I woke up to a text at 6:25am this morning from my diligent publisher! It was worth hopping out of bed for! Mystic Portal is #5 andDragons’ Realm is #8 on the Amazon bestseller list in UK kids interactive fiction.
And Mystic Portal is #1 in hot new releases.
Exciting stuff. But then again, so are these You Say Which Way adventures, where you get to choose how the story goes. Kids love saying which way to go. They choose their story. They find out how clever they are when things go their way. Or they test dangerous decisions that lead to tricky outcomes – all from the safety of their own homes.
Fun. Adventure. Great mountain bike rides. Weird creatures. And good laughs.
Mystic Portal is no ordinary bike trail. Weird things happen there. They say each new jump leads to another world. You and your friends can’t wait to try it!
The choices you make will determine your adventure. Will you ride a camel? Fight bandits? Meet Bog the ogre? Or end up in an underwater city? What ever you choose, watch out for mad genies, suspicious merchants and one-eyed creatures with orange fur.
Cool adventures are waiting , so jump on your bike and ride the Mystic Portal.
The Fairytale Factory bring you Mystic Portal on Amazon, part of their You Say Which Way Series of interactive fiction for children aged 8-13 years.
Dragons Realm, a You Say Which Way adventure by Eileen Mueller, won the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Youth Novel. In You Say Which Way adventures, your choices shape the outcome of your story.
We received a hoard of dragon limericks from all around the world. The verses made us roar and laugh, and on occasion, breathe fire. It was a tough decision because so many of the limericks were clawsome! Thank you to all contestants for your fangtastic effort!
Although we had to select winners, we want everyone to know that you’re all winners for entering, because you all created new limericks! Unfortunately the volume of entries hasn’t made it possible to provide feedback to everyone, as we’d hoped, however we will provide feedback to all children who entered, in due course.
Is your name in the e-book?
Our winners ( 1st, 2nd & 3rd places) will soon receive a voucher for the e-book Clawsome Dragon Limericks. All winners, honorable mentions and finalists have their limericks in the e-book and their names in the table of contents.
Third Equal: A.C. Lindsay, New Zealand & Kerrie Spicer, New Zealand
Jane Percival, New Zealand, Best Illustrated Limerick
Lyn McConchie, New Zealand, Clever Use of Historical Language
Jack Newhouse, New Zealand, Best Limerick with a Scottish Accent
John Irvine, New Zealand, Brilliantly Yuck!
Gloria Hanlon, USA, Inspiring Limericks
Christopher Drown, Australia
Gareth Barsby, United Kingdom
Katharina Gerlach, Germany
Chris Makowski, Texas, USA
Charles Hoge, New York, USA
Mahoney Adair, Christchurch, New Zealand
Sarah Garriott, USA
Dr Bob Turvey, UK
John Irvine, New Zealand
Andrew Mackrory, Ohio, USA
Vincent Van Gouache, New Zealand
Feel free to share this link to Clawsome Dragon Limericks with your family and friends, any grumpy old knights, dragons with a sense of humor, and princesses who may enjoy dragon limericks or a roarsome laugh! Have fun reading these limericks! We’d love a review on Amazon!
A Wellington newspaper, Cook Strait News, has done a wonderful article about Dragons Realm‘s new shiny 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.
Dragons Realm is part of the You Say Which Way series of interactive fiction published by The Fairytale Factory. Interactive fiction is a great way for kids to learn about choices, leadership, relationships and the ripple effect of their decisions – while having adventures. I enjoy writing interactive fiction because there are so many storylines to explore, a range of outcomes and lots of fun plots to choose from.
Plotting 22 different stories was an interesting challenge which could have become a logistical nightmare. A trusty excel spreadsheet kept me sane. Me and that excel sheet became besties (best friends) as we worked together to keep all the stories in order!
Nikki Papatsoumas was the journalist who took this great picture and did a nice write up. Please pop over and read it. And yes, Wellington’s mid-winter weather is ALWAYS this beautiful – sun shining, gentle breeze creating interesting hairstyles and of course, it never rains here!
Anyone keen on writing interactive fiction or learning about how to write it, contact me. The Fairytale Factory are publishing a “how to” book soon, and I’ll let you know when it’s out.
Love Limericks? Love dragons?
Are you good at rhyming?
Or maybe you just want to try something new?
For kids, adults, teenagers, everyone!
Be quick, get your limerick to us before 30 July 2016 and be in to win publication in my new book Clawsome Dragon Limericks and Amazon vouchers for the book! The full post about Phantom Feather Press’ Dragon Limerick Contest & how to enter is here.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that my entry for Flash Frontier Micromadness accepted for publication. Well, it was published online today 13 June, New Zealand time.
22 Finalists will have their entries published between 1 June 2016 and 22 June 2016, National Flash Fiction Day in New Zealand. The winner of the competition will be announced on 22 June.
I wrote my entry Midnight a week before the 13th anniversary of my son’s death. He is the theme of my short story. His death was so unexpected, so sudden and changed me deeply. A small warning: This story is not for the faint-hearted or those who have suffered recent bereavement. It’s only as years have passed that I can allow myself to express some of these emotions via my writing. If you’ve recently lost someone you love, sometimes it’s best to be kind to your self and not ‘go there.’
My entry is here. If you’re viewing this after 13 June, you’ll need to scroll down to 13 June entry, next to the gorgeous oil painting Owlmoon by Sandra Whyte.
Radio host Sherri Rabinowitz interviewed me on Blog Talk Radio about winning a Sir Julius Vogel Award, my books, dragons, and my real passion in life.
We also had fun discussing interactive fiction, strategies for dealing with bullying, kids’ literacy and literary festivals. It was blast. Please download the podcast here. I hope you enjoy listening to the show!
I’m thrilled to announce that a week ago I was selected as a finalist in the New Zealand Flash Frontier Micromadness literary contest. All entries had to be under 100 words! My flash fiction story of 76 words was selected by judges and will be featured on their Micromadness blog here at Flash Frontier, one of New Zealand leading venues for literary flash fiction.
From June 1 – June 22 the top 22 selected entries will be published. On 22 June, New Zealand Flash Fiction Day, we will read our flash fiction and Micromadness at venues across the country. I’ll be reading at the Thistle Inn Mulgrave St, near the Wellington Railway Station, on National Flash Fiction day, Wednesday, 22 June, along with other authors from 6pm to 8pm.
Enjoy reading Micromadness in Flash Frontier. I’ll send you a link when my story is up.
I was gobsmacked. Speechless. And in tears. Quietly (my friends can vouch that’s not usual for me), I thanked the many people who have shaped my writing – a long list – while tears tracked down my cheeks.
But, wait, roll back. What’s this show of emotion about?
On Sunday night, my book, Dragons’ Realm, received the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.
Internationally acclaimed fantasy author, Juliet Marillier, and New Zealand fantasy author, Anna McKenzie, had both been teaching us over weekend. Juliet was presenting the writers’ awards. I was sitting at the back of the room, tucked out of sight, when the results were announced.
A tear leaked from my eye. Then another…
Faced with such tough competition, it was such a shock to win.
Kevin Berry nudged me. “You have to walk up the front,” he whispered. “Off you go.”
Usually fast on my feet, I was so stunned that I hadn’t moved! Once I got to the front of the room, you could’ve heard a mouse squeak.
Then my ‘thank yous‘ started. And here they are again.
Thank you to every reader who nominated my book Dragons Realm for Best Youth Novel. Thanks to you, my novel got on the shortlist. And thank you to fans who voted for my shortlisted book in the secret ballot.
My amazing publishers, Deb Potter and Blair Polly of the Fairytale Factory, have been imaginative and worked hard to make Dragons Realm the best book it could be. Thank you to Monkey Lab and Clarke’s critique group – my fantastic peers who review my work: Alicia Ponder, Peter Friend, Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty, Charlotte Kieft and Michelle Child. You guys are my tribe and I love your insight, brainstorming sessions and sense of humor!
Thank you to Grace Bridges of Splashdown Press and Chila of Port Yonder Press for awarding me first place in the SpecFicNZ Going Global Award which opened many doors for me. Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray were my first editors on the Baby Teeth project which saw Marie Hodgkinson of Paper Road Press publish my first short story.
Thanks to Alicia Ponder who found me and introduced me to Phoenix Writers, who got Lost in The Museum with me. Geoff Popham deserves a big thank you for his award-winning art. Then there are all the Phantom Feather Press authors who helped make the Best of Twisty Christmas Tales a success. Paul Mannering’s crazy ideas always spark more of my own. Vicki Cunningham is always positive and cheerful. My family is very cool and support my books – Kurt and the kids love riding dragons and cracking jokes. My friends at home, and loyal readers, friends and writers around the world have been amazingly supportive – especially Holly Lisle’s online forum – all my Write a Book with Me buddies. (I can hear you cheering!)
And thanks to Kyle Mewburn, who mentored me and strengthened my voice!!! (Yes, they can hear me in Switzerland now when I sing!) To the many writers whose workshops I’ve attended (Juliet Marillier, Anna McKenzie, David Hill, Fleur Beale, Ruth Paul to name a few). To Joy Cowley, Dave Freer and David Hill for their contributions to The Best Twisty Christmas Tales.
It’s also great to be part of the SSFANZ, SpeciFicNZ, NZSA, Storylines and the Wellington Children’s Book Association.
Is there anyone I haven’t mentioned? If so, thank you too. We all need a tribe, a village, a city… a circle of supporters, friends and mentors.
Yes, my babies have flown home to roost, but not for long. I’m taking my wee fosterlings to Au Contraire to find them new homes. If you fancy a wee dragon for your little one, or a majestic beast for your growing kids, I have just the pets for you! They’d love new owners! I’ll be at the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (Au Contraire 2016) in Wellington this weekend. Hopefully my wee babies won’t follow me home…
… after all I’d love to have more dragonets come to visit soon and there won’t be space if this lot don’t find happy readers to love them.
It’s going to be a busy weekend. I’m in a team, teaching a young writers all day on Friday, then we’ll be at the floating market fostering my babies (sniff sniff), workshop-ing with Anna MacKenzie on Saturday, listening to Juliet Marillier on Saturday, discussing forensics with police, community with fans and writers, and interviewing panelists about independent publishing until 10pm at night.
It’s going to be fun. Come along if you’re keen and you just may get to take a dragon home! If you can’t get there, but would love a dragon anyway, contact me and I can send you one. (I’ll answer when I get back!)
Au Contraire is a not-for-profit event which supports New Zealand Sci-fi and Fantasy. All proceeds go to charity. The timetable is here.