Books for Kids

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Birth of Titus the Blue Tit

Someone asked me the other day, where I got the idea to write my children's stories about this little bird called Titus. I guess the original idea came from watching the garden birds. One day I was just staring out the window, [as you do when bored] and saw some Wrens creating a nest and getting harassed by a Blue Tit as they flitted about.

Ping!! the what if bell rang and turned into a flash story called 'New Neighbours' that's in my collection 'Five Minute Fiction'.  Then while trying to entertain my grand children one day, I created a verbal story about this little Blue Tit called Titus who got into trouble try to visit a friend. I'd never thought of writing for children but my grandchildren liked the story so I thought why not.

I spent a lot of time playing around with 'Titus' not sure if I had what it takes to be a writer of kids stuff. I'm a writer of flash fiction, I don't write novels. What makes me think I'd be any good at writing for kids? So, I read up on the subject of writing for children. Boy did that confuse me, people say it's hard to get the tone right and even harder to use the right language level for kids, and the list of doe's and don'ts is as long as your arm.

What to do? Well, I went on line and found a writing forum, joined in with the chat about writing and when I felt comfortable, I posted my little story for some feedback. I got a lot of constructive criticism and used the feedback to improve the story. Then came the big test. I needed to show it to my peers, and get some face to face feedback.

Although I'd read it to all the family and anyone else who stood still long enough, I still wasn't sure. After all they were my family and friends, who would always say nice thing about my writing wouldn't they? I mean, they wouldn't want to upset me, with the truth would they? I guess we writers all go through this uncertainty about our work, don't we?

I belonged to a creative writing group in my home town at the time and tentatively showed it to the group. Although they were a friendly group I knew I could rely on them to tell me the truth. One by one they said it was good or they would read it to their kids etc. Wow! I was pumped. Then, one member [a teacher of 5-7 year olds] said, would I like her to read it to her class and get some feedback from the kids. Would I? I snatched her hand off.

Back to my teacher friend, it was a hit, her class loved it. They especially liked the bits about the bugs, well, kids always love buggy stuff don't they?  Titus was born and became 'A Titus Adventure' with beautiful illustrations by the wonderful artist Barbara Shore. At first I thought it was a one off, but it got such good reviews when I published it, I thought maybe I can do another.

I now have three 'Titus' stories published, two are self-published as A Titus Adventure and  Titus and the Magic Feather I also have Titus stories  in collections published by The Peacock Writers in aid of children's charities. Titus and his Adventure with Cedric and Santa is in a Whimsical Holiday for Children  and Tius and the Magic Feather is in The Rain Clouds Gifts  Titus and his Adventures with Cedric and Santa will be published as a stand alone with illustrations by Barbara Shore in time for Christmas. All Titus stories are paperback as well as e-books.

About The Peacock Writers
An on line group I belong to had the idea of writing a book for children's charities and called for submissions. This turned into The Peacock Writer of which I am a very proud member. Two or three times a year we get together and write a themed book for children and all royalties go to various children's charities.

The Peacock Writers have written and published two book to date, the first had a Christmas/winter theme and the second a rainbow/spring theme.  We have another in the pipeline for Halloween/autumn and there will be a 'Titus story in that too.

Carol x

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Peacock Writers are Recruiting

The Peacock Writers are  a group of writer who come together three or four times a year to write for children's charities. Here's a note from my very good friend Paula Shene who is like myself a founder member of The Peacock Writers.

From Paula Shene  at Paul and Paula's Place

If we thought last month was busy, this month got off to a plunge into new adventures of editing, writing, publishing, promoting, and social interaction.

The Rain Cloud's Gift written for Children's Charities by our group The Peacock Writers' is on it's way to the NYC BOOK FAIR at the JACOB JAVIT'S CONVENTION CENTER. No mass books or signing, just books displayed for industry professionals, stars, editors, publicists, publishers, and acquisition teams for the movie industry. Gwenna D'Young has an Angel who was so impressed with the book, and has given us the money and backing to have the book appear in the line up. We are also in the process of releasing a full, pictures included, limited edition.

Our next book in this series will celebrate the fall season and we are recruiting writers {1 each} from India, Japan, and Philippines - America has Halloween and Thanksgiving, Great Britain has Guy Fawkes - we would like stories that reflect fall traditions or holidays for these other cultures as well. The stories would remain the sole property of the author and their use as a donation would only occur for the book collection for Children's Charities. The story is to be written on a level where a child could either read it or have it read to them - our age goal for readers is 0 through 12. 

Please leave a comment on this link which will take you to Paul & Paula's Place, if you are interested in being considered.
Carol x

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Titus Adventure

Hi all, just wanted to let you all know I have a new Titus Adventures book on sale in both e-book and paperback. This one is Titus and the Magic Feather. Barbara Shore has outdone herself with the illustrations on this one, here's just a few. 

The story is about Titus’s friend Hamlet who is a Great Dane. Hamlet gets kidnapped or rather dog-napped and Titus along with his friends goes to the rescue.
Here’s the paperback link:

If you prefer to buy from Amazon, they tell me the paperback will be on there soon.
The e-book is available on Amazon:

However, unless you have Kindle Fire the images will be in black and white.


Carol x