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Showing posts from February, 2013

Hybrid authors - curiosity or the future?

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I am what is known as a "hybrid" author - sounds painful doesn't it? But it just means I am using two types of publishing to bring my books to readers. 

1. The traditional route for my Pendragon Legacy series with children's publisher Templar, who have produced these books as beautiful shimmery hardcovers that are not too big and not too small, containing pretty maps and attractive fonts. They have also produced eye-catching paperback versions, as well as slightly cheaper ebook editions of each.




There is no way I could produce such lovely editions of these books on my own - at least not unless I won the lottery! And quite aside from the production and printing of the actual books, Templar have a team of editors and publicists and marketing people and artists and designers, all working on various parts of the process of bringing my words to readers... so a big thank you, Templar team!



2. The independent (or "indie") route for my out-of-print backlist, curre…

Muse Monday - the robots of Charlotte Haptie

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Normally an author would write a guest post for this spot, but since this is a robot post, and robots exist to help people, I'm doing it for her. (Just don't go thinking I'm a robot unicorn, because as everyone knows there's no such creature.)

Anyway, to get back to Charlotte's current muse... after the well-received Ice Angel and Otto books, Charlotte Haptie's latest series is a fun robot-filled read for 7-9 year olds.


Meet Granny Grabbers, an early model designed to look after children of busy parents. Delilah Smart is the little girl in question, and she's delighted to discover that Granny Grabbers (due to a fortunate malfunction) has emotions, can talk and do magic tricks... well, sort of.

Delilah also gets a brain-building bear-robot called Sir Isaac Newton, who is so brainy he has his own Twitter account @SirIsaacNBear... follow him if you want a brain boost, too!

The robotics factory is continually churning out new models, which are so well-described …

A Nerdy Look at Numbers...

Library loans in this case, which are always interesting since they apply to books long out of print and mostly forgotten by the shops, i.e. those titles that get no current promotion and are presumably picked off the shelf just because they look like they might be an enjoyable read.

Of course, over the years older copies on library shelves eventually fall to pieces and cannot be replaced. (Possibly popular books that are borrowed a lot wear out even faster than those that sit on the shelf for months on end, though I am not sure about this... any librarians out there enlighten the unicorn?) But assuming a book survives years of being carried home in the rain, scanned electronically many times over, read while someone is eating spaghetti bolognaise and/or chocolate, being chewed by various dogs and cats, and getting eaten by giant bookworms, etc, how many people can be expected to borrow and read it?

These were Katherine's five most popular books borrowed from UK libraries last yea…

King Arthur's Crown?

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The third book of the Pendragon Legacy series features a magical crown, which a dragon stole from King Arthur as he lay dying after his final battle with Mordred. This Crown of Dreams contains powerful jewels that store the secrets of the Pendragons, including the ancient skill of dragon riding.

Here's my author, trying it out...


(She looks a bit fed up, because it's not working yet!)
Of course, her crown is just plastic so that's probably why no dragon has come to answer her call (which is just as well, since I don't fancy sharing my blog with a dragon!). Or maybe it's the wrong sort of crown...
To find out what kind of crown the real King Arthur would have worn, see Katherine's post over on the History Girls blog today.

The Hobbit meets Rhianna Pendragon

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I finally managed to persuade my author to take me to see The Hobbit! They don’t have seats in cinemas for unicorns, of course, so I had to lurk in the aisle (which might explain why people kept stumbling over me in the dark when they crept out part way through the three-hour showing to use the bathroom.)
Now, you might think that three hours would be enough to cover the whole story of a short book like The Hobbit (at least, it’s short compared to the Lord of the Rings!). But no, it seems there are going to be two more Hobbit films to finish the story (hooray!) And since the story is shorter, and the films just as long, this means the pace is  slower than LOTR, which makes room for some of the gentle humour in the original book.
This first episode begins with a prologue that ties the story cleverly to the earlier Lord of the Rings film trilogy, opening with aging hobbit Bilbo Baggins writing his memoirs. Then we have a “60 years earlier” time shift, which magically turns old grumpy B…