Sunday, 16 August 2015

Animania goes live

Yay, it has been quite the journey but I can officially announce that my first book Animania is available in both print and as an e-book. I have inflated my arm bands, donned the flippers and ready to take that dip into the huge self publishing ocean.


To celebrate this huge milestone I am giving away the following bundle.

Comprising of:
1 signed copy of Animania, 2 crochet mice, colouring sheets, an original sketch and some handmade cards. 
The winner will be announced on Sunday the 23rd of August. To enter either visit my Twitter or Facebook page or subscribe to my blog so that I can contact you if you have won :)

What is Animania?

For those that don’t know, Animania is an animal alphabet book with a twist... the twist being that these are not your normal animals! This book shows the true essence of what my work is about and that is to create some giggles out there. 
An utterly ridiculous rhyming picture book aimed at the 4-8 year age range. The book is made up of short catchy 4 lined verses for each letter of the alphabet, and is full of characters that will leave a lasting impression, and hopefully give you and the little ones much to talk about.

I am afraid this is going to be a bit of a self indulgent post based on Animania. I have worked my socks off the past year to get to this point. There have been highs and there have been lows. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, and there were moments of “why am I doing this”. Seeing the reactions from the children so far has been priceless and to me the book is already a success regardless of whether it sells or not. So I shall continue my self indulgent journey in this post by sharing links to some of the guest posts and interviews I have been blessed to be part of during the last couple of months to promote the book. Thank you so much to everyone for the continued support.

The Fantastic Support Behind Animania So Far:

First up an interview that bought a tear to my eye, hosted by the lovely Nelson Ward at Inkspokes. 
Inkspokes is an online literary magazine that publishes articles on indie book trends, book reviews of independently published and small press works and author interviews. They also showcase some of the incredible work being produced by book illustrators, especially those working independently, and provide resources for indie authors and publishers to assist them in their writing, book craft and the publishing of their works.
Their goal is to build an inviting, supportive community where authors, readers, illustrators and other publishing creatives can make connections.

I am also proud to say that Animania has been given the Inskspokes select book award. Chick here for Review by Inkspokes
A. J. Cosmo's stories are crafted to help parents teach their children simple everyday lessons in an easy to understand manner. By artfully marrying beautiful illustrations and language, children are challenged to explore his magical worlds.

A mother-daughter team who love to read.  They have created a space where kids under the age of 13 (sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandsons, granddaughters, stepkids) and their grown-ups (mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, babysitter) can share their opinions about some of the books they’ve read.

Success Skunks are an organization that helps inspire children globally. They interview a variety of people from different professions to show children, how they "Wished Upon A Time " and with Passion, Compassion and hard work created a life they can't wait to wake up to.

Here are some of my favourite reviews so far on Amazon:

We love it! We are just starting to teach my daughter her phonics, so it is perfect as it is a cheerful way to remember letters and sounds. She loved Naughty Nipper and Inky Stinky. It is very colourful and creative. We played spot the mice and we talked about what the mice were doing. She found it highly amusing that the mice were using a flower like an umbrella to protect them from Booger Bat's runny nose!
I loved that it rhymes. A rhyming book is always a favourite for me Smiling face with smiling eyesI will definitely be buying copies for my friend's children.

This book is an absolute joy to read. The words and colourful illustrations are extremely well executed. It contains imaginative creatures and hilarious descriptions of what each letter in the alphabet stands for, in a way that's never been thought of before. My daughter and I were thoroughly entertained from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend this book to put a smile on any little one's face and adults of course. Excellent value for a lot of fun and entertainment.
What a wonderful children's learning book! Filled with a group of colourful and cute characters, Animania will make reading fun for youngsters (I'm sure it will make their parents smile too!). The rhyming verse compliments the illustrations very well and will allow kids to think of their favourite creatures when learning the alphabet. I’m sure this book would do great in any young class library, so recommended for teachers also. If you have young children, work in a school, or are just a big kid at heart, certainly give Animania a read!

Whimsical does not begin to adequately describe this beautiful book. Author, artist Corrina Holyoake has created a wonderful book for boys and girls that may well be one of the best children's books of all time. I would go so far as to call this fine work unique within the genre.

The author's art is amazing. Her highly creative story and characters from A to Z are simply brilliant and dazzling.

ANIMANIA is the whole package for children, parents, and grandparents of all ages.
Looking so forward to seeing more works in print by this author.
I love this book!

What happens next?

Right now I am still at the beginning stages of marketing Animania, so that is taking up all of my free time. I have so many fun things happening in the background, here are just a few of the things I am most excited about.
17th August         Interview on the Ron Shaw Show on the Artist Finder network

25th August       I am meeting Dale from Critterish Allsorts and his 65 critters. I can’t wait to finally meet Stoosh and Skittles. Animania is sponsoring Critterish Allsorts and I am donating a percentage of my royalties to them so I am really excited about this visit. More details about the sponsosrship can be found here:  Animania sponsors Critterish Allsorts

September          Date to be confirmed for a book signing and press release in Chichester.

October 13th       Author school visit with Dale and a few furry friends

The next priority is to get a colouring book published, where kids have the chance to colour in their own copy of Animania. I am aiming to get that published for my school visit in October. Once Animania calms down then I will think about the next book. It will tie in with Animania, but how is something I have yet to figure out. I am hoping this is the start of many more silly books from yours truly. I have no idea where this little journey of mine is taking me, but one thing’s for sure, there is never a dull moment!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Book Lovers Day

In honor of Book Lover's Day on 9 August, my writerly pals and I are having fun by sharing all the ways we adore reading.  There is nothing better than getting lost in a good book but sadly it has been a while since I have picked one up due to this year being…. Well, ridiculous! When I heard it was book lovers day I thought now this is the perfect opportunity to put some time aside and indulge in one of my favourite past times.

How we will be celebrating book lovers day

I always used to love reading to my children when they were little but I must admit over the years this fizzled out as these things tend to do. However as part of the national read aloud month in March I thought it would be fun to read my kids a bedtime story, even though they are now 8 and 11. Do you know what, it proved that you are never too old to be read to! We carried on with the nightly bedtime reads way beyond the month of March. The kids loved having that extra bit of mum time. We would get our jim jams on, cuddle up in bed and read a story. My daughter, Flic, would insist on taking it in turns to read, which really helped her reading skills at school. Dylan was more than happy just to lie back and wait for my terrible attempts at accents. I too enjoyed the break from the drawing board and it gave me a chance to study the art of writing more, and to see what things worked with the kids and what didn’t, so it was a good learning experience too.

I am ashamed to say that the last few months we have stopped the night time reading ritual, so much has happened the last few months but that is an entire blog in itself. Its been an erm…. Interesting year! So for book lovers day I am putting some time aside and I have told the children that we will start reading again starting from Sunday. My latest book commission comes to an end this week so it’s about time that the paintbrushes are put down and the books picked up.

My usual book of choice is a good horror, something gritty with the shock factor. Favourite authors including the likes of Steven King, Clive Barker and Martina Cole. However as I have grown up a little more, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and started reading a bit of historical fiction. This was quite the eye opener as I found I thoroughly enjoyed this genre. Lesley Pearse is now another name added to the fave list; so don’t be afraid to start turning the page on a book because it isn't something you would  normally read, you might just be pleasantly surprised.
The more I am networking with authors the more my eyes are being opened to different styles of writing and genres  out there. I have read some real gems the last year, titles that I would never have read if it wasn’t for the friendships that have been formed. I have now read autobiographies, children’s fiction, teen fiction, erotica, horrors, the list is endless.
So to celebrate Book Lovers day, I have several books I have dowloaded from fellow author buds and I shall be reading the Yellow Bus Boys written  by Ron Shaw for my bedtime reading and Felicity will be reading Pretty Please by Princess Polly by AJ Cosmo. Dylan will be reading Pedro The Ugliest dog In The World by Papa G

Thanks for stopping by. For more book love, please visit these awesome bloggers next.

Cat Michaels

Cat marks Book Lovers' Day with a wink and a smile in her RAP (Really-Awful-Poem) "Ode to Books" with apologies to Gertude Stein, the Bard, Dr Seuss and true poets everywhere.

Söndra Rymer

Fairy Tales Imagery

Söndra marks Book Lover's Day by slipping into the past to pick up a beloved children's book and quietly obsess over "This is where it all BEGAN!"

Auden Johnson
Dark Treasury

Books showed me I wasn't alone
Carmela Dutra

Did you ever read a book that just made you fall madly in love with it? 

"How I found the secret to life on the big oak bookcase"

Karen Emma Hall

"Enjoy Book Lovers day by making time to read"

If you have a blog about book love, post your link in the comments section, and we'll give you some blog loving!