Saturday, June 02, 2012

Grin  and  Bear  It!

So I've written a children's book; how weird is that? Not my idea, it has to be said, and I wasn't too enthused about the project when it was first suggested. Still, I gave it a go, and really got into the spirit of things when a story finally came to me.

What did I have to work with? A bear and a few castles. Oh yes, the bear had to talk, and it had to be a Teddy Bear (because Teddy Bears are popular, and so are castles, you see!). With this thought in mind, a chap called Bob thought he had come up with a sure-fire idea for a best-seller. Just like that; all I had to do was write it. I finally said yes, and then we had to decide which castles were going to feature in our little adventure. It was a bit of a no-brainer to start with, as we live within a few miles of Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch; which we duly paid a visit to, and boned up on the history of. A month later, I had completed what was intended to be the first in a series of five chapbooks; entitled 'The Old Hag in the Moat, it introduced both the character of Edward Ted, and the onset of his quest to find the keys to open up five segments of a pyramid, and release a ring that once belonged to the legendary Welsh warrior, Owain Glyndwr. Things were on the move.

Book 1 did the rounds and was generally approved of by the people who read it, and so I began work on the second tale, this one called The Adventure of the Red Castle. In the meantime, three other locations had to be decided on and checked out. Raglan Castle was picked for the third adventure (at this time, it was still intended as a series of five chapbooks) and after that, Chepstow Castle. Of course, this is a stone's throw away from Tintern Abbey, which I thought would be a wonderfully majestic setting for the climax of the series; and so, over the next few months, we visited these sites, I wrote the chapbooks (The Tale of the Troublesome Witch, A Misadventure with the Faerie Folk and The Tale of the Dragon's Tail being the titles of the remaining three stories); and then, after numerous read-throughs, rewrites and edits, we finally had our adventure.

This was not a smooth passage, as we now had to decide just how, exactly, we were going to go about getting them published. The chapbooks idea soon fell by the wayside, and it was decided to publish the whole collection as a novella called The Golden Pyramid. In truth, as were going down the self-publishing road, Kindle was really the only option.

The book was finally shown to an editor, who gave it a thumbs up ... but told us that the title 'had to go'. It was a good two weeks before we finally decided to call it 'The Quest for the 5 Keys'. Bob then set about getting the artwork done.

Now at this point, we were ready to upload it onto Kindle; then a proof reader offered to give it a final once over. Her verdict. Don't upload it just yet, this may have potential. Which now mean's that this particular entry has yet to be finished. So ... I'll keep you posted. Until then.


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