The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day

I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop by fellow writer Helen Hollick. Her website is www.helenhollick.net and her blog hop post is here and she writes historical fiction and pirate-based adventure. Helen reached the USA Today Bestseller list with her novel The Forever Queen in 2011.

I’ve been instructed by Helen to tell you all about my next book by answering these questions and then I’ve tagged 3 other writers who will tell you about their Next Big Thing. So here I go…

Jack and Boo's Snowy Day

What is the working title of your next book?

I’m working on several new books and all have working titles but I don’t want to jinx any ideas before they are ready. But the book I’m promoting at the moment is our children’s Christmas book: Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

One day a few years ago I woke to find the world covered in snow. The book is inspired by going out into the snow with my children. There’s a surprising amount of nature around in the depths of winter.

What genre does your book fall under?

Children’s picture book for ages 3-7 that will entertain both toddlers up to children in primary school year 3 or so. It’s written in poetic prose with references to wildlife.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ha! I wish! Er… I’d love my own children to play the characters as they are the inspiration for Jack and Boo.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Follow Jack and Boo out on a wildlife adventure in the country playing in the snow and seeing how wildlife survives the winter. But I think the opening lines inspire more:

Snow-bright light behind
the curtain wakes us early
to a crisp white world
silent free falling
paper tissue flakes
sledging down
powder white hills
blackbirds startle
spring from branches
sprinkling dusty rain.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I prefer the term, independently published – I really did do it all myself. Well, with my wife, who illustrates and our children who inspire! With Jack and Boo, I like doing it myself, being in control and keeping it alternative.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It all actually happened very quickly. Probably not more than a few weeks for the first draft and then as it goes into the design I revise it, which is one of the advantages of doing all the stages yourself.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A parent and teacher who came to one of our book readings compared our books to “Charlie and Lola” as she said they captured the play and imagination of real children. But they are so different in visual and written style, combining real photos, illustrations and poetic prose. Any person who wants to be inspired by nature will love Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day. I believe our Jack and Boo books are totally original. But I would say that.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My children, my life experiences. Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day is our third Jack and Boo book, and, to some degree, having feedback from an existing fan base helped influence our next book. I actually made a rough draft of the book in 24 hours, following our day out in the snow, and published it as a quick eBook. It got a great response so I thought I’d make it our next published Jack and Boo book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Many children’s picture books are tedious to read over and over at bedtime (not that it’s just for bedtime!). We hope Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day will be a pleasure to read over and over by adults. It’s also challenging reading for key stage 1 early readers and a great teaching resource for poetry and seasonal themes. Oh and it’s got wildlife to spot all through, and a spotter guide and family ideas of things to do on a snowy day. Although it’s based on UK scenery and wildlife we’ve had many people buy it for children in America, Australia, Europe. I could go on…

Our books are available on Amazon and other retailers. Find out more, have a look inside and buy Jack and Boo’s Snowy Day – the perfect Christmas gift to inspire a child to learn and play in nature.

Here are some lovely authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!

Love struck, rom-com writing Louise Gibney‘s blog

Zombie mad, short story writing Jody Neil Ruth‘s blog.

School for Supervillians writing, children’s author Louie Stowell’s blog.

My thanks to Helen Hollick for Tagging me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Facebook: www.facebook.com/helen.hollick. Twitter: http://twitter.com/HelenHollick

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