Good morning. It’s the first Monday of the school holidays and that thrill of excitement is running through my veins: no work! So, grab your coffee cup and let’s get a refill and catch up. Continue reading →
From time to time, I Google my books to ascertain whether any of them have received a mention, for example in the form of a book review. Whilst searching for one of my titles yesterday (Wednesday 10th July), I came across a link to the book on Kiss Library.
All of my books (with the exception of Guide Dogs Anthology), are available from Amazon and (in the case of “My Old Clock I Wind“, and “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind“, also from Moyhill Publishing. I have never authorised Kiss Library to sell any of my books.
I was, obviously concerned to discover that Kiss Library is offering one of my works for sale without my permission. Firstly (as already stated) I never granted that organisation permission to sell any of my titles, and, secondly any funds from such sales will not be going into…
It’s here! My blood, sweat and tears arrived today in the post and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.
The setting is as close to perfect as I can get it and my illustrations have come to life on the white, glossy pages. The true test, of course, will be whether the children engage with the book and if the story fires their imaginations. After testing it on my book club members and year Reception at school, I have optimistic hopes of getting them to love this story as much as I do.
Now the fun part: this story was written for the library service in my borough, inspired by their theme Space Chase. I didn’t want to write a generic book about racing through space and instead, took inspiration from the imaginings of the children as they gazed up at the moon. Is it made of cheese? Does it have alien trees?
Using these ideas and brainstorming with Mark Hickling, one of our teachers at my school, and my youngest sprog, a new concept was born. I created Little One – a character who could be a boy or girl, giving the story a gender neutral balance. Little One’s mum has gone away and, like most young children at some point in their lives, Little One feels as if the separation is for a long time. Big Ox, the adult in charge, decides to take Little One on an adventure to help his tiny friend cope with Mum’s absence. What better way to occupy the mind of a small person than take them in a canoe ride across space, using Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon as an oar?
This space story aims to entertain young and old alike with various visions of space through eyes that aren’t jaded by time or a lack of imagination; instead it inspires silly questions and adventure.
If you’d like to order your copy of Space Dust, click on the pic below. It will take you to my author site with all my book titles available to purchase.
Welcome to a long-awaited guest post for our book lovers out there. Today’s guest is Andrew Joyce, a wonderful fictional writer who takes the journey to America, hoping for a better life, to a whole new level.
Without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Andrew…
My name is Andrew Joyce andI write books for a living.Eloisehas been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book,Mahoney. So,I thought I’dtell you how it came about.Butto do that, I gotta tell you how my mind works.
A few years ago,I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about whatever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged outRedemption: The FurtherAdventures of Huck Finn and TomSawyer. I had them as adults in the Old West. Kind of like Wyatt Earp type characters.It was a modest success and won an award as Best Western of 2013.
I think my favorite book of all time isThe Grapes of Wrathby John Steinbeck.I’ve read itanumber of times over the years.Thelast time being two years ago.Now, for those of you who maynothaveread it, it’s about one family’s trek from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s to the “Land of Milk and Honey,” also known as California.Of course,California wasn’t a land of milk and honey. If anything, the family was worse off in California than they were in Oklahoma. The subtext of the book is how those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder are oppressed andhavevery little voice to fight against that oppression.
Near the end of the book, Tom Joad, the protagonist, runs afoul of the law and must leave his family or else be arrested on a trumped up charge or be killed by the big landowners’ goons.His mother, quite naturally, will miss him and is worried for him. The words he spoke to her in that scene have become iconic.
“I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”—Tom Joad,TheGrapes of Wrath,by John Steinbeck
So, here’s what I did.Just like with Huckand Tom, I started thinking about whatever happened to Tom Joad after he left his family. I wanted to write about injustices and the people who suffer those injustices. I thought I’d follow Tom around and write about what he encounteredfrom about the mid-thirties to 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech.
However, therewas just one problem with that: copyright laws. The character of Tom Joad belongs to the heirs of John Steinbeck.So, I had to come up with another angle. Aftersomethought on the matter, I decided to expand myinitial time frame from between 1933and1963 to 1849and1963. I’d start the story in Ireland during the potato famine and work my way to America and thenI’dend up where I had originally intended.
Here’s the blurb for the book:
In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.
In the second year ofanGorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at seathat decimatecrew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.
Well, that’s howMahoneycame about. For those of you who may read it, I hope you enjoy it. It took me almost two years of full-timeresearch, writing, and editing toget it to where I wanted and to tell the story I wanted to tell.
Thank you, Andrew. For anyone interested in a taste of the book, here’s a little excerpt to tantalise your reading taste buds:
The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.
In time, theywouldprevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.
Follow Andrew’s writing journey here and please remember, ever author survives on reviews. Please don’t forget to leave yours.
It’s that time of year again at our little primary school, when we gather the children and throw them into a time machine, a fantasty world or, in this case, an evacuee’s body and transport them to another place. Welcome to this year’s theme: The Midnight Garden. Continue reading →
After 3 years and 6 months of blood, sweat, tears, endless cups of coffee, 12 drafts, 5 rewrites, many hours spent at the kitchen table, countless time spent gazing out of the window daydreaming, loads of sweaty author nightmares, millions of texts and emails to writers friends, a mind boggling number of tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and blog posts, the decision in March to self-publish after a lot of rejections, time spent with an editor, a proofreader, a book cover designer, a six-day holiday to Dubrovnik, an overnight stay at a luxury hotel in Worcester and a week filled with non-stop emotion, my book; Instructions For Falling In Love Again, IS NOW LIVE.