me with an award over ten years ago, then my book wouldn't be on the long list for the UKLA award for 2014 ( selected by teachers) and on the short list for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards for 2014 (selected by the good people of Coventry, though if you want to vote that my book stays in rather than out then perhaps you can vote for me even if you don't live there. Not sure. Check it out.) But without the editing advice I've had along the way, from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and James Catchpole, my agent, and finally from Emma Matthewson, who was part of the Bloomsbury team which took it up, then the book wouldn't have come this far. So a huge thanks to all. Now, I know they're just lists at the moment, this is me tethering myself to the ground again, but it's fab to be on them, and hopefully Anthem for Jackson Dawes will shuffle up the rankings and not be languishing, like Sunderland AFC is at the moment. Meanwhile, soon to speak to my editor about book two. Title will be revealed when we're all happy with it. Heading for a re-draft, I know, but read it through over the past couple of days and have identified some sluggish areas still. Thought I'd got rid of them. But I'm sure Ellen will have flagged up those areas, and probably some more, for attention. Believe it or not, this is the bit I really enjoy: trying to get it as right as possible; having another set of eyes to find the good bits and the not so good bits. And this is where I can get the language sounding the way I want it. Suppose it's not just the story, it's the way it's told, that I'm interested in, and hope you will be too when it comes out next year.  Also out next year will be the French and Dutch versions of Anthem for Jackson Dawes. I'll be interested to see what titles they'll use and just to see the words on the page. Been away researching book three, in case you're wondering about the huge gaps in this blog. I've been living by the sea, listening to its roar, examining sea weed and shells and lots more. With no computer and very little film watching, it's been nice. Read SO many books. Yes, that's research too. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if it doesn't look like hard work. Well, that's it for now folks. Hoping you'll wish me luck! Fingers crossed and everything!

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