Ten-Minute Blog Break - 9th July

If I hadn't realised it was summer from looking out of the window, I'd certainly have noticed from the sudden drop off in new blog posts!

Fortunately, the content is out there and I have found it...

I was sure that I must have written here about Dave Cousins's genius plan to release an album of songs from his teen novel Waiting for Gonzo, but apparently not! Luckily, Dave blogged at the edge this week to tell us all about it. Even better, he's releasing the catchiest song on the album as a single, with all proceeds going to charity. Trivia fans may like to know that Dave's band Monorail were interviewed in the one and only issue of my fanzine (back in the dim distant days of 1996) but that Dave and I never actually met until Undiscovered Voices. Spooky, eh?

Maureen Lynas wrote a great post for Notes from the Slushpile that I wasn't able to fit in for space reasons last week. Maureen, whose blogs about story structure had been getting ever more analytical, recounts how she was suddenly overtaken by the muse and found herself writing (and illustrating) a book on a subject she didn't even like! Maybe there's an unexpected book lurking in your head too?

I'd never imagined you could get anything out of a favourite jumper except warmth, but Loretta Schauer proves me wrong by scanning the texture of one and including it in her drawings. Loretta's blog post on character development in illustration is a joy, giving a helpful glimpse into how characters change according to publishers' and writers' requirements.


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round digital guru. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead.
This week, on his blog, Nick tries to hold crazed authors back from the edge by telling them You Know You've Gone Too Far When...


  1. Thanks for including me, Nick :) I read Loretta's post last week, I love seeing how illustrators develop their characters.It's well worth a look. Dave's Waiting for Gonzo is such a good read and what a great charity to support through the music download.

  2. Thanks for the mention Nick. I loved Maureen's story about how the story took her over – a sure sign you're on the right track. (Great illustrations too, Maureen!) Fascinating to see how Loretta develops characters … if only tea breaks could be longer!

    1. I totally agree about the story whisking you away. I'm between books at the moment and I was looking back through my notebook for clues as to how I got started with the last one. And there weren't any, I realised, because I just wrote the first chapter and then I was away! So I have to wait for that to happen again...

  3. Great roundup as usual! I've become dependent on this weekly fix. No pressure.

  4. very informative - thanks Nick

  5. Yep, read some GREAT posts again. Thanks Nick


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