A new odyssey.

The sun is out. The 48 hour squall that passed over us, dropping snow, sleet and rain has moved out. Back to spring dreams.

I am ensconced in the Next Book and feeling how far I have come since I started writing The Blackhope Enigma. The learning curve was very steep but the rewards immense. Now it’s on to a new project and I’m going into it with the same attitude I had before: have a go, write from the heart, get it down on paper, be open to improvements, polish it till it’s as perfect as can be.

I have learned an incredible amount about writing over the past few years. Alongside my practice, I read a lot about what’s happening in the publishing industry, what other authors are up to and what their writing tips are.

Last week the Bologna Children’s Book Fair took place in Italy, and though I couldn’t go this year, I followed people’s tweets about it and read their blog reports this week. I am really impressed by the time people took to write up their notes, especially Beth Peck, whose blog has some fascinating nuggets of info from publishing industry afficionados. This quote from Richard Peck’s talk made me laugh out loud (ruefully):

If you see an adverb, shoot it.

I used to have to “shoot” my adverbs with the big bad Delete button, but now I can spot them looming at twenty paces and body swerve them. Another step on the learning curve…

More personal views of the Bologna Book Fair come from author Ally Carter
and illustrator John Shelley. Mary Hoffman (aka Book Maven) wrote reports for all three days she was at Bologna. All these blogs (and the tweets I followed) gave me a pretty good flavour of the Fair.

So, suitably fired up by the overall feeling that this year was buoyant, I head back to my draft manuscript and cross over into the imaginary world of the Next Book.