Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Short but Very Very Sweet--Kurt Chambers

As a children's author, I love listening to my grandchildren when they come to visit. They always have so much to say and they are the funniest things in the world. My four-year-old granddaughter, Chloe, was here yesterday while I pottered around outside. She came to see what I was doing at the end of the garden. After insisting I pushed her for a while on the swing, she allowed me to continue tending to some melon plants I recently planted. I showed her how they had come under attack by a gang of slugs and how I used pellets to stop them. I let her water them with the watering can, and she stood and watched with great interest as I put more slug pellets down. I was greeted with a barrage of questions.

Going back indoors, Chloe was eager to explain to her nan what we had been doing outside. She jumped on her knee, wide-eyed, and began to explain.

"Granddad's plants were being eaten by those black things!" She's so good at making it sound so dramatic with shocked facial expressions and everything. "But granddad was putting down those death things!" She pinched her fingers together and nodded decisively. "The little blue ones!" Her little face turned back to a dramatic one. "And he killed them! They won't eat them now!" Master of the obvious statement. LOL

I love listening to children when they explain things. They are so funny. How could I not be inspired to write for children? I love being a children's author, I couldn't see myself writing anything else.

Just out of interest, what inspired you to write?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Book Review: Clan of the Cave Bear Series, by Jean M. Auel

General Information:

Year of Publication: 1980 to 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Fantasy
Number of books in series: Six

Series Plot Summery (From Amazon)

A literary phenomenon, Jean M. Auel’s prehistoric odyssey is one of the best-loved sagas of our time. Employing meticulous research and the consummate artistry of a master storyteller, Auel paints a vivid panorama of the dawn of modern humans. Through Ayla, an orphaned girl who grows into a beautiful and courageous young woman, we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world, home to the Clan of the Cave Bear.

To see the individual plot summery of each book, go here: http://www.jeanauel.com/books.php

Positive Points

I have never been so emotionally attached to a set of characters in any book I have ever read. If it was ever possible to actually love a character from a story, then I love Ayla, the main character. This is the ultimate goal for any author, and Jean M. Auel has totally nailed this. I'm not ashamed to say, this series has made me laugh and made me cry. At one point, I almost stopped reading simply because I couldn't bear to see anything bad happen to the main character.

The author has done extensive research into the subject matter and created an amazing fictional story from real life facts. It gives you an insight into the way of life and the people that made us what we are today. What I loved the most was their innocence. The way they interpret the world is almost child-like. It goes into so much depth about the way we used to live, including our beliefs and the beginnings of religion, the way we saw the world, and the differences between cultures of the two species of humans that lived on the earth at that time. In a word, amazing.

Negative Points

The books are written in an omniscient POV (point of view) This isn't really a negative point, but it does take some getting used to. You hop from one head to another, and sometimes you have to stop and think who's head your are in. But I understand why it had to be written in this way as the people of the Clan communicated using hand signals. Not having dialogue meant there really wasn't any other way to do this.

The thing that annoyed me the most was the way the author kept repeating herself. This was done for the benefit of any reader who may not have started reading from the first book, but these are big books! Some have over eight hundred pages. Personally, after I have invested so much time as a reader, I do not want to have to read things over and over again that I have already read or already know. Some back story is okay, but there was way too much.

What makes this book unique

I have never read anything that compares to this story before. It shows how an extinct race of people lived, while telling a story about a little girl who could be one of our own ancestors. It shows us her life in a believable way and gives us an insight into how the world we know today was shaped.

Overall Impression

This is a fantastic series of books. I would recommend for anyone to read them. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I had to find out how they would end. It's not surprising that these books are such world wide best sellers.

My Rating: