Seasons Greetings one and all!
I have been working in a school library since April and it has been a great experience. I think many people see being a librarian as an easy job, where you check books in and out. Lucky for me, I have been working with a qualified and passionate librarian who broke this myth on my first day. I have had to get to grips with the software used to check books in and out, learn the Dewey cataloguing system, become an expert on how to do research, learn what source database are and how to use them, be aware of the different ways to cite a source, explain what source criticism is and so on.
Most importantly, I have learnt all about the many roles a library has. Yes, it is a place to read and study, but it can be for many students a safe place to be during break. The library also organises most of the cultural activities in the school and I have loved organising a Skype visit from an author based in New York. I shan't say who yet. I am still waiting for the contract and would not want to publicise this until it is set in stone. The library is very much the heart of the school and I am grateful for the opportunity to have learnt so much. The job will come to end next year and I now need to think of what next. I am, as ever, hopeful.
In the meantime, the students and I have been having fun decorating.
Just in case you have missed it. I am doing a Giveaway on Goodreads. On Christmas Day one lucky person will be selected to win a paperback copy of A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story. Below is a screenshot of the competition page. To Enter, click here! Good luck!
Some say that the best creative output comes from a hard place. This can be from struggle, hardship or even pain. There is also those who feel they need space in between creating to live. This is so they can base there work on the real things that happen in life. When you create something you hope that it will resonate with the audience in some way. That is will make them feel something or recognise something in your work that raises questions.
I have been taking a break from all kinds of writing recently. Life has been stressful and sucking up all my time. I had to cover the start of the lesson the other day. I was exhausted and stressed from all fronts in life. As the kids started their work I had the sudden urge to write again. And so I did. Within ten minutes I had penned a poem. Here it is.
Here is the new cover for Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest. I find the eyes very spooky. All the Delilah Dusticle books have had a make over and I am really pleased with the new look. I hope you like them too!
Enter for a chance to win a truly magical gift this Christmas! I am giving away a paperback copy of A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story. To enter you must have an account with Goodreads. I have also had to limit this Giveaway to USA, UK, Canada and Australia residents only this time. To enter, click the link below!
A week tomorrow it will be Halloween. If all goes well I will be on my annual trip to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. It is a beautiful place, especially in autumn when the leaves are falling from the trees. The illustrator, Gavin and I have been working on the redesigns for my books. I am really pleased with the latest one. The story is set in Transylvania and features a very peculiar Dracula. It is very apt for this time of year and the book is full of magical surprises. Wishing you a fun and spooky Halloween!
Here is another cover that has been redesigned. I am so happy with what Gavin Childs has done with this cover. It feels magical, dreamy and slightly Tim Burtonesque. It will take a week before the cover is up everywhere and the print book is still being sold with the old cover. I think it will take a least two weeks to show up everywhere. In the meantime you can see it here.
Things have been quiet on my blog recently. This is because I am writing and also working on redesigning the covers for the Delilah Dusticle books. The redesign for A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is now done, I hope you like it!
It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and to celebrate the Royal Mail have designed stamps in her honour. Now, I am not a stamp collector and would normally gloss over this type of news, but these are not any ordinary stamp.
These are very clever and designed by Jim Sutherland. Take a look at the stamps below. They are too a mystery and contain clues in microtext, UV ink and thermochromic ink. I like them so much that I am going to order a set and frame it. The artwork is brilliant and it makes want to read more Agatha Christie. The Special Stamps depict key scenes and principal characters from six iconic novels:
Murder on the Orient Express
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Body in the Library
And Then There Were None
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
A Murder is Announced
Things have been very quiet on the publicity front recently, so I was delighted to suddenly get two Reviews. I have also been asked to do two interviews! Below is one of the reviews. To read the review on Amazon, click here!
You can read the second Review by clicking here! I will post links to the interviews when they are up.
I am back at work now. In the school library and teaching business English one day a week. It is funny to think that England is now on their summer holidays and mine are over. Or are they? My mother has been over distracting me from writing. Now that she has gone, there is a mum shaped whole in my home. I will miss how she lined up our shoes at the front door. I will see her again in December, so not too long I suppose.
There has also been some lovely weather making it still feel summery. This is my mum coming back from rinsing her swimming costume in the sea. We had a BBQ on the cliffs on a school night. It was a great way to break up the week. This is one of my most favourite places in Sweden,
Although I did see some geese flying south.
But with sunset like these they really should stay.
So, with the distractions of mum, starting work and the nice weather I feel I need to set some writing goals. By Christmas, I would like to release a short story I have written and also replace one of my books covers. My aim is to look at the story this weekend and talk to Gavin about new cover ideas to get the ball rolling. Perhaps we can discuss it on the beach? I will keep you posted!
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.