It has snowed this week and has reminded me how quickly time has gone. Christmas bells are chiming louder each day. Gothenburg has been lit with a million stars and twinkly lights. 2018 looms nearer and I look at the coming year with excitement and fear of what it is come. I am expecting my first, and I expect my only, child in January. To celebrate my future daughter, I have made my Christmas story free for this weekend. It is about Christmas decorations coming to life and was inspired by my mother's attic. It is a sweet and heart-warming tale. I hope you enjoy it.
You can download the eBook version at Amazon by clicking this link:
I hope you got the chance to download Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure over the weekend. Just in case you have not seen it before, below is the book trailer for the book. You will notice it has the old book cover. A cute and funny animation created by www.gavinchilds.com
Here is my Halloween treat for you. I have just checked the links on Amazon and the eBook version of Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure is now listed as free to download until the end of the day on Sunday.
If you have a kindle you can download directly. Alternatively, you can download the kindle app to your IPad/phone/computer and read the book from there. The story is illustrated by Gavin Childs and you can see some of these illustrations by visiting: www.gavinchilds.com
Autumn has befallen Gothenburg and the leaves are falling luscious yellow to the ground. My baby kicks and swims inside of me. Also next week is autumn break, so even though I have a cold, I am feeling positive and happy. So much so that I have scheduled for the eBook version of Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure to be free to download this weekend on Amazon.
This means if you have a Kindle, or you can just download the kindle app to your phone/computer/tablet, you can download the story for free just in time for Halloween.
The book has been described as charming, whimsical, funny and perfect for families. I will put up a reminder here on Friday.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Today is Friday and it is my day off. I plan to spend the afternoon editing my story. It is the one I mentioned last week. The one I wasn't sure if I liked or not. Well, I decided that I do.
Gavin has been coming home from work and relaxing by experimenting with watercolours. Best of all he has started to put down ideas for the front cover for my next book The Second Chance Charity Shop of Memories. His ideas are lovely. However, my title is too long winded. I am trying to come up with something better, something more memorable and sweet natured. I am struggling with this, so I plan to just leave and hope inspiration pops up soon.
Here is a peek at what Gavin has been up to.
After a long summer break I am back! I have also been working hard at work, which has paid off as I am now a permanent Design teacher at the school. Yay! My time in the school library was well spent and I learnt a lot that I intend to use in the classroom.
I am now anxiously waiting to hear if I have been given Swedish citizenship. I was born in Sweden in 1970's, but in those days you could not have dual citizenship. Today you can - as long as you have lived in the country for five years, have a job and have not committed a crime. Check, check and check.
My new job is 75%, which means I get Fridays off. I can't help but feel my permanent contract and having Fridays to myself is a bit of a gift. I plan to do the two things I really enjoy yoga and write my books.
I have two stories on the go, One is a Delilah Dusticle story and the other is not. I keep revisiting the other story and I am just not sure if I actually like it. I plan to work on it a few more months and then decide if I should shelve that particular project.
I am planning a promo and intend to put the eBook version of Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure up for free on Amazon the weekend before Halloween. I will post about this nearer the time.
Happy Friday everyone!
I have been helping my illustrator (his photo above) with his new website recently. It was during this time that it occurred to me that I have not done a spotlight on him yet. Gavin Childs works as a Design teacher, but also has worked as a scenic artist. When I started writing my stories he would read them and would come up with ideas for illustrations. It only seemed natural that he would put his ideas on paper and on the computer.
Five books later we are still working together. I guess I should also let you know that he is also my fiancé and that we work in the same school. Lucky for us that we get on so well and are able to work together creatively.
Here are two of his favourite illustrations from my books. You can also see more of his work by visiting: www.gavinchilds.com
This is Doris from Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure.
Spiders appear a lot in Gavin's illustrations. This is from Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest.
Today I am forty and I would like to give you a present of a Sunday night bedtime story. I bet it will leave a smile on your face. You can download Eliza Bluebell, for free ,today only on Amazon.
On Sunday, 19th March I turn 40. I could say where did the time go and look back and wonder if I have made the right choices in life, but instead I would prefer to look forward. The best is yet to come and I am truly grateful for the warm, loving people in my life. To celebrate my naughty forties, I am giving away Eliza Bluebell in eBook format , for free, on Amazon for one day only.
Mark Sunday, 19th March, 2017 in your calendar and make sure you download your copy. Eliza Bluebell has been described as fun, magical and reminiscent of Mary Poppins. It is a tale to tell your children or Grandchildren, and a tale to read before you go to bed to put a smile on your face.
If you would like to read some reviews, click the link below. It will take you to Goodreads, a book reviewing site.
Someone once asked what I would change in Eliza Bluebell. I have been thinking this through and I think I would add that she arrived in Blossom Brook on a snowy Christmas Eve. There is something beautiful and sad about snowfall. It is also certainly a time when magic can happen.
I hope you enjoy reading my little fable, and please share her story with your friends.
Here is the first chapter to whet your appetite.
Eliza Bluebell became best friends with her shadow at a very young age. Having spent her life travelling from place to place, she never stayed anywhere long enough to make friends. As soon as she found someone she liked, Eliza would suddenly find herself on an adventure to somewhere new. She wasn’t able to take friends with her on her travels. But her shadow would go with her wherever she went.
When they were small, they would play hide and seek. Her shadow was very good at hiding. She could slip down cracks in the floorboard or merge with another shadow in the room. When on quests to find sweets, Eliza would send her shadow ahead to see if there was anyone coming. Fortunately, only Eliza could see her shadow doing these things. Her shadow was invisible to other people – unless, of course, her shadow was doing what normal shadows do.
Eliza spent her youth moving from home to home and from family to family. She grew up to be a magical girl and, with the help of her shadow, she could do wondrous things. As soon as she was old enough, they set out into the world looking for her real family.
They would visit big cities and small hamlets, staying long enough to make things better for those whose paths they crossed. They would watch over each other on their many journeys. Like best friends, they were inseparable and together they were a team. Really, they were one and the same. And so, it was the village of Blossom Brook that was to become home for Eliza Bluebell and her shadow. But just for a while.
Remember you can download the whole story, for free, on Amazon on Sunday, 19th March, 2017 .
It is all about the work that is happening behind the scenes at the moment. I have been chipping away at various projects. The current story I am writing is going through a rewrite. Even the title has changed. The illustrator and I are also looking at ways to illustrate photographs. I feel very much in the experimental phase, which can be the most the creative.
It is not easy though. I have to keep pushing myself. I really want to publish two further stories this year and it easy to find other things to do at the moment. In order to create you have to just sit down and wait to till it happens. I am in a frame of mind where I struggle just to sit down. My mind wonders and before I know it, I am away from my computer doing something else. Perhaps this is what I need to do right now? Or perhaps I need to be more disciplined?
I am starting to teach again at the end of the month, so I am busy planning, creating differentiated work and learning to use an animation software package, which is fun. This is part-time and I hoping I can stay on in the library the rest of the time. It is not just the books that thrill me, but the work librarians do on academia. I have been running sessions on citing, plagiarism, research strategies and bibliographies. It is interesting to see students suddenly become aware of copyright and how their ideas have probably already been thought of by someone else.
There has also been a huge focus for me recently on my leisure time. I have been putting days aside to spend with my fiancé. We recently went to an outdoor spa on a Swedish farm. They have now turned their land into a vineyard and built the most amazing outdoor spa experience. The temperature was around freezing all day. There was an underground sauna where you could sit and watch fish swim past. The outdoor hot tubs were my favourite. I sat for what seemed like hours watching the ducks swim on the partially frozen pond. The light in Sweden this time of year is just beautiful.
Today is Valentine’s Day. I was surprised this morning with a heart shaped cake. The picture is below. It says ‘To my Darling’ in Swedish. I will be devouring this later.
So, is it time to find the discipline and sit at my computer or should I just wonder off and find something else do? I will see what happens after lunch.
A.J. York is a middle grade and children's writer. Author of Delilah Dusticle, Eliza Bluebell and A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story. A.J York has a Swedish and British background and currently lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.