My Next Big Thing

Published on Wednesday 14th November 2012 by DJ Kirkby

I have been tagged to write a post about my next big thing by Will.  The way it works is that I answer the questions below and then tag 5 other bloggers to do the same on their blogs on the 21st November.

What is the working title of your book?

I am currently working on Queendom which is the 3rd book in the Portal Series

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for book 3 came when I was writing book 2 (Raffie Island) and one of my twitter followers challenged me to fit in the Galliard dance and giraffes  into the chapter I was writing at that time.  Well these dancing giraffes were so intriguing that I knew I had to write book 3 to find out more about them.

What genre does your book fall under?

Children’s adventure and fantasy.  I would say my writing style in the Portal Series is a cross between Enid Blyton and Spike Milligan though my editor described it as a cross between Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Narnia!

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

I would leave that decision up to whoever was in charge of the casting for the film.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This ties back into the synopsis forPerfectly Formed (which is the prequel to the series) – “A boy, a crab and the beginning of a mission that will last a lifetime”.  You can read Perfectly Formed for free on Wattpad.

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

I chose to self publish book 1 of this series  beause I wanted to be able to sell it at a price that would allow children to buy it with their pocket money.  So the e-book version is £0.75 and the paperback (out Dec 1st) is £2.99 in the UK and os similarly  low priced worldwide. I have plans to publish book 2 (Raffie Island) in June 2013 and Queendom (book 3) in December 2013.

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

It took me 4 weeks to write the first draft of Realand and considerably longer to edit it to my satisfaction.  I then sent it out for a professional line edit and then a copy edit before publishing it. It took me 8 weeks to write the first draft of Raffie Island and I am now editing it in between working on Queendom. Judging by the rate the other 2 books came out at and the fact that Queendom is a longer book – I am guestimating that it will take me 12 weeks to write the first draft.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I spent much of 2012 working as the Writer in Residence for Portsmouth Libraries.  Up ’till this point I had written for adults despite try and failing to write for children for years.  I did a lot of outreach work into school this year and felt that I had let the children down each time they asked me to read them something I had written and I had nothing suitable  to share with them. One morning I sat down and wrote a short story called The Box of Broken Things which was very well received by all the school children I read it to.  It is now chapter one of Realand!

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

A reader on Wattpad described Perfectly Formed (prequel to the Portal Series) as “A great read which could be as epic as Harry Potter.” Perfectly Formed also has a touch of Christmas about it so may be a nice treat for any children you know in the run up to Christmas. You can read it here or listen to me reading it on Podbean or iTunes.

Tagged bloggers (some of the people I wanted to invite have already joined in – ooops)

Evie McLaughlin

Rebecca Bradley

Mandy Baggot

Pam Fudge


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