Chattering parrots – inspiration for Mimic

Chattering parrots – inspiration for Mimic

I spent a lovely couple of days with my fiance (and dog!) at a fabulous guest house in Wales last week. It is called, appropriately-enough, The Guest House, and it was a wonderful find. Great food, lovely hosts, and comfortable beds. What more can you ask? Well … parrots! There were 3 resident African Grey parrots – the same breed as Mimic in my book, ‘Mo – The Talking Dog’. I’m writing the follow-up at the moment (the trip was part work as I like to get away to write sometimes). Jenny, one of the owners of  The Guest House, was able to give me lots of stories about her parrots. They really do converse, not just repeat things. We heard them talking to each other, and Jenny told us that they request certain items of food. She offered one a grape and he said he didn’t want that, he wanted a biscuit. She insisted on the grape, not the biscuit – and he insisted on the biscuit, not the grape! I read an article this morning about a 2011 study using African Grey parrots (they seem to be the smartest). The scientists have proven that the parrots use reasoning. I think Mimic needs to feature more in the next ‘Mo’ book, he obviously has a lot of potential for character development! If anyone has any parrot stories they would be willing to share, I’d love to hear them. If you would like to get to know some parrots, I highly recommend The Guest House Abergavenny – and the food! You may also like:Why The Last Friday Of Every Month Is Important If You Own A KindleGuest Author Interview : Vicki Matthews, The Goddess...

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Mo The Talking Dog Is Live!

Mo The Talking Dog Is Live!

My children’s novel, Mo, was finally published this week. I started it about 6 years ago – so it’s been quite a wait! It has gone through a few changes and development from the original plot I had in mind and there was a lot of red pen involved when it was being edited and proof-read!   Mo himself was brought to life by my brilliant illustrator Sam, of SpeelioDesign. He went through a few design changes:  The scene being pictured is when Mo, led by his friend the African Grey parrot Mimic, raid the ‘fridge. So we wanted to show the items in the ‘fridge. The bottles and cartons in the door didn’t have colour at first, so the emphasis would be on the characters, but we decided to give the door contents some colour. We also got rid of the cheese and replace it with a pear. After consulting with children, we learned that Mo’s teeth were a bit scary, so we lost those! Sam made his eyes a bit more appealing too and gave Mimic more colour and less beady eyes. We decided to put the book’s title in Mimic’s wings, lighten Mo’s fur a little and make his eyes softer and just a little cross-eyed as he is looking up at his name. Sam went for bolder, brighter primary colours as, of the different options we showed the children we surveyed, the brighter colours were considered much more appealing. The children commented that they would be more likely to pick up a book with a cover like this, the colours draw them in. Once the book was live on Amazon, the hard work really began! It’s been a mad round of press releases, social media, registering for Amazon promotions, submitting the book to book reviewers and sites and much more. And there was me thinking that the writing would be the hard part of the publishing process! One of the things I have done is joined the Author Marketing Club. They provide training to teach hapless authors the ins and outs of promoting themselves. No mean feat considering the fact that most authors would rather hide in a dark room with a laptop than tell the world about their work!   You may also like:With A Little Help From My FriendsBook Review: Get Off Your...

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A Sneak Peak …

A Sneak Peak …

Here’s a sneak peak of the cover of my upcoming children’s book, ‘Mo’, which is due to be published on Amazon Kindle Monday 17th December 2012 (all being well!), then in paperback in 2013:

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