Friday, 18 May 2012


I'm still awaiting feedback on my two picture book texts - one with a publisher and the other with my agent. The thing with writing though is that you can't just sit back and rest - you have to get on with something else. 

I've been working on a bigger book at the moment and have a couple of other picture book texts partially done, however, today is going to be spent generating ideas and writing synopses for some educational reader books.  

We've not reached the end of this school year yet but bookings are already coming in for school and library visits for the next school year. If you're thinking of having an author visit to your school or library please do get in touch soon before the best dates are taken.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The End

There's something very satisfying about typing those two words...
You spend hours, days, weeks, months and even years working on a story, struggling over beginnings, middles and endings, determined to get the words just right
You write and you re-write. 
You edit and you tweak. 
You draft and then re-draft. 
You curse it for being so troublesome and you nurse it like the fragile creature it is... but eventually the time comes when you know you have to let it out into the world for someone else to read. 

I've not been working on a huge novel recently - I've been working on a picture book, and even though there's not many words in a picture book, writing them is not as easy as some people might think. The story that I've just finished has been stomping and roaring around in my head for a little while but I've finally finished it. My lovely fiancée, Vicky, has given it a final read and offered her much valued thoughts - the very last tweaks have been made and it's now been sent to my agent.  

I could now just sit with fingers crossed to await her thoughts on it... Sometimes my agent offers suggestions that might improve the story - and that's great... I tweak it some more. Sometimes the story goes straight to a publisher... if they like it, they too offer their thoughts and even more tweaks can be made.... so even though I think the story is finished... it's only THE END for now... more work will be needed.

So yes, I could sit with fingers crossed, but all of the above takes time - days... weeks... even months. So instead, I'm going to get on with writing something else... A bigger book... a darker book...

It's hard to write when you cross your fingers - so if you're not too busy, could you please cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Getting Inspiration

When I visit schools and libraries I spend my time telling stories and sharing my love of books, reading and writing - the idea behind this is to let the children know that reading and writing is fun. I also spend a lot of time answering lots questions about myself and writing - among other things this helps show that I'm human (for most of the time) and helps satisfies their curiosity about writers and writing. Questions range from - 
  • What's your favourite colour?
  • Where do you do your writing?
to things like 
  • Where do you get your inspiration?   
The first two are easy.... the inspiration question often isn't so easy. Quite often what the poser of the question means is a combination of -
  • Where do you get your ideas?
  • Where do the words that you write actually come from?
I have answers for all of these - some more satisfying than others. But every time i get asked the questions I always wish I had a better answer... the problem is, it's difficult to say where all ideas and words come from without simply saying Out Of My Head...

I've had a book idea rattling round inside my head for a little while now - I know characters and settings and bits of plot and conversation etc but I didn't quite have the words to start the story... and to be honest it was starting to get a little frustrating. 

This morning, however, whilst carefully putting our wedding invitations into the postbox round the corner, the opening words came to me. I don't know what triggered these words off - there was certainly no one around that resembled the character that I'm writing about, nor was there a building similar in any way to the one in the story... but the words still came to me. Perhaps they came because I wasn't looking for them - Who knows?

All I can say is that I'm glad they are here... It now means that I can start the story at a good place. The beginning. Always a good place to start I think...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Getting on with it

Over the past year or so I've not written much in my on-line blog/diary (this thing you're looking at here) and to be honest I haven't done anywhere near as much writing as I should have done either. There's no real excuse for this - even though I might say that time is tight and its hard finding time to write things etc... 

Yes, I've been busy doing school/library visits/workshops/storytelling sessions and other things but it's still not really much of an excuse - Being a writer you really only have to do one thing, and that's write. After a verbal, and well deserved, kick in the pants from my lovely lady last night I am definitely back on the saddle as it were. 

Today I have been (and still am) working on a picture book story that I intend to finish for tomorrow. The story has been stamping and stomping, baring its claws and gnashing its jaws for some time now (it is about dinosaurs so what do you expect) and trying to get out. I know what the story is... But it's now always as simple as that. A story in itself can be a very simple thing - Boy meets Girl and they fall in love etc... but what makes a story a story is the way it is written i.e. the voice that is used to tell it - and then there's pace, language and much, much more...

Sometimes you need to write, write, write, and sometimes you need to step away and give it a minute....

I've given it a minute....back to the writing now...

Follow me on twitter @damianjharvey or my lovely fiancée, Vicky @Vics2273, to see what we're up to now...