Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Our clippety-cloppety guest post from Anna Bogie, Author of the fabulous "Happy Hooves" series.


Greetings Earthlings! Today we're very fortunate indeed to have 'borrowed' Anna Bogie for a guest post about her working processes, and of course to talk about her latest greatest addition to the "Happy Hooves" series, "Happy Hooves - Yuk!"

Take it away Anna!

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I’m an early bird, my mind is twenty times more productive at 7am than it is at 7pm and so I work around that and, best not to forget them, my 3 small children.

My youngest two go to nursery in the morning which gives me just under 3 hours a day to write, clean, tidy, shop and keep a busy house of five running. It is very easy to lose my writing amongst all the other chores so I try to keep two mornings a week that are sacred to writing. It’s not the perfect solution but I’m a practically superwoman with my productivity when I don’t have children around me so it works for now. Obviously, there are some weeks when it all goes wrong and that, to me, sums up life and parenthood and I just have to accept it. 



There isn’t an exact way that I work as it hugely depends on whether i’m writing books, blogs or catching up on marketing and social media. Of course, the beauty of being a mum whilst writing children’s books is that I can do a lot of my research whilst having lovely, dedicated reading time with my kids. 



On the mornings when I am writing a book, I like to sit down - with tea and toast - at my kitchen table and jot down the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. My inspiration comes from all sorts of things, sometimes from just observing situations when I’m at the supermarket, for example, or at a kids party. Other times, it can be something my kids have said (they are worth their weight in gold for inspiration), or as with my first Happy Hooves book it started by watching the farm animals near my house, lazily potter about all day. 



Putting an idea down on paper can be tricky, often it comes out in a random order - a few lines here or there - that have been the main essence of what has been in my head. From there I try to map it out and make sure it has the legs to become a fully fledged story. Mapping out the story and finding the structure is really important - if I can’t get it right in this basic form then I know that it isn’t going to work.

Once the structure is right, I write the full story from beginning to end. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I like to have it mostly in place before the fun starts, aka editing. This is probably the most important part of writing, it may not sound exciting but for me its where you find the real gem of your story. It’s hard not to be emotional about it but I try to detach myself as much as possible and be ruthless. 



I think there are many people that think writing a children’s books is easy, but I would have to disagree (obviously). Children are the toughest and most critical audience you can have. They will never be shy in telling you something is boring and they won’t keep listening, waiting for you to get to the point. A children’s author has to edit themselves relentlessly, making sure that the story is entertaining, intriguing and captivating.

Every word matters.

Happy Hooves, Yuk! is published by Fat Fox Books, £10.99 hardback

You can follow Anna on:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/abogieauthor/ Twitter - @ABogie
Instagram - @a.bogie

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