I've been rather quiet on this blog for a while. It's for a couple of reasons: first, I've been sending the first and second novels to agents and waiting for replies. I've had several positive ones, but none positive enough: nobody has yet offered to take me on. I've also been writing. I've found it difficult and dispiriting writing whilst being rejected by agents.
However, last night, I finished my first children's novel. I've got two young adult novels finished, and a third on the go, but I started this one on a family holiday with my two girls and their cousins. Catherine's sister, Jenny, was reading them Terra, by Mitch Benn, and I was frankly a little jealous that she was getting to read to them, and I wasn't. So I started writing something for them to read. They're 6, 7, 8 and 10, and an idea came to me. I wrote several chapters that week, reading them to the girls as I wrote them, and finished it off last night. I need to send the completed version off to Jenny to read to her girls, after I've done some editing.
It was great fun to write, and I had a number of good suggestions from the girls. I'm going to edit it (see above), tightening it up and checking that the vocabulary isn't too difficult. It's aimed at 6-11 year olds - girls and boys - either as readers themselves, or to be read to them. It's fairly short - around 13,500 words, or 11 chapters before editing - and hopefully nice and fast-moving.
It's called Keith, my magical, talking sword, and it's about how much trouble a magical, talking sword can be to you. Particularly if you're only at primary school. It's supposed to be funny (the girls laughed a lot), and it was a lot of fun to write. It has a main character who's a girl and two friends - a boy and a girl - and I've already got at least a couple of other lined up in the same series. I'm looking forward to approaching agents with it.