Category Archives: young readers

Meet Author David A Wilson

On my blog today is children’s author, and dragon dreamer, David A Wilson. Like me, David lives in Coventry, UK, and is a member of the Coventry Writers’ Group.David Wilson

What is the title of your recent book? (In a nutshell what is it about?)

 Aaron Gray and the Dragon War is a book about an extremely bratty kid called Aaron who says “Crud” a lot. He lives in a children’s care home and has the same dream every night about dragons fighting each other around a castle. One day he gets sucked into the dragons’ world and is sent on a quest with another kid called Julia to try and stop a dragon war.  Julia’s generally quite thrilled about the whole thing. Aaron isn’t.

 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

 It turns out that there are rules about when to use commas and exclamation marks. No matter how hard I try I never get it right and have to kill off all punctuation mistakes when editing. Sometimes I let a few stay in out of pity. The most rewarding part is that I have this whole world of characters and fantasy creatures that I get to explore. I’ve especially grown fond of Aaron and can’t wait to send him on more adventures in the future.

 Tell us a bit about everything you needed to do to get your book published – and launched. What worked? What you wouldn’t do again?

David Wilson 2Well Aaron Gray is self-published, rather than going through a publisher who already knows what they’re doing. The steps are all still the same, but it’s me doing them all rather than clever people in an office somewhere. I had to find my own editors to critique my book and find any errors, then find a printer and distributer, then find someone to design the cover because my art skills are shocking,  then format the book for printing and for e-books, then market the book myself and approach booksellers. Oh and before all that I had to write the book too.

My main piece of advice would be to give yourself plenty of time between your final book edit and publication. Getting books printed takes time, and every time you contact someone like Waterstones there’s a 30 working day (6 week) wait before you get a reply. You also need to take time to plan your book launch and contact your local media. I tried to do all of this in about 6 weeks, which as you can imagine posed some problems!

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

 Decide what you want to write and write it. Don’t stop because it’s rubbish. First drafts are supposed to be rubbish. Don’t even stop and edit what you’ve written before. Just write whatever you need to write until your story’s finished. Then give yourself a week or so, go back to your story and start to craft it into something special.

 What are you working on at the moment?

 Book two! Aaron Gray and the <cough cough cough> is all plotted out and I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of May.

 What do you like to read?

 I have a ridiculously  strict reading regimen, making sure that I’ve read one book in each of the following four genres before returning to the top of the list.

  • A children’s/YA book (because that’s my genre)
  • A christian/spritual book (good for the soul)
  • A book that is considered a classic (because there are so many amazing books I haven’t read)
  • A book recommended by a book club (to see what’s currently popular)

Where can readers find you (Amazon links etc)?

 The easiest thing to do is check out my website at, which has links to all the various bookstores and new content three times each week. You can also find me on facebook at .





Happy Everybody Reads YA Sunday.

Welcome to another ‘Happy Everybody Reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare.

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from s short story called Sleeping Beauty. I will be re-reading it myself over the next few weeks as I am going to have a go at turning it into a screenplay. I’ve just been to a workshop on writing film scripts, and think this has some of the basic elements for a first attempt. We’ll see how it works out in the New Year.

sleeping beautyExcerpt:

“Get out, get out! You little bitch!” my stepmother had screamed. Sukie wasn’t technically my stepmother, not having properly married my Dad. She’d just drifted into our lives a year or so after Mum died, stayed over one night, and never moved out. I thought Dad was a bit scared of her, to be honest. Sukie was beautiful, with long blond hair (dyed, of course) and if she laughed when she and Dad had visitors it was like wind chimes tinkling in a gentle breeze. Everybody thought she was charming, and beautiful, and Dad was so lucky to have met her, him being a widower with a small kid (me) in tow. What a help she must be to him, now he was no longer lonely, and had a mother figure again for his little girl. I think Dad thought that too, at least at first.


Dawn has been in a coma for a year and is visited in hospital every day by her devoted father, occasionally by the ghost of her dead mother, and once by her vicious stepmother. Unable to move a muscle she monitors their coming and going and relives the events that lead to her accident. She yearns to wake up and live like a teenager again, but nothing so far has been able to rouse her from her deep, deep sleep. Then, on her fourteenth birthday she is visited by a mysterious delivery boy with a strange package.


Sleeping Beauty is available as a single story download from the above link. It also appears in the anthology, First Love, published by Solstice.



Happy everybody reads YA Sunday. Today I’m talking about a SolsticFirst Lovee Publishing Anthology – FIRST LOVE.

The anthology is full of short stories about the pleasures and anxieties of a first teenage love – that first kiss, the anxious wait for a phone call ….

Below is an excerpt from my own story that is included in this anthology – SLEEPING BEAUTY.


“Sorry,” he replied, unabashed. “The note on the parcel says I’ve got to deliver it into her hands personally.” He sidestepped the nurse and continued towards me, and placed the small package on my bed. “My, isn’t she pretty?” he added, as he pressed my hand over the parcel. Again I felt my fingers tingle. “Pretty enough to kiss, even if she is asleep,” he went on, bending down and placing his lips firmly against mine before anyone could stop him. I’d never been kissed like that before. I’d certainly never expected to be kissed like that in front of Mum and Dad. I gasped, and opened my eyes.

BLURB for Sleeping Beauty:

sleeping beauty

Dawn has been in a coma for a year and is visited in hospital every day by her devoted father, occasionally by the ghost of her dead mother, and once by her vicious stepmother. Unable to move a muscle she monitors their coming and going and relives the events that lead to her accident. She yearns to wake up and live like a teenager again, but nothing so far has been able to rouse her from her deep, deep sleep. Then, on her fourteenth birthday she is visited by a mysterious delivery boy with a strange package.


LINKS: First Love Anthology

Sleeping Beauty:







Girl Friends, my latest YA book, is released 6th May.

In case you missed it, I have a new book released on Friday. Yay!Girl Friends - cover

Called Girl Friends it is, of course, also about boyfriends. It is narrated in the first person present by fifteen year old Courtney who doesn’t expect much from life – which is just as well, as she hasn’t got much. On the other hand, her friend Grace has a burning ambition to be a model and a brand new older boyfriend who says he can help her. Courtney is worried about how this relationship is developing – or is she just jealous? What she doesn’t realise until very late in the day is that Grace is caught up in a gang that exploits young girls. Then it is up to Courtney and new friends to try to rescue her.                       Amazon link:


In the past I have worked with a few girls like Courtney, and their life stories have inspired me. When I wrote the first draft there were a few mentions in the British media about the sexual exploitation of vulnerable girls like Grace, but not a great deal of public interest. Indeed some people regarded these articles as unnecessarily alarmist, and potentially racist. A few years, and some high profile court cases, later we are now aware that the situation is very much worse than those early articles suggested. Should I reflect all this in my book, I wondered, as I started on a second draft. But Girl Friends is, first and foremost, a work of fiction and written to entertain. Essentially it is a story about two friends and how, despite their various problems and diverging paths, the bond between the two girls holds firm.

Girl Friends is now available on Amazon as an e-book or in print. I hope you are tempted to buy it, read it, and enjoy it! Oh, and reviews and feedback are always welcome.

Amazon Link:


Meet author Karen King

I have been lucky enough to meet Karen on a couple of occasions. I have also taken part in one of her workshops for writers. Karen has written countless children’s stories and books for young adults,Karen KIng and an increasing number of romantic novels. Here she talks about her recent work.

What is the title of your latest book?

 My latest book is a chick lit novel titled ‘I Do? – or do I?’ which will be published by Accent Press on 12th May.  It’s about a local journalist Cassie who is getting married to hot-shot, reliable Timothy and his mother Sylvia nicknamed ‘Monster-in-Law’ wants to plan the entire wedding. When Sylvia books the exclusive ID Images to take photographs of the extravagant do, Cassie has no idea what she’s walking into.

The elusive JM, ID Images’ newest photographer, just so happens to be Jared, Cassie’s first love and ex-fiancé, who broke off their engagement to travel and take photos of far-reaching wonders. He’s back to pay for his next wild adventure.

Cassie decides it’s best to pretend not to know him, but when she’s asked to write an article for her newspaper, she’s tasked with a column surrounding all things wedding related. When Cassie jokingly writes a column meant for herself depicting her situation, a co-worker submits it in place of the real article and it’s soon making headlines, with readers asking the age old question – Who Will She Choose?

What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer?

The most challenging thing is finding time to do anything else. Writing can tend to take over your life. For me, the most rewarding thing is getting a message from a reader saying how much they’ve enjoyed reading my book. That makes my week!

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Know your market, know your reader. I think it’s important to know the genre you’re writing and who will be reading it. A psychological thriller has a completely different tone to a romcom, for example.

What are you working on at the moment?

My third chick lit novel for Accent Press. They contracted me for three books and are republishing my romance and YA back list. I feel amazingly lucky. I’m also about to start on a YA for them.

Wearing my other hat, as a children’s author, I’m working on a series for 6-8 year olds and a couple of picture book texts. I always have a few projects on the go.

 What do you like to read?

Mainly light-hearted, pacey books by authors such as Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes, but I was gripped by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Before I go To Sleep by S.J.Watson.

 Where can readers find you (Amazon links etc)?  Website

Amazon Author PageI Do (3)

Karen King Romance Author Facebook

Karen King Children’s Books Facebook



 Amazon link for ‘I Do – or DO I?

 Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Margaret. 

Meet author Ann Evans

When I started this blog I said that I hoped to feature  other writers here from time to time. So I am delighted that my very first guest is the acclaimed writer of children’s books, and romances, Ann Evans. Ann has also written ‘how to’ books on writing, runs regular writing classes, and has been a source of encouragement, advice, and inspiration to me since I started out as a writer. Ann Evans and books


  1. What is the title of your latest book? 

My latest full length book is a YA time slip thriller entitled Celeste.  It’s set in Coventry (my home city) in the present day and the Medieval past.  It’s about a girl – Megan Miller who moves to Coventry with her parents and starts a new school. She soon starts to get feelings of deja vu. Things become more worrying when she starts to have fragmented dreams and flashbacks to a past life. To a time when she had been called Celeste.

And then Megan believes some ominous presence is haunting her, following her, whispering in her ear. And always the same question, where did you hide it?

Megan becomes entwined in a frightening and heartbreaking world as she slips uncontrollably between her present life and her medieval past. She’s afraid that a new friend is actually a past enemy – and evil has followed her through the centuries.

I’ve also been busy writing books for reluctant readers, published by Badger Learning. There’s been Kicked Into Touch and Spend Like a Celebrity, plus I’ve had the fun of writing some horror stories: Nightmare, Red Handed and Straw Men. Also a heart-rendering story called By My Side, which has everyone in tears – even me!

  1. What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

For me the most challenging thing is finding enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. And the most rewarding is seeing the finished product – a book or a magazine article published. And it’s also incredibly rewarding when someone tells you that they’ve read and enjoyed your book.

 3. What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Persevere! Never give up. If you want to be a writer, then write and keep on writing regardless of the rejections.  I had seven books rejected before my first one was published. I would also say read as much as you can and learn from other authors.

 4. What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve got a number of projects on the go. I write regularly for various magazines, so I’m always working on articles. But fiction-wise, I’m writing two more reluctant reader books. I’m also working on a romance, a children’s book and what I hope will be a psychological thriller. 

  1. What do you like to read?

I have a wide taste in books, from crime to time slip and romance to autobiographies. Amongst my favourite authors are Lee Child – who comes from my home city of Coventry, and Barbara Erskine who inspired me to write a time slip novel.

 6. Where can readers find you?

My website:




Buy links: Celeste paperback: AC_Celeste_1400x2100 (1)

Celeste Kindle:



Ann’s books for reluctant readers are available from Badger Learning, Amazon and all the usual outlets.

By My Side Badger Learning