Category Archives: Resouces

How to get published

I am now the proud author of 5 published books. It’s quite amazing really. I have been asked by many of my friends how it all came about, how I got published. Did I send of my manuscripts to hundreds of agencies? Did I go, cap in hand, to publishing houses and alike? The simple answer is no. The simple answer is that I wasn’t really looking to get published at all.

I wrote the original Squidge book for a wedding, my wedding in fact. I decided that the kids at the wedding should have something to take away with them. The name of the elf was my affectionate name for my wife. I wrote the story, printed it on a standard printer, nicked loads of images from a royalty free website and laminated the front cover. As far as I was concerned, that was the end of it. I got married (December 2008) and the book was left on my computer.

Fast forward 2 years. I have new baby boy, and I hadn’t thought about Squidge in many months. I met another new father (our wives had met through a push chair exercise class. Seriously). He mentioned that he was branching out into publishing and my wife, not me as my memory is sieve like, mentioned I had written a book. He said he would take a look, I emailed it over and the following things happened…

1) my publisher sent it to the editor, she gave it the thumbs up.

2) the editor found many, many, many punctuation errors and typos. She suggested some small, and very good changes, I agreed and sent it back with my my very own thumbs up.

3) we got an illustrator involved. He sent me the first draft of Squidge (which, he won’t mind me saying, I wasn’t keen on), I sent off a descriptive paragraph, he tweaked it and Squidge had a face. And A very cute one at that.

4) the book was digitally put together. This is the bit I have no idea about. I know what an editor does and how they do it, same with an illustrator. The digital side is a mystery to me. It looked awesome though.

5) the book was released. Kinda says it all really.

And there you go. Maybe not the nuggets of info you were expecting but it does go to show that it can happen any place, any time.

As an aside we decided to put together an education pack and free fun downloads. All here www.squidgeelf.com

I really enjoy writing (both blog and books) and hope that people continue to care enough to read them.

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School trippin

Going on a school trip is a lot like childbirth. Bear with me here and I will explain. The school trip, like having a child, involves planning, anticipation, worry, lots of information, a risk assessment,  but above all else, the ability to forget the pain.

If you speak to a woman just after child birth they can’t even think about doing it again. And yet, we don’t have a nation of single child families. After a couple of weeks the pain subsides, the memory fades, and you are left with a wonderful feeling.

With the school trip, you ask a teacher who has just returned how it went and they will tell you that the are exhausted, that they didn’t get a break, and that they will never take that bunch of little terrors out again. A couple of weeks pass and the kids talk about the trip with fond memories, remembering facts and information that you have forgotten. It’s one of those ‘why I became a teacher’ moments. The making a difference in society kind of thing. So you start to think about the next trip and the cycle starts again.

Now I’m not silly enough to believe a link much past my silliness, but the thought tickled me.

So, our class trip was a huge success. The kids loved the interactive elements as well as the reading and thinking parts. I would have to say that it was one of the best I have been on. Here is why (bring on the list) …

1) the journey was pretty short and on the  DLR (docklands light railway). This was fantastic as they had plenty to look at.

2) no parents(we took student teachers). I have been in classes where the parents come along and they might as well bring a massive bag of cotton wool to wrap the kids in. “it’s raining, he might get sick”, “such and such called my daughter a name”. They also spend a fortune on their child in the gift shop, even though the other kids have been told to bring a maximum of £2.00.  Which brings me onto…

3) we avoided the gift shop. Children spending half an hour trying to decide if they want to buy an overpriced pencil, eraser or badge. All being followed around by a security guard, ready to pounce on any dangerous 10 year old pen thieves.

4) we had lunch early. This meant that no child had the chance to ask when lunch was or moan constantly about being starving. Something about having a pack lunch on your person seems to do this.

So, a good school trip with a large class, 4 trained staff members and a fun time had by all.

We even managed to ‘deliver’ all the children back to school safely. The mums will be happy!

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All hands on deck

As my title suggests, a very busy week this week. We are striving to release the next 3 Squidge books plus a new education pack. The education packs are based on the books and are aimed at primary school with a focus on literacy and writing.

The great thing about them is that the publisher proving house and I are in agreement that they should all be free.

It’s a mammoth task putting together all the resources, plans and flipcharts but I believe it is well worth it.

The Squidge books themselves all start with a poem (will try put some up when am back at my computer, iPhone at the mo) which leads into the story of a little elf with a nose for trouble. The next 3 books are a trilogy, with Squidge meeting a new friend.

I hope you enjoy reading them.

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