Ten Minute Blog Break - 30th of July

By Candy Gourlay
Acting Nick Cross Clone

So Nick Cross has gone off on an amazing adventure holiday but the Ten Minute Blog Break must keep going ...  so you guys are stuck with yours truly. (Unlike Nick, I rather like using photos in my blog posts, so please do not be alarmed by the number of unauthorized images below.)

This week, our bloggerati have been posting stuff that, if one were in a plotting mood, could be plotted nicely on a SCBWI wannabe to publication story arc.

To start there's Mark Jones' momentous news over on the Book Monkeys Blog.

Mark randomly mentioned that he's getting married in a few days while at the same time announcing rather too casually that he's SIGNED WITH AN AGENT AT LAST.

What? You haven't congratulated him in the comments? Go on, do it. Now.

Julie Day, who tirelessly publishes as an indie author while seeking traditional representation with an agent, reports that after trying many self-publishing platforms, she's now planning to  experiment with KDP Select.

If you've never heard of Kindle Direct Publishing, read these FAQs or ask Julie the next time you happen to be standing next to her at a London Social.

Addy Farmer's Silly Season series over on Notes from the Slushpile has delved into character naming, missing letters in book titles, and now she's determined to put us in the writing mood with music.

Meanwhile Undiscovered Voices starlet Rosie Best has rather excitingly revealed the cover of her forthcoming novel SKULK. I mean ... aren't you jealous of that title? That cover? Rosie's name, which makes such an amazing byline? And what about the fact that Rosie's getting published within mere seconds of winning the Undiscovered Voices? Are you jealous? Are you?

No. Not us.

Nick Cross was one of the volunteers deservedly shortlisted last week for the Outstanding Contribution Award or OCA (pronounced "Oh! Kaaaaaaa!"). He felt so good about it that he began wondering, as Nick usually does, why can't we do more recognizing in other areas?

Nick writes:

For the sake of our sanity, we are no longer allowed to dream about getting a six-figure deal or winning the Carnegie Prize. Instead, the love of writing has to become its own reward. Read Nick's post

... which is why we've got to celebrate everything. I know what he means about needing that pat on the back - how many times have we handed in a manuscript  for critique when what we really wanted was praise?

Nick's right. We need praise sessions just as much as critique sessions.

Meanwhile, over on Edge Authors, Miriam Halahmy has been contemplating her characters - particularly Sam, a ten year old boy suffering from bone cancer in Peppermint Ward, a book she wrote for Cancer Backup.  Putting poor Sam through the wringer aroused feelings of guilt and pain. Was that a good thing?

As a writer, evoking strong and lasting feelings about your manuscript is a good barometer of how deeply you will probably affect your reader. That’s why we write – to evoke response and engage the reader in the journey we have sent our characters on. Read Miriam's post

Gratuitous picture of my new book
Speaking of journeys, I've come to the end of one very long journey. My book SHINE is finally, finally, publishing in September after three years of teeth gnashing! Hurrah!

But wait, we're going on holiday in August ... which means I've got to get book trailer, promo stuff, book launch organized before I set off. So much to do.

Which is why I quickly made a video message for a book group reading my other book Tall Story. If there was an Outstanding Contribution to Procrastination Award, I would win it hands down. Oh! Kaaaaa!


In other children's book news  ...

That debate sparked by Shoo Rayner worrying about young adult books being more adult than young sparked this response from librarian Kelly Jensen on Book Riot - the problem, Kelly says, is not the children, it's the adults.  And if you want to sound intelligent and well-informed at the next book launch you attend, do revisit Shoo's blog post - pay close attention to the fascinating debate in the comments.

And if, like me, you're gearing up to make hay without hay (as in market your book with no money), read this Guardian article by Anakana Schofield about how authors suffer exploitation in the name of marketing. I was surprised to see a comment over on Facebook saying she should stop moaning, because it's marketing. That. Is. The. Point. Just because something might promote an author's book doesn't mean that author should do it for free.

So ... was that ten minutes? Hmm. Anyway, that's your blog break for today (ten minutes or not). There will be someone else covering for Nick next time. So goodbye for now from me - happy blogging and happy reading (I should say happy commenting too - we bloggers are needy like that).

Candy Gourlay's second novel SHINE will be out in September. She's just made a book trailer and promptly blogged about it in How to Make A Book Trailer .


  1. So many great blogs so little time!
    Congratulations Mark Jones for all your news.
    Candy - I love your new profile pic!

  2. WOW Candy, You make for a great doppelganger of Nick - were you wearing stilts when you wrote this? Great round up!

    1. You suddenly gave me a better idea for a profile pic. Off to make it now instead of writing my chapter.

    2. excellent profile pic
      it's almost hypnotic
      and you are so easily led, Candy!

  3. Mark is congratulated on bagging an agent and a wife too! Congratulations Lauren!
    Mark aka Manuel will be giving us the story of his success in a few weeks time on 'Celebrations". Can't wait.


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