Several months ago I decided I would channel my energies and spare time into finally writing a series of books for children. The idea had been kicking around in my head for a while, spurred on by friends. The main barrier was finding the right angle... and suddenly it came to me.
It required a significant amount of research and planning. My first task was to find a good quality research book which, I eventually did only to find it was out of print. Fortunately you can find most things on the internet these days and it didn't take me long to find a copy of the book at a very reasonable price. The Ebay shop I contacted have a warehouse full of books and so were unable to give me specific details of the condition of the book over and above their initial categorisation of it being in good condition. One of my bug bears with books is when people either make notes in the margins, or fold over corners to mark their place.
I was really pleased to see that the book was in excellent condition. It was ex-library stock and still had its plastic dust cover on. Although it was only published in 2004, it had already been withdrawn by the library, so I can only assume it wasn't in high demand, but it was perfect for my research.
Having planned the book, sorted the timeline, got my characters and researched the setting, I sat down and began. The first few chapters flowed relatively easily and before I knew it I had 12,000 words 'on paper', (well, actually on the laptop and backed up on two separate memory sticks).
Then a positive little gem dropped into my inbox, a Groupon offer from these people. http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/
I had a good read around their website and decided I would be a fool not to take advantage at the offer price of £12.
10 days later, I have completed all 12 modules. One very rewarding thing about the course was that it actually confirmed that what I had already done was exactly the right approach. I now have so much new information about creating stories and getting a book into the market, and I am now the proud owner of a Certificate of Completion with a pass rate of 92%.
So, feeling totally charged up and full of ideas it's back to the writing. On the information given, I have a further 12 to 14 chapters to write and by the time I type 'The End' I should have approximately 35,000 words under my belt.
It's always nice to find a deal that turns out to be a little gem.
Now, back to work...