Over the last four and a bit months I've written five new picture books (four in the last six weeks). In addition to that I've reworked the ending of another. Twice. I've not been this productive with pbs ever before. But I'm not working on any longer stories - it's just a switch of genre focus for me at the moment. In the past I've averaged a couple of picture books a year, so this current output represents quite a shift in my writing life. And it's mostly organic. The last story was written to try and meet a brief but the rest were responses to ideas that just popped up unbidden in my head. I'm not sure why there's been this wee flood. I feel really happy when I'm massaging these ideas into a working picture book text. And then a bit bereft when I'm done and I'm casting around for another idea. And I rather like the things I'm producing. But I worry that this is too many pbs. Can you flood the market with too many of one person's ms? Do I need to slow down on the pb production? I mean, its not like you'd want to dismiss or set aside a strong idea. I guess the bottom line is how much I have enjoyed the writing. It would be crazy to resist that, right? Its a big part of why we're writers, right? But after thinking maybe I should slow down, and deciding a few days ago not to write any stories for the rest of October, I had a plot breakthrough on an old pb idea yesterday. And I've made a start on it. Crikey, I think I might need a spreadsheet.
In other news I've had some nice reviews come in for Time Machine and Other Stories, here, here, here and there. And I've had some lovely comments from teachers and librarians. Like this one about one of my favourite stories from the collection ...
And I got to visit the schools (Balmoral School and Kohia Terrace School) of the two winners (Edward Mulholland and Nadia Hall) of the colouring-in competition we ran leading up to the launch of the book. I presented a copy to each winner and their school library. Thank you to both schools for having me. I really enjoyed my visits!
Here I am with winner Edward Mulholland from Balmoral School.