I hoped to be making an exciting announcement about my children’s books which I am publishing as actual hold-in-your hand books but grrr…. things are not going according to plan! There have been unforeseen complications and although the books are there printed and looking lovely, I can’t promote them yet. This is so infuriating and frustrating but I guess I’ll just have to be patient, and not waste my time and energy being annoyed or irritated.
I wrote these books as stories for my students because there didn’t seem to be anything commercially available for them; my students were 15-16 years old and perfectly competent readers, fluent and literate, and intelligent. However they just didn’t want to read, they had no interest in it and saw no point in it. They needed to read because they needed to be practised for their forthcoming exams, so how to get them to do it? They didn’t mind reading for a purpose so I presented them with what they thought was a comprehension exercise… but the passage had a cliff-hanger ending. Why were three men chasing the boy? What was in the envelope he took from his secret hiding place? Where had his dad disappeared to? The following lesson I presented them with what appeared to be another comprehension with grammar exercise, but was in fact chapter 2 of an ongoing story.
They twigged straight away but they didn’t mind because they wanted to know what was going to happen. The story ended up as twelve chapters, and when we had finished it, they asked what was next… so another story was devised!
These two stories became my books ‘Run, Blue, Run!’ and ‘Screaming King Harry’. Another thing they needed to practice was writing in different ways, for different purposes and in different styles; so again I wrote something especially for my students, a short novel told in a variety of ways, a diary, a news report, a children’s story, a myth, a TV broadcast… all went together following a narrative which became ‘The Story of Rufus Redmayne’. These stories are not easy readers; they are not meant for kids who can’t read, but kids who won’t read!
My students were the first to suggest I published my three short books, and after a few years of lulling it over, that’s what I did… It is so frustrating now that I can’t properly launch them yet…
Watch this space, they will be coming… and if you’re interested, get in touch, I might have a special offer for you!