Friday, 26 September 2014

Promote Your New Book for Children

(Please note that only books for young readers by Australian writers are eligible for this offer).
To promote your book on this blog site, Writing for Children
you can do all (or some) of the following:

1. Write an article about the book, where the idea came from, who the book is pitched at, what the story is about, name of publisher, etc
2. Include any positive reviews of the book (don’t forget to include the reviewer’s name and where the review first appeared – you can provide a link, if you like)

3. Create your own interview (with questions and answers)

4. Include details of RRP of book and where people can purchase it from

5. Write about yourself as an author, what you’ve written before, classes you’ve attended, successes you’ve had, ambitions, influences, and so on.

It’s your space on the blog, so go to town promoting the book. When the post goes up, let people know, especially Facebook groups. This will help to promote not only your book, but my blog, especially if you supply the link back to the blog/your book.

If you want to email me jpg pictures (as attachments please) of you, of your working space, whatever, then do that, too. You might also like to include a short bio at the foot of your post that includes your contact details (and website).

Dianne (Di) Bates

Ph 61 (02) 4271 6168

PO Box 262
Unanderra 2526

Latest books
A Game of Keeps (Celapene Press, 2014)
Nobody's Boy (Celapene Press) 2013 CBCA Notable
The Girl in the Basement (Morris Publishing Australia)


Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Summoning of One


Title: The Summoning of The One – Book 2 in The Knights of Katesch                                 

AUTHOR: Royce Bond

ISBN:  978-0-9925052-0-2       

FORMATS:  eBook and  Paperback

PUBLISHER:  Morris Publishing Australia

CATEGORY: Fantasy/adventure

AUDIENCE:  12 + 


Andrew Weatherby, a bullied computer nerd from Central Queensland is ripped from his world to lead The Knights of Katesch in their direct attack on Maligor the Destroyer. In the midst of the battle in Mountain City, he rescues princess Katarin to find he has been betrothed to her since birth.

This feisty young lady risks her life to save Andrew. The Knights believe that have finally defeated Maligor after ten thousand years of conflict. In an attempt to escape the fanatic red guards seeking revenge for the death of their god, Agmar accidentally releases a monster army: the Kazdoom.


Did you have to do much research for this book?
I had decades of day dreaming behind me … as well as my medieval re-enacting, and all the novels and “How to Write” books and magazines, I had devoured. This was part of my research.

Some of my research also came from the places I visited as I travelled around Australia. In fact, when you read this story you’ll find some of the places mentioned in the beginning, when Andy and Lin are trying to elude the assassins they are in my home town of Rockhampton.

Then the place Agmar and Methelgin hide, (under the overhanging roots of a large tree) is a tree on the back of Mount Archer, near Rockhampton in Queensland. I actually sat there when I was hiking down the mountain, so my research also comes from the places I have visited. By using these places, I can describe them so the readers can see them in their minds.

Then I created the world where I’d like to have my adventure.

Can you tell me about the main character, and what you like/dislike about him/her?
The main character is Andy at the beginning, and when he joins with the life essence of the ancient knight Methelgin, they take Methelgin’s name. I actually like Andy, because he is so much like me. Methelgin is how I would like to be as a person.

Is there something that sets this book apart from others?
This book is special as it is the first full length fantasy novel I have written. I have so many good memories of writing it – at 4am on Sunday mornings, with music playing in my headphones. The excitement I felt as the adventure unfolded before me was incredible.

I can still remember my wife looking at me and shaking her head as I laughed at the funny parts of the story as I wrote them.

The writing of this book has taken me onto a real life adventure that I never thought would occur, so it has a very special place in my heart.

Follow the blog tour by selecting the link below. Each day you will learn a little more about this exciting book and its unique author.


Dennis Jones and Associates –

James Bennett library suppliers

Peter Pal library suppliers

eBook available on Amazon, Smashwords and many online stores.

Rockhampton resident, Royce Bond, published his first book, Kitchen Science, with Ashton Scholastic after he won the prestigious National B.H.P. /C.S.I.R.O. Science Teacher's Award. This book was used in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and in some schools in South America. Many books in the science field followed.

 Since his retirement, he has changed his writing to young adult fantasy novels. The Princess and The Pirate, the first in the series The Knights of Katesch was published by Morris Publishing Australia in 2013.

Royce is available for school visits. Please phone Elaine on 07 54 981 332 or email 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Destiny Road

What sparked the idea to write Destiny Road? Recently Melissa Wray was asked this question by Uncommon YA. Here is her very personal response.

We moved to North Queensland when I was 14. After a year or so Mum could see that something about Townsville and I did not mix. Strangely enough it was her suggestion to ring my dad and ask if I could move back south.

So I did. Then I packed my bags and moved 3,000km away to live with him. This decision is what sparked the idea for Destiny Road.

Now I never set out to write this story, let alone have it published. It just kind of happened. It came about because one night I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. There was an unspoken conversation going on in my mind. It was a conversation that I regret not having and has played on my mind over the years. This particular night it got the better of me so I got up and began to write. It wasn’t until after I read through those mad ramblings a couple of weeks later that I thought hmmm … I could create a story from this. So I began writing. I passed my 10,000 word milestone. Then 20 then 30 then before I knew it 50,000 words had been typed.

You see I think about that one phone call I made all those years ago sometimes. I have often thought about how that decision, that one pivotal moment that is talked about in Destiny Road, really did change the course of my life. I’m sure as you're reading this you can look back over your life, and pinpoint one moment that has shaped it in a big way. I truly believe that Dad saying yes when I asked was a determining factor in how things have turned out for me.

One afternoon I was sitting with him. He got to talking about his philosophy on life and death. Dad had been fighting a battle against cancer for a while at this point and I was kneeling next to him as he sat on his reclining chair. He was holding my hand as he shared these ideas on life and death. He said to me "It’s cool. Whatever happens, it’s cool." My dad used cool a lot when he spoke. He was pretty cool. He was also a big believer in God. So that afternoon he said "It’s cool if I die because I get to meet my maker." ‘Then he said "But it’s cool if I live because I get to be with the ones I love." This was his philosophy. Either way was cool with him.

I remember kneeling there, holding his hand and wishing I could say thank you to him. Thanks for saying yes all those years ago. Thanks for that pivotal moment in my life. I wanted him to know how much that meant. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t get those words out.

 That night he passed away.

I never did get to tell him and have regretted that for the past 10 years. So you see once the spark to write Destiny Road was lit, it had to finished. It was my tribute, my thankyou and I am beyond thrilled it was published.

Now I’m not going to bore you with my views on life and death but I can’t help but wonder something, because anyone who knew my dad, Rod Morris, and anyone who knew his sense of humour ... well I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a helping hand when Morris Publishing (no relation) chose to publish Destiny Road. I like to think so.

It's hard to believe two years has passed since the launch of Destiny Road. To celebrate there is a chance to win 2 x $20 Gift Cards, ENTER NOW!

To connect with Melissa;

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tottie and Dottie

Picture Book Writing Tips

Tottie and Dot was written for pure entertainment value. The final book ended up containing some messaging on such topics as the value of friendship and staying true to ourselves, but it was not intended to be a ‘message-driven’ book. These types of books are very hard to do well, as are rhyming books and humorous books and, well … all manner of picture books, really.

To that end, I present my top tips on writing picture books. I hope they help you refine your work, no matter your underlying purpose.

1.               Don’t use a lot of text, especially dialogue which is very hard to illustrate. If your text simply must be over 500 words long, it should be vibrant and intensely edited.

2.               Let the pictures do the talking––don't say what the pictures can show.

3.               Think carefully about rhythm and flow––read it aloud and listen to the way the words work together, taking note of the beat as you read.

4.               Publishers generally don’t like rhyme and there’s a reason—it’s very, very hard to get right. Don’t attempt rhyme unless it’s infallible. Study the use of iambic pentameter to better understand the concept that two rhyming-end words do not a good rhyme make.

5.               Is your word usage and sentence structure clear, dynamic and interesting? Or does the reader stumble or become confused?

6.               Never talk down to the reader.

7.               Never hammer readers with morals. If you simply must use them, make them funny or so subtle, they can barely be defined. Kids will still pick them up.

8.               A picture book needs a plot or a story arc of some kind. Things need to HAPPEN. Showing someone going about their day and going to bed at night is not a story. It’s an account.

9.               Do different. Avoid overdone topics and try your hand at unusual voice or story structure.

10.           Have an ending. Make it shocking, surprising, funny, quirky, or in some way resolving and/or related to a plot link. Too many picture books fail when it comes to the ending. Resolve it well and repeat-reads are assured.

11.           Ensure your main characters are protagonistic. Employ conflict and resolution—something to overcome.

12.           Most lines in a picture book text should inspire vibrant illustration. Do yours?

13.           Write books for kids, not adults.

14.           Allow your manuscripts to ‘marinate’ between drafts. This will allow things to develop in ways you never dreamed possible.

15.           Write what YOU love, what interests and inspires you. Don’t try to write something to fill a market gap—write something from the heart and make sure it’s something you believe in and enjoy. Both publishers—and kids—will absolutely feel it.

Tania McCartney

Author | Editor | Illustrator | Reviewer

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

How to Write a Synopsis

The synopsis is the most important part of your submission package and, as such, it has to be developed and polished with the same attention you devoted to the novel itself. Along with the cover letter, the synopsis is what sells the editor on the manuscript. If they don't see anything they like in the synopsis, they won't even glance at your chapter samples.

The synopsis is your sales pitch. Think of it as the jacket blurb for your novel (the synopsis is often used in writing this, and by the publisher's art and advertising departments, if the novel is purchased), and write it as though you're trying to entice a casual bookstore browser to buy the novel and read it.

One Step at a Time

Rather than being daunted by the enormity of such a task, break it down. Do it step by step.

The first step, of course, is realising that you're going to have to write a synopsis -- if you intend to market your novel, that is. The best time to realise this is just before you sit down with your manuscript for the final reading preparatory to declaring the thing completed.

Sit down to that final reading with a pen and paper beside you. As you finish reading each chapter, write down a one- or two-paragraph summary of what happened where, and to which character, in that chapter.

Notice any themes running through your chapters as you're reading? Symbolism you didn't realise you'd woven through the story while you were slogging away at the computer for all those months? Take note of themes, too. You may just discover your one-line story summary that agents and editors like so much, if you didn't know what it was before.

What you will have when you are done is a chapter-by-chapter novel outline, what might be called the author's outline. Don't throw this away when you've done your synopsis, either. You may know the story intimately now, but you do forget details over time. You may decide to revise the novel in the future, and this outline will help you. Reading an outline is much easier than leafing through or rereading an entire novel.

What you are doing, basically, is distilling the story down into smaller and more manageable packages, step by step. So, you pinpoint the most important plot points in that outline, and you put them into a synopsis.

We're talking about only those events and motivations that moved the story forward in a major way. We're talking about only the most important characters, the ones your reader will ultimately care about, not the bit players. Right now, we are striving for bare-bones.

Now I want you to envision one or two things while you rework that synopsis:

1.    Imagine that you're writing a jacket blurb for the novel, one that will pique the casual browser's curiosity and make him or her want to buy the book to see what happens. Read a few jacket blurbs, to get a feel for how it's done.

2.    You've just seen a terrific movie. You're describing it to your friend. You're not saying, "The good guy chased the bad guy and shot him and that was the end." That doesn't sound very enthusiastic, that sounds like your synopsis as it stands right now! No, you say things like, "The good guy is wounded, but he knows if he doesn't stop the evil Dr. Death, the whole world is in danger, so he staggers after Dr. Death, falls, somehow gets to his feet again, and at last zaps him with the Good Guy Death-ray to save the world."

When you're done, a synopsis should be filled with enthusiastic. It should be enticing. A description that makes the reader want to pick up the manuscript and find out how this happens!

How can you make your synopsis unique, exciting? Start with the main character and his or her crisis. Include snippets of dialogue or quote briefly from the novel itself. Don't neglect to reveal the character's emotions and motivations, those points that explain why a character does something, but keep it brief. If the setting is exotic, inject a taste of it into the synopsis with a brief paragraph. This includes any background information that is absolutely necessary for the reader to understand the story. Build excitement as you near the conclusion of the story summary by using shorter sentences and paragraphs. The synopsis is a sample of your writing; it is a taste of what reading the actual novel will be like, so give it your all.

Don't forget that one- or two-sentence story line, or the theme of the story that you discovered. It should go in your synopsis, or in your cover letter. Editors and agents like having this distillation; not only will it pique their interest, but it's something they can use when presenting the novel to the buying board. It's also something you can use, the next time someone politely asks you, "What's your novel about?"


Most editors and agents, busy people that they are, prefer short synopses -- two to ten pages. The busier ones like five pages at most. I personally consider two pages ideal, and have distilled synopses down to a single tight page. If you've written a thoroughly intriguing synopsis, don't worry if it's ten or more pages long -- but it had better be gripping.

Edit, edit, edit, if you have to! Always keeping in mind that the synopsis must remain interesting and supply the necessary information. Don't know what to cut? Lose the adjectives and adverbs; keep the motivation and "flavor" of the story.

You have to tell the entire story in your synopsis. Don't send the first three chapters and then start the synopsis at chapter four. Don't leave out the ending, hoping to entice the editor or agent to request the full manuscript in order to find out what happens. What they will do is decide you're an amateur.

No matter what tense your novel was written in, the synopsis is always written in present tense (Jerry goes to the bullfight as opposed to Jerry went to the bullfight.)

Format: to be on the safe side, double-space; it's easier to read. In terms of layout, format your synopsis much as you did your novel.

The first time you use a character's name in the synopsis, type it in CAPITAL letters. Do this only the first time. Avoid confusion by referring to a character the same way throughout (not "Dr. Evans" the first time, "Jerry" the next, and "the doctor" another time). It's also advisable to identify which character(s) is the point of view character by typing "(POV)" after the first instance of the character's name.

Yes, writing a good synopsis is a lot of work, but think of it this way: not only are you creating a vital marketing tool, but you're honing your writing skills at the same time.