Sunday, 15 January 2017

How to be an Awesome Author

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. That's Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 

How to be an Awesome Author Post 15

How to be an Awesome Author (2013) is a how-to writing book intended for primary-school-aged children. It could also be of interest to younger high school pupils. The aim of this book, as with all my how-to books, is to be informative, practical and entertaining. 

I've been offering school workshops for many years, and have picked up quite a few impressions of what does and doesn't work for younger writers. Surprise, surprise, they are similar to older writers with one significant difference. Older writers, at least in the beginning, are motivated to write books and stories because they want a result. Some hope to make money, some would like fame, some want a sense of achievement and others want to prove someone else wrong. Still others want to share a theme or to entertain others. Whatever the motive, the hope of gaining their preferred result is strong enough to get them writing and to keep them writing... at least for a while. Child writers might be motivated by many of the some hopes, but they have one more motive. As school children they are obliged to write stories. Whether they want to or not, whether they have any talent or not, writing is part of the curriculum. 

People who love writing, will write. Children who do not love writing will still usually write, because the alternative is not what they like either. I have had children from all ends of the spectrum in my workshops, ranging from those who bubble over with delight to those who would really rather be doing something--anything--else. How to be an Awesome Author therefore aims to make writing stories as much fun as possible, while still instilling some practical and useful skills. The aim is for children to write good, entertaining, well-crafted and literate stories and to enjoy the process and to feel proud of the result.

The advice, therefore, comes not only from me, but also from a cross-eyed camel named Hieronymous Beetle, and other characters named Mr Bock, Miss Tiggy, Sakura, Matilda Millagra Derwent and Arthur Endeavour Andersson. I hired an illustrator to draw me some cartoons and self published the book via Lulu. Why? Well, my other how-to writing books for children had gone out of print but the publisher still holds the rights. I wanted to keep this one IN print! 

If you want to buy the paperback, go to BUY ME 
If you'd rather get the PDF, send me an email at sodgers(AT) with AWESOME AUTHOR in the subject line.


Thanks for reading