At the moment I am in limbo with my children’s book, The Book of Thoth, as I have booked a literary consultant for the beginning of February, and I don’t want to do anything with it until then. It would have been so easy to go ahead and self-publish, but I have taken the harder route of consultant feedback, followed by rewrite, followed by an enormous amount of praying, good luck, crossing of fingers and toes, and whatever else it may take to get my book professionally published. There’s no guarantee of professional publication so, to the sceptic, it may sound like I am wasting three months of valuable self-publish sales. But I think this process is essential if you are serious about becoming a better writer. Yes, I know, I have argued the point before that terrible writers can be bestsellers and great writers can have poor sales, but for me it is important to go through this process.
To fill the void whilst I wait, I decided to read the books in The Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2014 – (www.fictionaward.boltonschool.me).
The shortlisted books are:
After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross
Young Knights of the Round Table by Julia Golding
Chase the Dark by Sam Hepburn
Constable and Toop Gareth P Jones
Moon Bear by Gill Lewis
No Where by Jon Robinson
As a would-be author, it is important to read, and you need to read a wide range of books so you get to grips with genre, writing styles, narrative mode, narrative time etc. I read children’s books, as my target audience are children, and I need to know what is already out there. They say you should never judge a book by it’s cover and I say you should never judge a book by its blurb either. When I looked at these books, I created a list in my head of the order I wanted to read these books in, the first book being the one I thought I would enjoy the most. Once I had read the books, my first and last place books were reversed – my favourite was actually the one that I had placed last on my list!
I think this is a great way of getting children to read books that they wouldn’t otherwise be tempted to pick up, so even though most people that read this blurb will not have children that are taking part in the Bolton Children’s Fiction Book Award, I would still recommend these books for your kids. It’s mainly Y7 and Y8’s that are taking part, but most of the books are suitable for ages 9-13 years. If you have a child that is at a school that is taking part, then, the books will be available in the school library. My son assures me that there are plenty of them 🙂