The SCBWI Webgoddess, Candy asked the Writers Day Blog Panel some interesting questions...
Why blog fiction?
Hmm. I suppose some cynical folk would say that most blogs are a work of fiction and they may be correct but a 9 year old boy called Wilf, who is into inventions, stick insects and Buzz Aldrin, I am not.
But there are reasons for it - honest.
Firstly, in the olden days when I lived in storyland, I believed the following: all editors took long lunch hours and to relieve the boredom they trawled through the internet, searching, actually searching for new work because obviously their slush piles just weren't painful enough. As they meandered across the net one day, they would stumble upon my fiction blog and just stop right there, floored by its brilliance. Then there would be a big fight for it etc. I understand now that editors do not do that.
Secondly, I wanted the freedom of not having said editor telling me to cross my i's and dot my t's. I can write as I wish, in the way I like and not according to any market dictat. Annoyingly, I now have a sort of bossy internal editor who is quite strict about the i's and t's thing.
Thirdly (there's always a third thing), I wanted to be part of a community and by putting Wilf out there and through making links and forming the fictional bloggers group, I have found a bunch of similar minded folk I might never have known (ah).
What is your readership?
I average 20 hits a day which is a bit rubbish actually. I have a solidly interested group of 6 (return when I blog once a week), mildly amused, 3 (pop back every so often) and a,' what the heck is this about?' contingent of maybe 12 or so. The latter are usually as a result of google seaches like these I found:
"how do you draw a dead sheep?" or "interesting places in Bracknell" or even "my friends are aliens".
Oh dear. Not quite the thousands I was after and certainly not the 8-12 age range the book of Wilf will be targetted at. I knew that I would never have the young readership on the blog but I am inspired by Candy's talk and aim to explore ways and means of doing that.
How did you find a publisher?
I heard about a publisher called, 'The Friday Project' who publish blogs as books. They are medium sized and independent (bit like me) and importantly, their sales, marketting and distribution is handled by Macmillan. I submitted my blog to the commercial director, Scott Pack. He liked it and made suggestions for how it could be formatted which I liked. Basically, there is a 15 000 word story seamlessly blended with facts and inventions. After a year of slog I signed the contract and 'Wilf and the Big Cat' comes out in August 2008! Why don't you give it a go?
What will happen to your blog after publication?
Assuming I retain my sanity, Wilf's Blog will continue. It is not a huge slog to do because I only blog once a week and it is fun to write! The idea is to develop the readership through the books (I hope to write a series) . I would like to make the blog more exciting with maybe games and forums and I want to learn to muck about with the format and create a more interesting look (thanks, Candy). And maybe take over the world.
Here's to my fellow panelists!
writes education books as well as fiction and is a fanatsic and generous children's writing informant.
is an artist, an actor and soon to be pulished author with her first picture book, 'The Quiet Woman and the Noisy Dog' coming out with Andersen Press.
is a wonderful artist with a brilliantly orange jacket
Check out what they have to say!