My books arrived!

The three hard cover copies I ordered to give my kids and my nephew for Christmas arrived yesterday, well in time for Christmas.  So pleased.  The quality is amazing, and it’s an incredible feeling holding it in my hands as an actual book!

The illustrations my mother and son did look really great.

It’s for sale on Blurb if anyone is interested.  Because it’s printed to order, it’s quite expensive, so I haven’t added a profit for me.  That means I don’t make any money off it, which is fine, that was never the intention anyway.  If anyone buys one and they or their child enjoys it, that’s the main thing.

 

Grand & Epic Adventures

Guess what! Okay, you’ll never guess. I’m so excited though. This is big news. HUGE! *Laugh*

Today, I finally finished writing Grand & Epic Adventures, the novel I started in 2012 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). *Shock*

It’s taken me FIVE YEARS, but I finally finished it!

Mum has done some amazing illustrations for it, and so has my son, and I’m going to submit it to Blurb for printing before their sale ends on Wednesday. If it arrives in time (fingers crossed!), my kids and my nephew will finally get to read it on Christmas Day.

I can’t believe I’ve actually finished it! Five years! Ha ha! I’m almost giddy. I was busy writing the last chapter today while my mum and son were working on the drawings, and I’ve just finished it. Squee! I did it!

It’s nine chapters, plus two bonus ‘prequel’ short stories that I wrote for a NaNoWriMo prep challenge on Writing.com in 2012 that I’m going to include. The nine chapters are 33,827 words, and the short stories are 834 and 549 words, so 35,210 words in total. I think that’s within the realm of normal for a chapter book aimed at (gifted) 11-13 year old children.

Of course, my son is now 16 (oops!) but better late than never, right? *Laugh*

Anyway, I’m so happy. Partly because I can’t believe I actually finished a project for once. *Rolleyes* *Smirk2*

PS. I’ll try to share the illustrations soon. They’re awesome, you’ll love them!

A novel present

It’s September, and I am making plans for Christmas.  Ha ha!  Yeah, that’s pretty typical of me.  I’m the kind of person who buys gifts throughout the year to spread the cost and take advantage of sales.  My children’s birthdays are in the middle of the year, so the first half of the year I buy birthday presents and the second half of the year I buy Christmas presents.

This year we’re not buying Christmas presents.  We’re saving to go overseas next year for my sister’s wedding, so if they do get anything, it’s going to be passports.  And next year for their birthdays they’ll get plane tickets.  Which is more than enough, right?  But Christmas is a big deal in our family, and I have an idea…

In 2012 I did National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where you’re challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month.  It was madness, but I managed to write 30,000 words of a children’s fantasy novel.  It stars my children, my nephew and my godchildren, and a variety of mythical creatures.  The plan was to write a story that would challenge my children’s reading abilities while still being appropriate for their age and maturity.  See, my kids are both ‘gifted’, particularly in English, and both have reading levels well in advance of their peers.  This made it hard to find books that were at or slightly above their reading level but not too advanced in subject matter (such as sex or violence).  So my plan was to write something that used big words, was educational to an extent (my son was obsessed with mythical creatures at the time), but didn’t contain any material that wasn’t suitable for their level of maturity.

I intended to give it to my kids as a gift, but I never finished it.  Each year I’d remember about it, but I’d procrastinate and not get it done.  The kids in the story are 11 and 7 years old, and my kids are now 16 and 12. *Facepalm* Still, I want to finish it, and the sooner I give it to them, the better. I mean, better at 16 and 12 than 32 and 28, right? *Laugh*

I’m going to handwrite the story into journals, one each for my kids and my nephew.  See, the story centers around a handwritten journal, so it seems apt. To encourage me to stop procrastinating, on Friday I bought three journals.

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I think they’ll make neat Christmas presents.  Can you tell which one is for my daughter?  Ha ha!

I’ve written eight chapters so far (on the computer), but in the story the kids are trying to work out how many more adventures they can go on before the journal is full.  So I think I should handwrite in the completed chapters and adapt the story so that it ends at the end of the journal.  The worst thing would be if it was half a dozen pages too long for a single journal!

So yep, that’s what I’m working on at the moment. The first chapter is about a taniwha, which is a dragon unique to New Zealand where we live.