I had meant to fill you in on the Authonomy review where for two weeks, the YA forum read and commented on my novel, The Junk Room. The comments were positive about imagery, intrigue and hook. The only common niggle was the first chapter, which contained a car crash and flashbacks, and I admit, was confusing. So, these past few months I've been revising my WIP and I'm happy with the progress. I've read The Junk Room umpteen times, which is probably not enough, and rewritten and added scenes. What I thought would be a chore has actually been an eye opener. It's as if my characters were naked and I'd forgotten to give them clothes.
The next stage will be to read The Junk Room out loud. I have done this with some chapters already, but not the whole novel. I've downloaded this free software, which Carol (Artizcarol Ramblings) mentioned in her post here. I might give this a go. I think hearing your novel read out loud by someone, or something, is a useful tool.
My other complete novel, The Wind Knows My Name, didn't make it through the shortlist for Diverse Voices mentioned in this post. Ce la vie. I am looking forward to some feedback at the end of the month.
I had fun having a go at a cover design. I took this photograph on La Rambla, Barcelona, where the story is set, and features this fabulous ornamentation. This fantasy story is about Jess, twelve, who, when she sleeps is able to awake in her dream world -Etherworld - and interact with it. She meets up with others, like herself, who must compete in The Race for The Prize. But is it worth taking? The Master wants her soul. She wants knowledge. Others want her gift to unite The City.
I'm now a member of SCBWI, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Or the pet name, Scoobie. You don't have to be a published author to join, which appealed to me, and there's access to writerly information and competitions, amongst other opportunities. My first scoobie-doo will be attending the Revision Game workshop at the end of the month. Good timing.
Ooh, nearly forgot. I'm off to my first Writing Conference in Newcastle, in May. It was on my list of things to do this year and I read about it on Nicola Morgan's blog.