Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Monkey Fist cover

Can’t wait for tomorrow, when author Sandy Fussell will be dropping in to talk about her latest Samurai Kid’s book, Monkey Fist.

Niya Moto, the story’s narrator will also be visiting to talk about this long awaited fourth book in the series.

Hope you can join me in welcoming Sandy and Niya to https://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

Dee

Sandy from website

I’m so excited that my author friend, Sandy Fussell is going to be here a week from today.

What’s even more exciting, is that Sandy is bringing Niya, the star of Monkey Fist,  her long awaited new Samurai Kid’s book.

Hope you can join us on Saturday 1st August to celebrate the release of Sandy’s action packed new book and meet Niya and Sandy.

Dee:-)

Thanks for dropping in today.

Sadly, we’re coming to the end of our hectic but fabulous Letters to Leonardo blog tour. We have been everywhere (well almost).

Tomorrow, we’re off to the USA so it might take a bit longer for the post to appear due to the time difference.

We’re going to be talking about bipolar themes in the story and the affect on teenagers of having a family member with a mental illness. Hope you can join us at http://www.JenniferBrownYA.com

Dee and Matt:-)

letterstoleonardolrgA lot of what I write is based on something that actually happened. My YA verse novel Street Racer was written after I read an article in the paper about someone involved in a street racing accident. A book I wrote for younger readers, Elephant Trouble, is based on a story in the newspaper about a man who came home from work to find an elephant stuck in his driveway.

 My new YA novel Letters to Leonardo – just released on the 1st July, is based on a story that was told to me by a friend and one of the book’s characters is a person that I actually know.

SO, WHY CHANGE FACT INTO FICTION?

If you’re writing a biography or an autobiography there is no need to turn fact into fiction – in this instance, it’s best to stick to the facts.

But if you’re writing a novel and making things up about your characters, you need to change the facts because:

  • What you make up could offend or hurt someone if you name a real person.
  • Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction and people wont’ believe it. In high school I had to write a love story so I wrote about how my parents first met. The teacher’s comment was that the story was well written but ‘not credible’. (Even though it was all true).

HOW TO CHANGE FACT INTO FICTION

The easiest ways to change fact into fiction are:

  • Change names of characters and places
  • Add or remove people from the event
  • Change the setting
  • Change the time/era in which the story took place
  • Combine real events from different sources
  • Change the details of the actual event – eg a cat stuck up a tree could become a dog stuck in a drain pipe.

In Letters to Leonardo, some real facts stayed in the story and some were changed. When you read the book, see if you can pick which ones.

Matt and I are sad to say that our blog tour finishes tomorrow. The exciting part is that the last stop is in the USA where we’ll be visiting Jennifer Brown, author of The Hate List which is being released in America in September. Catch us at Jen’s blog  www.JenniferBrownYA.com

Hope to see you there.

And just in case you’ve missed any other parts of the tour, here’s where we’ve been already.

Feel free go back and visit these great sites and find out more about Letters to Leonardo and the writing process.

24th June 2009             http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com        

Dee and Matt talk about promoting Letters to Leonardo online.

 

25th June 2009             http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com     

Author interview

 

26th June 2009             http://thebookchook.blogspot.com    

How art has been used in Letters to Leonardo

 

27th June 2009             http://belka37.blogspot.com

The research process involved in writing Letters to Leonardo           

 

28th June 2009             http://weloveya.wordpress.com

Guest blogger – talking with Vanessa Barneveld – interactive discussion with bloggers

 

29th June 2009             http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale            

An author interview covering things like inspiration and perspective

 

30th June                      http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com

Mentors in YA fiction, and Leonardo da Vinci’s involvement in the book

 

1st July                         Cyber launch http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com including cross to Robyn Opie’s blog http://robynopie.blogspot.com – hurdles overcome on the way to publication.

 

2nd July                        http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com

How the author’s life paralleled Matt’s – her growing obsession with Leonardo da Vinci

 

3rd July                         http://bjcullen.blogspot.com

Working with a publisher and the editing process

 

4th July                         http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com

Interview with the elusive Matt Hudson

 

5th July                         http://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

Class writing activities based on Letters to Leonardo

 

6th July                         https://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

Tips 4 young writers on how Letters to Leonardo was written

 

7th July                         http://www.JenniferBrownYA.com

An overseas stop before heading home

j0384807We’ve had an absolute blast today – and we’re so glad you could make it to help us celebrate the release of Letters to Leonardo.

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments about anything to do with today’s Cyber Launch.

Thanks so much Sue Whiting, Margaret Hamilton, Robyn Opie, Hal, Debbie  and SJ – and all my kind writing friends who have left lovely comments, for making this such a wonderful occasion.

This event has been brought to you by the following:

www.walkerbooks.com.au

http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

https://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

http://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com and

http://robynopie.blogspot.com

Don’t forget to check out our movie book preview at:

http://www.blazingtrailers.com/show.php?title=504

Tomorrow, the blog tour continues and it should be a really fun day because we’re off to visit Persnickety Snark. If you’d like to know how my life paralleled Matt’s, drop in and see us at http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com

It’s been a huge day – thanks so much for coming. Now it’s time to curl up with a hot cuppa and a good book.

Hope to catch you again in Cyber Space.

Dee and Matt:-)

letterstoleonardolrg

AVAILABLE IN ALL GOOD BOOKSTORES FROM TODAY:-)

 

letterstoleonardolrg1.       How long did it take to write Letters to Leonardo?

More than ten years.

2.       How many words have you put on paper from first draft to published novel?

Over 1 million.

3.       How many hours have you spent writing & rewriting Letters to Leonardo?

Around 1800 – that’s an average of about 180 hours per year.

 4.       How many times has the ending changed?

At least 7

5.       Was the book always called Letters to Leonardo?

It started out as Letters to Leonardo, then during my mentorship, was changed to To the Moon and Back, and eventually Space. When I went back to writing the original story (refer article about The Writing Process on Robyn Opie’s Blog http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com), it became Letters to Leonardo again.

 

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR READER’S ATTENTION – AND KEEP IT?

No matter what the length of your story, the beginning or opening is what hooks your reader and involves them in the characters and what is happening to them.

There are many things that a story beginning has to achieve:

  • Attract reader attention
  • Keep reader attention
  • Establish time and place in which the action is happening
  • Introduce the main character
  • Give some clues as to what the stories is about. Letters to Leonardo opens with a letter from the main character, Matt, to Leonardo da Vinci. This is an indication to the reader that letters, art and Leonardo da Vinci are probably important to the story.
  • Give reader an idea of what kind of story it is. For example, if you are writing a psychological thriller, a funny slapstick beginning will attract the wrong type of reader. The reader will soon realise this is NOT a funny story, and they will lose interest.

Early on in Letters to Leonardo, I wanted to establish the fact that Matt does not come from an ‘average’ family background. I thought this would help build up suspense and curiosity for the reader – the feeling that something unexpected might happen.

In his second letter to Leonardo da Vinci, Matt says, “I don’t do furry pets and family holidays – probably comes from growing up without a mum. Tomorrow’s my birthday. I guess I could tell you about that.”

As well as giving hints about Matt’s family background, this piece foreshadows to the reader that something unexpected could be about to happen.

The beginning must arouse the reader’s interest – give them something to keep reading. In Letters to Leonardo, it’s Matt’s first letter. But your beginning can be in any format. It can be scary, funny, shocking, bizarre, too ordinary – or whatever sort of beginning you choose – just as long as it hooks the reader and is in keeping with the rest of the story.

If you introduce your main character immediately and get straight into the action, you can’t go far wrong.

Hope this helps you get off to a great start with your next story.

Dee and Matt:-)