Today, I'm delighted to welcome Karen Tyrrell, award winning children’s resilience author, to my blog. Karen launches her second book in the Super Space Kids series, Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, an action-packed FUN space adventure for kids 7-12 … into the cosmos.
Jo-Kin Battles the It and Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, (Super Space Kids) are out NOW on Amazon and in book shops across the galaxy.
Here's the blurb!
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra
“Reluctant hero, Jo-Kin never wanted to be a Super Space Kid. Not until Lord Terra kidnaps his Commander’s little sister and starts destroying the galaxy. Jo-Kin reunites the mighty Super Space Kids for an inter-planetary hunt for Lord Terra, finally meeting in a legendary winner takes all battle on Planet Deelish-us.
Can Jo-Kin defeat the all-powerful Lord Terra?
Blast off with gadgets, robots and funky food in a hilarious outer space adventure that empowers you via teamwork, problem solving, and resilience.
I also had a little chat with Karen about how she comes up with her awesome themes in kid's fiction.
1. Why did you Create themes in Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra?
THEME is the heart and soul of a powerful story. Passionate themes and issues drive Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, thrilling space adventure, giving meaning and empathy to the reader.
My themes are connected to the protagonist’s, Jo-Kin’s internal journey. Geeky Jo-Kin aka Joshua Atkins plays the reluctant hero called upon to save little Pandora and the galaxy from Lord Terra. Jo-Kin must utilize every power within to win his struggle of Good versus Evil.
The reader cheers Jo-Kin on to succeed but Jo-Kin fails again and again. Jo-Kin must learn how to overcome his flaws to WIN. He must learn new skills: problem solving (brain power), friendship (team power), and a whole lot of resilience.
Real life themes make my story more relatable and believable. Teachers search for books that tick more than one box, delivering multiple curriculum themes such as STEM science and Kids Matter – life-skills.
2. How do you Write by Theme?
Firstly, write a powerful, intriguing story that kids want to read. A story posing unanswered questions the reader must solve. Ensure the main character’s goal is to solve a gripping problem. Wrap that story together with sizzling themes.
In Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, Jo-kin’s goal is to save Pandora and the galaxy from Lord Terra. Jo-Kin dreams of being a Super Space Kid. Firstly he must empower himself with self-belief, self-confidence and self-esteem so that he can call upon his brain power and team power. With every draft I wrote, I added deeper levels of my themes… and more humour.
I added seven main themes to Jo-Kin vs Lord Tera: perseverance/ resilience, humour, team power, brain power, STEM science, family and friendship. Other sub-themes that I explore in my junior novel are trust, consequences, fears, embarrassing parents and the onset of puberty.
I added a light touch of humour throughout to make reading FUN.
3. What themes are HOT in junior fiction & middle grade books?
Teachers and parents are calling out for gritty Kids Matter and STEM themes to empower kids with coping skills to deal with/ solve the problems of the world: bullies, life stress, divorce, diversity, disability, climate change and refugees.
The Australian Curriculum is calling out for stories with STEM:-
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, delivers both Kids Matter and STEM science, astronomy and space themes in the story. Download FREE teacher resources with STEM, creative writing, humour, and family and teamwork activities.
4. How do you announce your themes to schools, teachers, parents and teachers?
List your themes directly on the back cover blurb of your book.
“Blast off with gadgets, robots and funky food in a hilarious outer space adventure showing kids the power of teamwork, problem solving, and resilience. Jo-Kin is aligned with Kids Matter and STEM science in the Australian curriculum.”
Create an AIS (Advanced Information Sheet) with your blurb and themes listed. Seven themes are the recommended number of themes.
Send out your AIS to schools, bookshops and distributors.
Relatable themes connect with a wide range of readers including the child reader, teachers, parents, reviewers, librarians, book shops, distributors and even book buyers.
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, is available at Dymocks, Riverbend, The Book Garden, Book Face, Angus & Robertson, Mary Ryans, Amazon and selected stores.
Please connect with Karen Tyrrell here:
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra Blog Tour 23 May–I June
To celebrate Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra launch Karen is hosting Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra Blog Tour and Book Giveaway. Co-hosts will share out-of- this-world book reviews, interviews and blog posts.
Karen will zoom away signed copies of her book Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra and galactic prizes via the websites below. Please leave a comment on the websites to WIN.
23 May Amazon; Blog Tour Launch www.karentyrrell.com
24 May Writing Kids Comedy, Melissa Wray http://melissawray.blogspot.com.au
25 May Create a Powerful Hero Character, Alison Stegert https://ali-stegert.com
26 May Creating Teacher Resources, Romi Sharp http://www.justkidslit.com
27 May Book Review, Robyn Opie Parnell http://robynopie.blogspot.com.au
30 May Book Review, Jill Smith https://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com
31 May Creating Themes in Kids Books, Kate Foster http://www.katejfoster.com/blog
1 June Illustrate a Children’s Novel, June Perkins https://gumbootspearlz.org
WIN two signed copies of Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra, OR 3 eBooks OR signed artwork from illustrator Trevor Salter.
For a chance to WIN prizes … Just leave a comment on any of the above websites.
REMEMBER: Leaving comments on more than one site, increases your chances to WIN a prize.
Winners announces on 6 June. Good luck
Please comment below to win prizes.
WHO wants to win a free copy?!
Right now, I’m tired. Bordering on exhaustion almost. This year has been such a mixture of naf and amazing. Well-balanced, some might suggest. I don’t. The bad stuff is bad. The worst I’ve ever know. But, I keep going. Sometimes because I have to, because people are relying on me. But more so because I want to. Something deep within my core, my make up, pushes me to succeed, to be reliable. It’s obviously a genetic thing, my family are the same. I’m definitely a giver. That one at Christmas who likes to buy gifts more than receive them. And I’m not saying this to be all ‘Oh wow, check me out, I’m soooooo amazing’. Absolutely not. I’m telling you this because I appreciate that not all people are like me. Not all people thrive on giving. Not all people find personal strength in providing for others. Being a rock, a supporter, a backbone. And that’s fine. We’re all different, which is what brings colour and diversity to the world. But we can all unite if we just make the effort and accept.
(And, although this is a ranting blog post for another day, this is precisely how I perceive diversity. Not in skin colour, nationality, sexual preference. Nope. Diversity comes in choices, strengths, flaws and individuality. Please honour this over-used word by giving it some depth, and move away from it being simply about someone’s appearance and heritage.)
So, the purpose of this opening paragraph, is 1) to show that I identify how we’re all different, and 2) because I’m about to have a little rant. I don’t let my word vomit come from my grumpies often; I usually keep my opinions on most matters closely guarded, always looking for the neutral route in public. But, lately, quite frankly, what tires me out more than the general poo and wee going on in my own life, is that I have to be subjected to other people’s nonsense. Problems that just can’t be classified as problems. And no, I’m not going to list examples, because I have no doubt most readers can read between the lines and have Twitter and Facebook feeds full of posts that make them shake their heads in astonishment and annoyance every day. Those posts that make you say, ‘Why have you even shared this?!’ or 'I was doing fine until I saw this!'
And I’m sick of people telling me what a terrible world we live in. How it’s all destruction and depression and what’s the point. I’m not going to say that there isn’t destruction and depression happening at most turns, because there sure is a lot of it. Problem is, it’s human nature to home in on the negatives, and with information being at everyone’s fingertips we see death and disappointment on every front page and news headline. But, there is so much beauty in this world, that if you can’t see through the misery, if you can’t seek out the incredible and extraordinary, then fundamentally, that’s where a lot of the problem lies.
I’m going to share with you something super personal, for which I’m not expecting words of support. It’s a way I want to illustrate my point.
My dad is dying from cancer. My proud, strong, supportive father who has been there with me every step of the way, is nothing more than a fading skeleton in a chair slowly giving up his fight. And this hasn’t been a sudden thing. Oh no. This has been years of painful, agonising symptoms and treatments, of stress and horror and shock. Of the world as we all knew it crushing and suffocating us. But, and here’s what truly matters, my dad still remains the coolest, strongest, most amazing man I know. Someone who shoves his middle finger up at the suckiest of people and things going on in the world. This is the man, despite his suffering and his knowledge that Mr Grim will be popping by soon, who still sets goals and milestones. Who planned to celebrate his 65th birthday and get his state pension – he made it! Who planned to see my first book published – he made it. Who plans to make my mum’s birthday in the summer. And who continues to plan ahead. He’s the man I sit with and laugh over terrible daytime TV shows, who bickers with me over a jigsaw, who gets excited about what’s for dinner even though he can only manage a few mouthfuls, who cracks jokes about needing help getting his slippers on.
Yeah, this man is strength and beauty. This man encapsulates all of what life should be about. That we need to forget stressing about the things we can’t control and just make more of what this extraordinary planet can give us if we look in the right place. That beauty is external and internal. That if we just stop seeking answers, revenge, excuses, reasoning, then real satisfaction and pleasure can be discovered, and in the most unusual of places.
When people feel troubled, I believe they need to look outside of themselves and their own four walls, beyond the misery that others seem to love shoving in their faces, and look at what we have got, what we have achieved, and what’s out there to discover.
I’m not saying don’t react or feel emotion to the headlines, to war, to sickening decisions made by politicians; I’m not saying don’t fight, or campaign or respond to hideous world and local events. Definitely not. I’m saying, before you give up and fall into your own dark box of depression, remember that life is good, that good people exist, that good things happen every day. Look for them, read about them, remember them. Don’t give up on life. Ever. There’s a person just like my dad on every corner willing to hand over their strength to someone else if they’d just seek it out.
Over and out.
Today, I am delighted to welcome another fabulous author to my blog. But this is no ordinary cover reveal. Because although, yes, I am thrilled to present to you this stunning cover of Suz Korb's new YA novel Flutterby Girl...
(Gorgeous, right?!) ...what makes this reveal a whole higher level of excitement, is that this book isn't even written yet! That's right. Suz will be writing this book live on Patreon.
And this isn't the first time Suz has written a novel live. She's a live-writing pro! Check the details out here!
And here's what Suz has to say...
'I got the idea for Flutterby Girl, then I thought up a title, then I got the cover, and now I'm writing the story. It will go up on Patreon chapter by chapter, daily. You can read each chapter if you become my patron. I'm new at Patreon, so if problems arise I hope I can deal with them quick! It should be easy enough though.
I've decided to write my two most recent books live because it pushes me, and it makes my imagination flow more deeply.
Chapter 1 of Flutterby Girl is up on Patreon now and I hope you will join me in this young adult journey. '
I sure will be!
Here's a little more info about Suz and where you can follow her and her progress.
Suz Korb is a writer whose first published work of fiction was for the Boston Literary Magazine in 2010. It won a place in the Spring issue as the top story, launching her fiction writing career. She is now a British/American author writing in many genres.
To find out more about Suz Korb's publications visit the Books page. If you'd like to get in touch with Suz contact her here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Suz Korb books are available globally.
Suz is originally from Hawaii, but she grew up in the North American state of Utah. She relocated to England in 2001 where she resides with her kids in the picturesque and pleasant countryside.
Suz Korb books are available globally in paperback and ebook. Below are a few direct links to order and how to follow Suz:
Barnes & Noble
Apple iTunes / iBooks
Suz Korb Patreon
Facebook Author Page
Today, I'm delighted to welcome the wonderful Taryn Bashford to my blog. She's a serious talent and award winning Australian author. Wow! I know! How lucky am I? Well, Taryn recently launched a pretty darn cool new concept as far as story telling for teens goes.
So this is how it works. Taryn is publishing Payback twice weekly on Twitter, Facebook and her blog and also now on Wattpad. They’ll then run every Sunday and Thursday at 6pm EASTERN (3pm Pacific) – which to Aussies, is 8am on Mondays and Fridays. They’ll be published first on Facebook and blog, and then the twitter feed will be loaded, followed by Wattpad. After each episode readers can comment/share and suggest plot lines. Taryn says:
'So often, after an episodes of, let’s say Shadowhunter, viewers really want to tweet/post and share their feelings/thoughts and reaction to the episode. Now they can, right on the feed, straight after the episodes…I’ll be on those pages to interact with readers at the same time…'
If people don’t want to miss an episode, and want a reminder email before each episode, they just need to sign up here: http://bit.ly/PAYBACKepisodes
If readers want to interact with the individual characters, they each have their own facebook pages: Colt, Drew, Harper, and Shae
Links to Payback:
Payback Blog: http://bit.ly/PAYBACKepisodes
Payback on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PAYBACK_Series
Payback on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBPayback
Payback on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/TarynBashford
And, just for you to get you started, here's an excerpt from Episode One!
SET UP: SHAE and DREW are having a coffee in Beanies café, Malibu, California.
ACTION: They’re sitting next to each other at a wooden table rather than in the comfy
DREW: I should probably have planned this better, but if I think about it too much I won’t do it.
SHAE: Do what? What are you talking about?
DREW: Last time I asked you this, you didn’t give me an answer.
SHAE: Last time you asked me what?
DREW: Then I didn’t see you for weeks and you nearly died. Like the question was an omen.
SHAE grins: What question? When you asked me to pass the last slice of apple pie?
DREW: No. When I asked you this: Will you marry me . . . . . ? The answer’s not in your coffee cup. Look at me Shae. I know we’re young but--
SHAE mumbles: Eighteen is old enough to know my answer.
DREW: Don’t look at me like I’m a drowning puppy. Should I get out of here before you say another word?
SHAE: I have to be in LA for my mom and you have an empire to run in Sydney. For your dad’s sake.
DREW: I’ve got other people to run that empire for me. My dad would understand. I can fly between cities. I’m just some figurehead anyway.
SHAE: You’re more than a figurehead. Don’t sell yourself short all the time. You’ve learnt so much.
DREW: I can still be here for you. We’ll help your mom. She’ll be okay. It’s not forever.
SHAE sobs: She’s locked in her room, Drew. It’s been 2 weeks. It’s like history’s repeating itself and even two years on I can’t reach her
DREW: Hang in there. She just needs time. And now I’m here to help you. You’re not alone.
So tune in! I certainly will be.
I have major news today! MAJOR!
This year, I have been literally inundated with new authors requesting my editing services, and I am seriously humbled, I can tell you. But, obviously, I can only take on so many clients and so far have been unable to fit everyone into my schedule - well, at least to a date that suits the both of us. And despite doing my best and working all the hours under the sun and moon, turning authors away is horrible and depressing. I have this need to help EVERYONE!
So, I made a decision earlier this year to find a partner. Someone I trust, who has the same work ethic and standard of professionalism as me. Someone who cares about an author, not just about taking their money and offering a robotic service. Someone who is dedicated and fair, who will support and encourage every author who passes through my doors.
And I believe I have found that person.
We were meant to be together, I truly believe this. Our strengths compliment one another. I have seen how this person works and would trust them with my own manuscript - in fact, I did!
So, I am delighted to introduce you to...
Isn't she gorgeous! And nearly as angelic and perfect as me! Almost.
Here's a little bit about Rebecca.
As a copy editor, I check the manuscript for grammar, punctuation, spelling, format, word repetition, unnecessary words, sentence structure, and stronger verbs, as well as fact-checking information in the manuscript for accuracy and alerting the writer to any plot holes, time-line issues, etc. In other words, my job is to help prepare the manuscript for publication.
First and foremost, my philosophy is to tread lightly, paying careful attention to voice while staying true to the writer’s story. I’m a stickler for detail and carefully examine every word, sentence, and paragraph, making sure each is vital to creating a tight story. I never tell a client they must change something but offer suggestions with examples and the reasons for the change.
I have a strong work ethic and will complete the project in a time-frame that is agreeable to both myself and the client.
I have been writing for over ten years, self-published a YA memoir, and am currently an intern editor’s assistant for Lakewater Press. I completed a copyediting course in April, 2016, and have a YA sci-fi coming out in winter of 2016 with Lakewater Press.
Welcome, Rebecca, you amazing person you!
So this means...CONTACT ME NOW IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN EDITOR! Between Rebecca and I, you are in some majorly safe, sophisticated, soft, sensational, supportive hands!
Just drop me an email at email@example.com with a bit about you and your manuscript and we'll go from there.
I am beside myself with excitement today, because my 2015 Pitch Wars mentee, J.S. Roberts, has just signed with Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger! I know! I am buzzing, literally. She worked so hard on her amazing MG mystery Delayed last year, and she absolutely deserves this. Honestly guys, when - yes WHEN - this book comes out, you absolutely have to buy it. It's amazing, as is J.S. Please watch out for this upcoming author, because she's going to be a superstar author before we know it.
Congratulations, Team Llama, I am sooooooo proud of you!
Follow J.S. Roberts' progress right here via her website, or, you know, follow me because I'm bound to be screaming it from the rooftops!
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!