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Mayday!

The fifth picture book in the Tiffy and Toffy series will be released this month by Olida. The Lucky Pellet is a read-out-loud story for kids with plenty to find and count in the pages.
The Tiffy Toffy series has been taken up by the Loch Lomond National Park. Full of animals and birds, the picture books are available to buy on their website and in all their shops from May onwards.

Now, we cheated. We had a lovely two weeks in the Canaries, swimming, walking and eating lots. The warm weather really lifted that winter fog from my brain and resulted in a spilling out of words. Seascape, book 2 of the Island adventures is well under way now, as is my re-write of The Eden Seed, my re-write of The Magic Scales and my tidy up of book 4 in the James Peck series. Apart from the impending visa bill, the holiday was… yes, well worth it.

When we got back, however, things were hotting up here too. Teenager trials and tribulations were the order of the day. It’s tough when everything you do and say is a big fat joke. You know: giving them advice, trying to put them on the right track and stuff; but I’m going to try none-the-less. Another thing I’m going to try, is to lose some weight and get fit. The holiday pictures put the hat on that one. What a bloater! So… I got myself a wee app for my Ipod. Yes, I know, just eat less and exercise more, but I’m incapable of common sense stuff like that. I need a prompt, a magical spell, a gadget to do it for me. So, I input all junk going in and all exercise performed and than see if I’m getting any closer to my target weight, (minus 2 stone). So far, it’s been very scary. I have the will power of a gnat, but slowly, slowly-catchy-monkey, I’m doing it. I’m walking more so I can have that chocolate Easter egg; swimming more so I can have a nice glass of red. At least I’m trying to balance my decadence with a little physical exertion!

Anyways… as far as the writing goes, I enclose a wee interview I did recently for a senior at Dillingham High School in Alaska. It should give you a bit of an insight into my writing and probably my personality again, I’m afraid.
1. How much do you write on a daily basis?
1-3 hrs
2. What do you do when you get writers block?
I write a random chapter heading and make the story fit.
3. Did you take any classes for writing, if so what are they?
No, I just have my English qualifications from my school days. an ‘O’ Level and a Higher Grade. 1978.
4. Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from news articles, and eavesdropping. Then I give them legs…  For the fantasy material, I get some inspiration from my degree in zoology; lots of insect anatomy etc.
5. When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer first thing in the morning, then I walk and think, take notes and carry on the following morning. I can, however, write anywhere: planes, trains, dining tables, hotels etc.
6. When is the best time to write (mad, sad, ext.)?
Emotionally, I write better when my life has been through flux. This is pretty easy, he he. However, to commit to paper, I have to be content, happy and secure.
7. When did you get interested in writing, and why?
I’ve always been interested, just never had the time or the true drive until 7 years ago. I was recording guitar with a friend and he read me some great poetry. The language interested me and spurred me on. Also, my son kept telling me to write things down as I always forgot where I left off in bedtime stories. Having a rubbish memory is good for writing. (I might have to expand on that one some other time ).
8. How many books do you read in a month?
I read very little. I listen to audio books as I travel, 3 -4 /month. Other than that, I tend to pick up books and read a few sample pages to get an idea of style and methods.
9. What would you say to someone who wants to become an author?
Don’t wait until your 42 to get started, although the experiences you get from living to that ripe old age are useful. The main thing is to have the determination to finish what you start.

Over and out…Sam

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