Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Writing retreat - Writing and thinking
Last weekend just gone I went to a writing retreat in W Sussex. It was the annual SCBWI retreat. I always find it v productive and I did this time, as well as a lot of thinking about what I want to write for children. Over the weekend I wrote the first three chapters of the third in the Rainbow School series, which is Susie's story, and a short story for a competition and the prequel to Susie. I don't know how many words I wrote as I didn't count them, but I reckon it must be at least 3-4000. That was what I wrote. So what thinking did I do? Well, it was all about my fiction for children and the books about children with Asperger's. I mentioned what I was writing to my new friend, Anna (Hi, Anna) who I met at Waterloo station to go to the retreat and she suggested putting all this fiction under a brand. It got me thinking. Then over the weekend, I talked to a few people about what I was currently writing and planning and got loads of encouragement, and someone said that it was a good idea to help children learn about Asperger's and cope with their own diagnosis. This made me realise that what I am doing can be really good, both for children and me. I started thinking about all the other books I have planned, and thought, yes I can make the children autistic by remembering my own childhood and use those memories. As well as buying books about Asperger's for children and families and biographies (have planned to buy Chris Packham's book). So, I have decided that is what I am going to do, starting with the Rainbow School series. I will have one big name called The Asperkids books, which I will put on my website, and under that have the title of each series. I am looking forward to doing this, and maybe do talks about it, too.
The other encouragement I got was from YA author Melvin Burgess. I had a one-to-one with him and he had read the first two chapters of Billy, and he said he really liked Billy, felt for him and enjoyed the story. He gave me a suggestion to put at the end of the story which I will do.
So, watch this space...