Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Author Interview

I have another author interview in Writers' Forum the October 2007 issue. It is available in your shops now. It is about Peter Kerr, who went to Mallorca to start an orange farm with his family and started writing best-selling books about his experiences there. You can find out more about Peter Kerr from his website:

If you would like to take a look at the article it is on pages 9-10. In the meantime, why not have a look at my new website:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pick Up A Play

Pick Up A Play - Plays for Primary Schools - Ages 9-10
Hopscotch Educational Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-905390-36-6
Price: £35

This is a super file (even if I do say so myself) and is part of a series of differentiated plays at three ability levels for each year of primary school. Pick Up a Play for ages 9-10 contains 27 different plays to photocopy, which can be used for guided reading or performance on stage. Each play is accompanied by detailed teachers' notes that provide suggestions for making costumes and props, as well as performance ideas for each of the characters. The plays are closely matched to the new Literacy framework and indicate cross-curricular links.


  • Childhood Experiences - friends, school journey, Victorian childhood
  • Traditional stories - fairy tales, myths and legends, fables
  • Stories form other cultures - creation stories, Chinese festivals, Christmas

Monday, September 10, 2007

Market Research

I started my writing career (that sounds real professional dunnit)...

Anyway, I started my writing career, writing short stories for the national Women's Magazines and feature articles for County Magazines. I had quite a bit of success doing this and learnt a lot. One of the most important lessons I learnt was before you write anything you should do your market research.

When writing for the magazine market it is so important you know who your audience is and what they want. One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I first started out was by Iain Patterson who told me to get hold of the contributor's guidelines. These are often available online.

Well, to be honest, when I first started out I found market research extremely difficult. But, the more I tried to do it the better I got. I now automatically pick up a magazine and look at the adverts, the letters page and the way the stories and articles are written, to get an idea of who the readership the magazine is aimed at, are.

I ask myself questions like:
  • Whose viewpoint is it from?
  • How long are the sentences?
  • How long are the paragraphs?
  • Is it in first or third person?
  • What tense is it written in?
  • How much dialogue is used?
  • Is slang used?
  • Is compression used (i.e. i'll, we've)?
  • Are there any sentences beginning with And and But?
  • Are there any swear words?

I beleive this was excellent training and has helped me to launch my career in to writing teacher resources because, although the writing and market is different you still need to consider who the target audience is and whether you are meeting the requirements of the in-house style.

So my advice is to anyone who wants to get published, whether it is in writing for children, adults, your publisher , or a specific ediitor - do your market research. Know who you are writing for.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Hi All,

I apologise to all those people who have emailled me to ask when I was goiong to update my blog. I'm sorry. The whole of August seems to have passed me by in a blur.

As expected, I had a wonderful time, at the Caerleon Writers' Holiday. It was great being able to get together with all my friends again and hard to believe we had not seen each other for a whole year.

Here are the pictures I promised I would put on my blog.

The first picture is Ian and Maureen and the second is Maureen again with Beth and Howard

This is Trish and of course you all know my very good friend Lynne (who I'm missing already)

Good news is that the Caerleon Writers' Holiday has a brand new website, courtesy of Sunrise Webs, which for those of you who don't know is my web design company. Check out the new website at:

For more information about my the websites I have designed have a look at:

More good news is the developing History series I have written for A&C Black goes on sale at the end of this month. the books are available to pre-order from Amazon at:

My book of plays for Hopscotch is also available to buy from Hopscotch. Although, they have still not put my title on the website yet. Check out: and ask for the Ages 9-10 file.

Anyway, I hope to post more frequently in September and I also hope to have my website live and running soon too.