Monday, April 27, 2015

Visiting EAC&G as an author

This last weekend, I spent both Saturday and Sunday at the East Anglian Game and Country show at the Norfolk Showground in Norfolk. I wasn't there as a visitor, but as a trader and had my own stand within a craft marquee owned by Town & Country Events. It was the first time since moving to Norfolk last November, that I had taken the books out and about. Saturday was not too bad, weatherwise, and the sun shone a fair bit which encouraged people to attend, resulting in a large crowd. On Sunday, the weather was rather cloudy and we had a bit of rain, but the people of Norfolk, and surrounds, turned out bravely in their hundreds.

This is my pretty stand, lights too!
Debra J Edwards - Author Stand


There were so many things to do and see at the show. Lots of areas for retail therapy including clothing stalls, doggy attire shops and home goods stalls. And places for when you were hungry or thirsty like the beer tents, fast food stands and tea areas. 
Events to watch included bird of prey displays, dog agility, ferret racing and even a sheep and duck display. K9 Aquasports had the dogs jumping in the water after balls. Some were a little reluctant...

There were plenty of things to take part in too such as clay pigeon shooting, archery and crossbows plus the high ropes course in the trees. A little too high for me, but I applaud those who climbed.

It was a great weekend for me. I met so many new readers who were enthusiastic about the topics of my books and bought lots of them. Many were keen for me to come and see them at their schools for workshops. A big hello to Mimi, Lydia, Harry, Izzy, Kira, Erin and Rebekah who were just a few of the lovely young people I met. And, having already heard from Norwich Junior School at 8am this morning, I think the message about my talks/workshops has definitely been delivered. 
   I also met a lot of teachers at the Education Zone who seemed excited at the prospect of having an author coming into school. As I am so new to Norfolk, school visits are a great way for me to establish myself in this new area.

A big thank you to Simon and Karen of Town and Country Events and to all the other lovely stallholders I met who made the two day event so pleasurable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cambridge Literary Festival

Yesterday, I was lucky to attend the Cambridge Literary Festival which, funny enough, was held in Cambridge. There was a great line-up of authors, but for me, the winners were Helen Moss and Chris Priestley. 

I know Helen from the SCBWI group I belong to so it was great to be able to go along and see her in action. I liked how interactive her talk was, especially with the amount of young people in there. The children were so involved and many had read Helen's mystery adventure books and had clearly loved them. I scribbled throughout the session, making notes for what could be changed in my own author talks. I shall be stealing a few ideas, that's for sure. After the session there was a long queue waiting for books to be signed. An inspring event.

My second event was with the Master of Horror, Chris Priestley, who despite being unwell, managed to set a chilling tone to the final children's session of the festival. It was great to hear about his writing background and that he had been an illustrator. There were lots of young people here too, eager to listen to Chris reading from his book, Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror. As he ended there were more than a few gasps from the audience. I love this type of horror and Chris' talk made me realise that I need to be more daring in what I write and not to underestimate what children can take in books. A great event.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My new study is finished.

So now that the study is up and running, here is a photo of the shelving unit. And yes, the books are all in author order. So sad, I know. Shelves B,C, D are at the top here with F,G, H underneath. I'm not normally this good at arranging my books, but had to find a way to access all the wonderful authors I have yet to read quickly.

Alas, the great ordering of said shelves cannot be applied to my new desk set up. I seem to accumulate so many notebooks, post-it notes, book marks, scissors, pens etc. I'm sure they breed while I sleep. The upside is that the desk now looks out over the front garden, providing a much nicer view than the wall I had in the old study. The chair is still the old uncomfortable one, but I write more if I am not too settled and that chair definitely keeps me on edge.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'll be here 25th/26th April in the Town and Country marquee. 
Why not pop in and say hello!

The Iron City - teaser

Sunday, April 12, 2015

#UKYADAY Why I write YA

My first three books were middle grade fantasy novels about stroppy teenage tooth fairies. At the time, I was teaching Year 6 (10-11 year olds) in primary school so I had a captive audience for my stories. I was able to read parts of the books out and get feedback from the pupils too. Some took home the whole manuscripts to read which was a little scary, but they were truthful in what they liked and what they thought didn't work. So why change to YA?

I saw YA as a challenge, something I didn't really think I would be able to do. There were so many good YA writers out there already. Why did the world need another one, especially an inexperienced one? But the need to do something different burnt away at me as I was reading more and more YA novels and enjoyed them. I also started interacting online with YA writers and readers, seeking advice about the different things I should take into account when writing YA - like swearing and love scenes! I was already a member of SCBWI which also helped.

Fantasy has always been my first love. Books like Faerie Wars, The Hobbit, LOTR played a huge part in my early YA reading. For me, it was a natural move from middle grade fantasy into YA paranormal writing. There had been a lot written about vampires and werewolves so I consciously didn't want to write about them. Having had a fascination with ghosts from an early age, I knew that was the route I wanted to take, but it needed something different, an edge.

Marvin's Curse is about a 17 year old boy who inherits the gift of communicating with the spirit world, something he sees as a curse. After meeting a confused teenage spirit who does not realise she's dead, Marvin reluctantly agrees to help her find her memories.The book takes the reader to an underground world, Moghador, a halfway place where those who cannot or will not crossover dwell. A decrepit pawnbroker holds the key to their problem.

Middle grade is something I would go back to, but for the moment, I'm sticking with YA.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Blog page views for March, 2866.

I was looking at the breakdown of page views on my blog for March and it makes interesting reading. At 2866, it was the best month I have had for views since I first started the blog in 2009. Amazing how many views came from other countries rather than the UK where I actually live. Also, I can pick my friend Lorraine out as a viewer from the Cayman Islands which is cool. Three views from India! Wow! I would love to hear from anyone who takes the time to look at the things I write so do drop a comment/photo in so I can give you a mention. Thank you for looking.

United States
United Kingdom
Cayman Islands

Amazon Ratings

This is nice to see on Amazon - Marvin's Curse.

#73 in Kindle Store > Books > Teen & Young Adult > Horror > Ghosts

Friday, April 03, 2015

Marvin the Hypnotist

The huge man’s eyes fell on the chain, watching as it swung left then right then left then right… It was a good start!
‘Your eyelids are heavy, very heavy.’
Still the man’s eyes were focused on the chain although his eyelids weren’t closing as fast as Marvin had hoped…
‘Your eyelids are very, very heavy. You can hardly keep them open…’ Marvin now clasped both hands together, hoping to contain the tremor that had started to develop in his right hand. The chain swung out, the silver catching the light. Go to sleep, damn you!
‘Your whole body is tired and exhausted! You need to sleep!’
With cold, dark eyes never leaving the swinging chain, the huge man lumbered forward, each step bring him closer to Marvin.
‘I said, you’re very tired, you need to sleep…’ Marvin started moving backwards and found himself walking in a large circle, the huge man still mesmerised by the chain yet, incredibly, wide awake. What the hell was it going to take…
A large brick by all accounts!

 Marvin's Curse - 99c/99p Amazon  
'A marvellous book full of unexpected twists, turns and high imagination.'  Herbie Brennan, international best selling author of Faerie Wars.

On Amazon now 99p/99c