Illness, Harry Potter and Pitch to Publication

I haven’t written a post for a few weeks now due to illness. Even though I am still out of action I thought a quick catch-up was in order.

While I’ve been I thought I would re-read a series that really sparked my interest for reading about 20 years ago. Harry Potter!

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So far, I have read the first two books and have almost finished the third book.  I always view these books fondly for a few reasons. The first book came out when I was doing A levels (17/18) and, although it was middle grade, the premise of the story grabbed me. How I wished I had my letter to Hogwarts.

As I waited impatiently for the next book to be released I can remember queuing outside a bookshop, in the late hours, for the shop to start selling at just gone midnight. It seemed like a mini adventure.

I also like the series because my friend, who is like a brother to me, was never a big fan of reading but he adored the books and I was delighted to see him engrossed in reading.

Even now, after teaching for 13 years, I love talking to children about books and when I see them with a Harry Potter book I am thrilled at how it is still grabbing children’s attention and sparking their imagination. I always tell them to read the books rather than just the films because there is so much more in them. Of course now it’s HUNGER GAMES, GEEK GIRL, DIVERGENT and MAZE RUNNER too.

My 8 year old son just started reading THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE it is a bit wordy or him (his attention span is for shorter books really like BEAST QUEST) but it’s there by his bedside. When he wants to read a bit more I shall be there to help. It’s an amazing feeling reading and discussing a book you love with your child.

I have found it very interesting though how ‘explainy’ the writing is. Having entered a writing contest recently Pitch to Publication #p2p16 organised by Samantha Fountain @fountainwriter a lot of the #tenqueries (from the editors receiving the pitches and first few pages) have said things like ‘too explainy’ as a negative. I suppose it could be something to do with age category or maybe just an indication of how writing has changed in the last two decades. What do you think?

If you get chance, and are on Twitter, please look up #tenqueries #askeditor #p2p16 the advice is priceless and the community amazing. Pairings will be announced 12th of March. The writer then works with the editor for a month to refine their work before the agent round. Wish me luck! I entered with my YA high fantasy.

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