It's been a busy few weeks, what with tweaking a book I've been working on, visiting schools and bookshops and the launch of the second book in the Sky Thieves series, Desert Thieves. Here are a few pictures telling the story of what's been going on.
So, after the flurry of promotional activity last week, it's back to the grindstone. I find it hard to focus on writing new material when there's lots of other stuff going on, so I've spent this week re-writing the YA sci-fi book I've been working on since March. I'm about halfway through the plot, maybe slightly more, and I'm happy with the book so far. One thing I've noticed down the years is that the more I write, the better my first drafts have become, which has left me with less work to do on subsequent manuscripts. Thankfully, this appears to be the case with my current book too. Really enjoying the getting to know the characters better, and the plot's shaping up nicely too. Plenty more work to go, though. Looking forward to writing new material again in a couple of weeks.
So, it's Friday and the start of a long weekend here in the UK. It's been a long week, too, with lots of Sky Thieves promotional activity keeping me busy. First up was Sleaford and Boston libraries, up in Lincolnshire, who were kind enough to invite me in to speak to groups of kids from local schools. These were my first author appearances, and went about as well as I could have hoped. The children were lovely, and engaged - asking questions, answering questions, giggling, booing and all the rest. And they were super-excited when it came to the book signing, often telling me of their favourite authors, and how much they were looking forward to reading Sky Thieves. It was the most 'authorly' moment of my writing career so far, and I couldn't have wished for a better bunch of kids.
A week or so ago I had the pleasure of joining the readers at Reddit r/books subreddit to do an 'Ask me Anything.' The clue is in the title on this one. The readers of r/books could ask me anything and I had to answer. I had a great time chatting with people, and I thought I'd write up some of the questions. So, without further ado:
How did you start writing for children?
I started writing eleven or so years ago with serious books for adults. None were published, though I enjoyed writing them. But as time wore on, I got an urge to write more exciting plots, and that's when I turned to children's books. I like bigger than life characters and lots of breathless action, so children's books seemed like the place for me to be. Now I wouldn't write anything else.
Well, it's been over a week now since the book came out and there's been lots of good reviews coming in. Here's a few of the best:
"Classic good versus evil tale with a colourful cast of flying thieves and unlikely heroes. Original, exciting and full of interesting characters and vivid action scenes, Dan Walker has created an excellent air-borne adventure story in Sky Thieves."
- Andrea Reece, LoveReading4Kids
"The main protagonist was an instant hit...The story had us both gripped throughout and it had us literally at the edge of the chair cheering them all on."
The lovely guys at Bell Lomax Moreton have just posted a 'Spotlight On' interview with me in advance of Sky Thieves's release next week. There's plenty about my writing and influences, as well as other random questions about my biggest secret. Read more here: http://belllomaxmoreton.co.uk/spotlight-on-dan-walker/
More great news from Oxford University Press this afternoon. There are going to be French Canadian versions of Sky Thieves and Desert Thieves. Incroyable! This time, the publisher is Editions AdA. Apparently, they're a well-established publishing house focussing on children fantasy adventures and science-fiction series. Sounds like the perfect home for them.
p.s. If they want my GCSE French skills for the translation, happy to help.
Here's your opportunity to win a signed copy of Sky Thieves on Goodreads. Just click on the link below.
Just had an awesome email from my publisher to let me know that the first Sky Thieves book has been picked up by a publisher in Romania, and will be released there some time next year. Really exciting news. Corint Books is the name of the place. Here's their website:
Definitely looking forward to seeing what they come up with in terms of covers, and also seeing the book translated in another language.