Last weekend I was very fortunate to find myself away with some of my closest and oldest friends. These friends in question are ladies I’ve known since we were at Bristol University, over 2 decades ago. Whilst having this break from the norm, enjoying their company, relaxing and unwinding (in a fabulous Surrey spa no less!) my mind happened to wander and it unintentionally created a completely new idea and plot for a children’s book!
This new literary concept is completely unrelated to my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series and would be for older children aged 9+ , while my Whimsy Wood children’s books are for 5-8 year olds. In all fairness, children younger than 5 and indeed older than 8 enjoy these whimsical woodland stories, but in this day and age, we are required to specify a recommended age range for children’s literature and so ‘early-readers’ or for 5-8 year olds, is the recommended age range for the Whimsy Wood stories.
Anyway, this isn’t the 1st non-Whimsy Wood book for older children that my wee brain has conjured up. It is indeed the 2nd and the plots, characters and general story lines for both these books (which are also unrelated to each other) I’ve already noted down. If I don’t commit these ideas to paper when they come to me, then they have a tendency of vanishing like wisps of smoke, in rather the same non-tangible way that they originally appeared!
Now whilst I was reading this quarter’s SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) magazine, I came across a rather wonderful poem by Jennifer Moore, who has managed to sum up this random appearance of potentially new literary characters that writers get.
They come for you in darkness,
In the black depths of the night,
They call you while you’re sleeping
But they flee before the light.
They lurk around the bubble bath
And steamy shower screen,
Their silken voices singing
While you’re trying to get clean.
On solitary rambles
You’re never quite alone
‘Til you reach into your pocket
For your trusty dictaphone.
Some call them inspiration,
Some call them bright ideas,
They seek out busy writers
And they whisper in their ears.
I’m not sure where they come from,
How they find you, I don’t know,
But show them paper and a pen
And that’s their cue to go.
~ Jennifer Moore
My Whimsy Wood Series itself is approximately a 10 year project, as there are 35 books in this enchanting woodland series and Abela Publishing (who publish my series) wish to release 3 books from the series each year. Considering book 1, ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’, was 1st published in July 2013 and book 9, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Chocolate Caterpillar’, is due to be launched on July the 2nd, I have a fair way to go with the Whimsy Wood Series yet!
However, there’s no harm in having these additional creative ideas (I may have had enough of ‘Whimsy Wood’ by the time I reach the end of the series!) and who knows if these 2 non-Whimsy Wood children’s books will ever reach publication, but they are certainly another goal and dream for me to try to achieve, once the Whimsy Wood Series is complete. In the words of C.S.Lewis….
Talking of goals and dreams (and hopes of course), I am over-joyed to tell that you ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’, book 4 in my whimsical woodland series, is now a finalist in the international Children’s Literary Classics Book Awards! 😃
I’ll know if this book is a winner or runner-up in its category by early next month and I shall keep you posted on how it does! For now, you can see the list of finalists for these prestigious awards here :-http://www.clcawards.org/2016_CLC_Book_Award_Finalists.html
In other ‘Whimsy Wood’ news and with the online launch of book 9, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Chocolate Caterpillar’ fast approaching (July the 2nd to be precise!) the Whimsy Wood team and I thought we’d run a competition to win signed copies of this latest chocolatey instalment, to celebrate this exciting event!
This competition will be run on the Whimsy Wood Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/WhimsyWoodSeries/ and all you have to do to enter, is make a chocolate caterpillar cake and post a photo of your amazing culinary efforts on to the Whimsy Wood Facebook page. This competition will run from Saturday June the 25thm until book 9’s official launch date of July the 2nd. We will then notify the successful winners via the Whimsy Wood Facebook page!
Well that’s all from me for now. I’d best go and try to be creative elsewhere! 😃📚✨
With whimsical wishes,
Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.