Guest Blogger – Susan Day

Child, Girl, Read, Learn, Book

Hi again everyone!

I told you I would be featuring guest bloggers soon, and the writing that follows comes from a rather lovely author, Susan Day, who has written 15 books for children and also has a website, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, with some really helpful information for grandparents. She writes a blog (on the same site – link in her guest piece but you can find it by clicking on the above website link) and I strongly suggest you check her out, because the site is fab!

Susan Day writes…

How important is it to be a flexible writer?

When was the last time you flexed your writing muscles and wrote a piece that was completely unrelated to what you normally write about?

I never get sick of writing. I love it, and I have been doing it since I was four years old.

And now I’m a bit more grown up I get paid to write. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

But, there is a catch (there is always a catch).

I have to write about such a diverse range of subjects sometimes it makes my mind boggle!

So far this week I’ve written about the Internet of Things, purchasing a home on the beautiful west coast of the States (I live in Australia), and why you should consider China as your next marathon destination (the only part of my body that runs is my nose when I’ve got a cold!).

As well, I have written about proverbs that mention cats, dog cartoons, and one of my favorite subjects – how grandparents can build a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren.

I have also written 15 books for children over the past 7 year; this is where my true passion lies.

It’s not always about the money

Well, it is sort of all about the money because I like the way money buys me stuff, and I like stuff. I like a roof over my head and my belly full, and stuff to fill up my house.

Writing content for clients has taught me a lot about the art of writing, which I employ in my own posts and stories.

Creating a compelling written piece is a skill. For those who are new to blogging, it’s not just the words that matter. Great blog posts which lead people to websites over and over again have to be formatted properly; images tagged and added in certain places and subheadings… don’t get me started about subheadings!

It’s about diversity

Whether you are interested in writing for money or just writing because you love it, I would suggest you set yourself a task once a day and write about something you have no interest in at all.

You don’t have to belt out a novel. Just write a short 250 word article about the joys of fishing for catfish in South America or the novelty of red scarves or keeping guinea pigs on a budget. Write about anything!

Unless you are a world leader in keeping guinea pigs on a budget you’ll find that the old grey matter will be really stretched.

You may actually find it difficult to write because your brain is used to pouring out paragraphs in your chosen genre, and you love writing about the characters you have created.

Don’t let that stop you because we all know practice makes perfect.

The benefits of writing about unusual and unrelated subjects

I have found two main benefits from writing about strange and unusual subjects.

I never suffer from writer’s block, and I mean never. I can write about anything and anywhere. I am almost convinced I could write about the Sahara Desert under water.

My mind is a sharp instrument that can carve a statue of words out of a mountain of rock. Well, maybe not that sharp, but you get the gist.

The other benefit is when I have finished working and I turn back to my books, I am refreshed and really excited. I feel freer and more confident about writing.

So, how have you flexed your writing muscles lately?

About the author – Susan Day

Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents, parents and teachers to support them in helping children become better readers. As well, Susan has created a guide to help grandparents build a more meaningful relationship with their grandchildren through their love and passion for books.

Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves coffee, painting and learning to box.

Joe

Joe ad

Hello again everyone!

I know, it’s been a while since I last wrote to you, and you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve given up blogging for Lent, (not true!) but I’ve been so busy that I don’t know if I’m baked or boiled at the moment.

Update on what’s been happening:

The short story I submitted back at the end of January (the ‘Joe’ in the header) is being featured in the anthology ‘A Haunting of Words’ via Scout Media and is due for release probably in June.

I sent my latest book, Sunshine Girl, out to beta readers a few weeks back and the general consensus is that it’s great! Several have said that they like it so much they are going to actually buy the book once it’s published (and that’s fantastic news!). To that end, (and feeling ever hopeful!) I’ve submitted it to a rather large agency to see whether anyone would like to take it on – with the aim of having it published by one of the ‘Big Five’ – if you’re going to dream big you have to aim high!

Eek!

I’m also part-way through my next book – Casadastraphobia – another book for adults (definitely for adults!) as well as working in my day job. No, before you ask, there’s not enough hours in the day for my liking!

I’ve been sharing a lot of tips on writing skills that I’ve found on Pinterest via Twitter and Facebook, so if you’d like to read any, do please follow me on either (or both) – I don’t just post ‘serious’ stuff – there’s some lighter moments, too! On FB you’ll find me at https://www.facebook.com/authorjillturner and on Twitter, I’m: https://twitter.com/JillMTurner – follow me and I’ll follow you right back!

Oh, and do please feel free to interact with me. I don’t bite and I love to chat!

Until next time,

Jill

Half Term Break (and The Sunshine Girl)

As the title says, it’s the half term break from school where everybody (and, no doubt, their uncle) has been ill. It’s been a constant: from the dreaded sickness bug to the cold/flu thingy that just keeps on giving and then gives some more. It’s been awful and we all, children and staff alike, need this break to try to recuperate!

I’ve also been busy writing and am most of the way through a paranormal mystery/thriller  at the moment – and this one’s for over 15s rather than children. It’s been a challenge, mainly because my characters appear to have minds of their own and keep doing/saying things they weren’t supposed to, therefore taking it into different twists and turns I hadn’t originally planned for. Writing this has been as much of a surprise to me as it will be to you!

It’s called ‘The Sunshine Girl’, but it’s quite a lot darker than the name suggests. I’ll be playing with covers after I finish the first draft and am also looking for input from new beta readers as my regular crew work with children’s stories rather than this type.

Let me know if you’d like to be one!

On another note, I am shortly going to have guest bloggers posting on here with content related to writing. I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope you’ll all enjoy their posts as much as I’m sure I will.

Speak to you again soon and thanks for reading!

Jill

A Haunting of Words

publishingcontract-for-jill-turner I don’t normally like to blow my own trumpet, but I make absolutely no apology for how large this picture is – the story I wrote (that I told you about in my last post) has been accepted for publication! The book it is appearing in is titled ‘A Haunting of Words’ and, (if I say so myself), will be pretty fantastic!

I am so happy I could burst!

I will be posting more details about it all and how you can get a copy as soon as the details are available!

New Year/New Beginnings!

As the title may suggest, I have been somewhat busy lately which means that I have not posted on here as often as usual. (If you’re cheering, please don’t tell me!)

Apart from the day job, I have now been accepted as a proofreader for my local University, which ties in with the move I have made into proofreading and copy editing; https://littleredlines.wordpress.com is where you’ll find further information on this, if you’re interested.

I’ve also entered a short story into a competition which, if chosen, will win a place in a book alongside several other awesome authors. As there have been roughly a million other submissions I’m not holding my breath that it will make it in, particularly as the genre and guidelines are outside of what I normally write, but it was a fun thing to do. If you’re a writer, you’ll know that since submission I have thought of a hundred ways I could have improved it, and two versions (with different endings) are now resting in my files – and obviously I prefer the second, unsubmitted, version. Hey ho!

If it doesn’t make the grade, I’ll post it on here for you to take a gander at.

I’ve not had time to promote any of my books, but did see a lovely review of the last book in The Seelie Princess Trilogy, which was wonderful and reminded me that I need to put out my own reviews of books I have been reading (as I lay in bed trying to switch off from the day). Which reminds me that I must find the lead to charge the Kindle! I’m most of the way through a book on there that I really want to review, because it’s good!

Hope your year is starting out well for you, too. Why not let me know what you’re up to? I like to hear from you.

‘Til next time, take care all!

Jill

Writing in English

As a member of several writer groups on different forums, a question that often comes up is how do people who are not native English speakers write for the English-speaking community? This is a hard question to answer particularly as anyone who writes in a language that is foreign to them has my complete admiration.

The problem is that when a native English speaker has a face-to-face conversation with someone who has English as a second language, each makes themselves understood by far more than the spoken word. Facial expression, gesticulation and body language assist in our understanding of what is meant and enables each to understand the other.

I tend to stay out of these forum conversations purely because the only advice I can offer with any sincerity is that they take an English creative writing course. I have seen others comment to this effect – and have also seen them shot down in flames. The main reasons for this appear to be either cost issues or because nobody likes to admit that they may need a lot of help to understand the nuances of the English language.

Now I understand that courses cost money and I also understand that these people may have a fantastic story rolling around in their heads, but I also categorically know that not learning the ropes will result in an unread book/story.

So, harsh as it may seem, my advice would be that they write their book in their native language and promote it accordingly. They could very well have the next best-seller on their hands and, if that is the case, it will probably be translated for them!

Moving on to other things – as you know ‘The Seelie Princess Trilogy’ is now complete. As you also know, I was somewhat upset by Clary and Sam’s story reaching its natural conclusion – I felt like I had lost two dear friends. Thanks, however, to several fans who have asked me whether the Whisps ever called on Clary to pay back her father’s debt to them, I now have my next Seelie story to write. I don’t know exactly what it will be titled as yet, but ‘A Whisp of a Problem’ is bringing a smile to my face…

http://mybook.to/SeeliePrincess     http://mybook.to/RiseofDragons  http://mybook.to/SeelieQueen    http://mybook.to/NanNoseBest

#fairytale #childrensbooks #amwriting #fantasy #goodreads #theseelieprincesstrilogy #youngadultbooks #booksforteens

Christmas is coming!

That’s it for the year – work’s finally finished and I can’t wait for the holidays to start tomorrow. It’s been a year of extreme ups and downs – so many fantastic people have been lost along the way – but we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to celebrate life to the maximum: love your friends and families while you still can.

Here’s wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year!

I’ll be posting some snippets from my next book soon – this one’s for adults, rather than children, so keep your eyes peeled…

Don’t forget, if you’re lucky enough to be given any Amazon vouchers, my children/young adult books are available and longing to be read. There will be some special pricing in place just after Christmas, so check them out here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M/

Thank you for caring enough to follow me, have a happy time, relax, enjoy life and I’ll see you all again next year!

Jill x