This is a quick q and a I did for Bord Gais last night – as you can see, I didn’t answer all the questions as I couldn’t think of a super power I’d like at midnight! Wonder Woman’s energy springs to mind this morning as I yawn. I’ll wake up soon .
I’m off to West Cork on Friday to write and have a lovely 2 week holiday, so I won’t be posting much for the next 3 weeks – have a brilliant July and talk soon.
Yours in writing,
60 Seconds with……….Sarah Webb
1. What was the last book you read?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett, about the world of black maids and the families that hire them. Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, it has some fantastic characters and knock out scenes. I loved it and would highly recommend it.
2. What kinds of books do you most enjoy reading?
I read all kinds of books, including books for children and teenagers, which often have brilliant characters and cracking plots. For example I’m off on holidays at the end of this week and I’ve packed the following: So Much to Tell by Valerie Grove, the …
Word counts – I’ll get straight into it, starting with books for grown ups. Popular fiction in particular.
My first book, Three Times a Lady was roughly 100,000 words. Here’s how I worked out the word count – I literally counted the words in a Cathy Kelly book, a Sheila O’Flanagan book and a Marian Keyes book and figured that 90 to 120k was about right! This was in 2000. (When I say counted – I counted the number of words on one page and multiplied it by the number of total pages – I’m not a complete lunatic! But you knew that, right? Someone in a writing class I once taught thought I was suggesting they count every word – honestly!)
Some of my other books have been shorter – 85k, 86k, some longer. 126,000 is the longest – When the Boys Were Away. That year publishers were looking for longer books and my story luckily just naturally longer.
I have a feeling the next adult book will be shorter. It’s for a slightly younger age group – older teens, 20s, early 30s – and so far the story just seems to be zipping along and not getting sidetracked …
Just did this list Sugar Magazine – Queen of Teen publicity – thought I’d share it with you. I do love doing lists. Back to editing Amy 4 now!
Top 10 Villains
1/ The Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The mere thought of that crooked nose and tall black hat makes me shiver. Scary, scary, scary!
2/ Wicked Witch of the West – Wizard of Oz. Another fantastically over the top villain, green faced this time and one of my favourite films of all time. ‘I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too.’ Classic stuff!
3/ Jardis, the White Witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis who has turned Narnia into ‘endless winter’. Nasty woman who is killed by Aslan, the lion – hurrah!
4/ Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s book, Misery. Nothing scarier than a character that appears friendly and normal but turns out to be an obsessed ‘number one fan’ with malefic intent. Wonderfully played by Kathy Bates in the film.
5/ All the baddies in the Skulduggery Pleasant books by Derek Landy. There are too many brilliant named villains to choose from: the Faceless Ones, Serpine, …
Now and then I like giving you a heads up about fab books, and this is one of them. Published for teens, but I’m 41 and I LOVED it. So for everyone with a beating heart really! The official Inis magazine review is below but can I just say this is the most beautifully produced book I’ve seen in years for teens – textured cover with sky scene, stunning interior images – poems written on scraps of paper (part of the story), highly unusual blue print instead of stark black, it just looks amazing. As Sonya Sones said in her recent review ‘I think I might even want to marry this book.’
See http://www.theskyiseverywhere.com/ for more details of Jandy.
Here’s that review:
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE
Walker Books, £7.99 (PBK), ISBN 9781406326307
‘Gram is worried about me. It’s not because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her houseplants has spots.’
From the quirky, direct opening lines of The Sky is Everywhere, you know this beautifully produced book is going …
Style Sheets for Authors – a darned good idea!
I’ve just finished doing a ‘light Americanisation/Americanization’ of my second Amy Green book and I was fascinated by the differences between the meaning of some Irish-English words and American-English words.
For example American readers have no idea what a ‘gooseberry’ is, ie ‘being a gooseberry’. They don’t have en suites – they have just plain old bathrooms. I guess in America en suites are probably the norm in hotel rooms and houses! And there were loads of other examples.
But there were loads of instances when the meaning of what I was trying to say was lost because – well, because it’s just the way I say it. And it would have been useful for my American editor to have some sort of heads up on these things as they often repeat in my writing.
Hence for the next book I’m going to type up a style sheet for her, a list of all the funny bits and pieces, strange spellings, place names etc – anything I think might be useful in working out what I’m trying to say on paper! Because these are things that are carrying on from book …
I’m back from Washington – where I spotted loads of people reading books on Kindles and other devices.
This is an article that is currently running in Inis, the specialist children’s book magazine in Ireland. Hope it’s useful.
I have more on children’s books, writing a series in particular for you next week.
Until then, yours in writing,
PS if you like this blog, please do send the details on to friends – thanks! I have a lot of readers now – thanks to each and every one of you. And do let me know if there are any subjects you’d like me to cover – sarah at sarahwebb.ie
So You Want to Write for Children?
Some Advice for Unpublished Writers
(Inis magazine June 2010)
By Sarah Webb
Recently I spoke to thirty six-year-olds about my new Panda book, Emma the Penguin at the Dublin Book Festival. It was my first foray into the world of the jitter bugs that are 1st classers, and as I watched fellow Panda-person, Gillian Perdue round up her herd of cowboys and teach them how to line dance, I realised just how much I still have to learn about entertaining younger …
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010