It’s seems this year is going faster and faster… November has just gone, I’ve turned around and it’s gone. Don’t want to wish 2017 away but I’m secretly looking forward to a new year and I’ve loads planned 😬… exciting times ahead. This November was productive though!! Bella and Bentley Book One 📚 is now in ‘Isle of Wight Traders’ a lovely local shop in Newport full of handmade and produced crafts from islanders… a real creative bunch. I’ve met a few now, lovely people 😊
Hi, Well hello everyone, hasn’t October flown by, feels like I’ve done so much yet not enough sometimes! Slowly getting organised me thinks… not wanting to wish away 2017 but 2018 is shaping up pretty well!! Anyway, firstly, this month Book One and Two went on Amazon so if you want to take a look and maybe purchase!!!!! please then can you leave a review?? I recently found out that you need 25 reviews before you start getting recognised on Amazon… so please give a review if you can.
*please note this price is with p&p 😀
Last month I told you excitedly that I had been invited to a Primary school so off I trotted, nervous and excited, I’m fine with children but felt a little apprehensive about lots of adults around but it was great, really great. We spoke about the book and they guessed from the front cover it was about a baby and a dog 😍I was so impressed too that the children knew that the words on the back, the synopsis, they called it the blurb! So I read the story and then we all found Uff Uff hiding in the pages… as an activity for the children to receive their Bella and Bentley sticker I had drawn a large tree with leaves on and next to each leaf was their name.
When they found their name, with autumnal colours in finger paints they made their mark!!! The children were so good, well behaved, responsive and a credit to Mrs Cowell and Miss Thompson of Hunnyhill Primary School. I left them with a colouring competition so one of them will win my ‘Book in a Bag’.
We had The Cowes Literacy Festival this month too, some well known speakers etc… but it was the Youth Zone I was interested in. Perfect weather made the weekend and I met some fellow children’s authors. The books were amazing and one of the ladies I went to school with!! I’ve put my name down to take part next year so look out for me!
Met all these lovely authors…
#Supporting each other 📚
Also this month the lovely Gregor Arthur from Beardsalls, Shanklin IOW made me this gorgeous banner for my book fairs… I am super pleased with this 😁
And finally Aaron Isted made me these delightful ‘Island Author’ stickers that went on my books that are now in the shop at The Old Smithy, Godshill IOW…
I think October looking at it was quite productive really… apart from all of the above, been on some lovely walks with my dogs and to finish off Robin Hill ‘Electricwoods’ Arreton, IOW all lit up, excellent food, lantern making, running trough the treetops, dancing shows and falconry. A celebration of India and Diwali 😍Wish I’d been years before, so worth it. If you come on holiday October half term make sure you make time for it!!
Bella, Mummy and Nanny loved it (me) xxx
Wow September, been and gone, such a lovely summer but it’s gone so quickly. There was so much I didn’t get to do I think I’ll plan better next year, ha ha!
Anyway there’s a gorgeous shop in Cowes here on the island and they have my book one for sale, yay, excited. Thank you ‘Little Live Like This’ xxx
At the same time Aaron made me these child friendly badges for giveaways!!! Great quality very impressed…
My very creative Dad got more involved this time, although he did print the pictures for cards my Mum made. He’s made me some beautiful book marks, I love them. They will be giveaways for events etc…
September has been quite eventful, made good contacts this summer, about to meet some fellow authors at a literary festival here on the island and drum roll please… very nervous but excited, I’ve been invited to read to two reception classes at a Newport Primary School in October!!!!!
Good times ahead. To finish, thought I’d show you my granddaughter Bella, she was very quiet, I found her reading the book all about her… so sweet, she loves it xxx
Beautiful summer here on the Isle of Wight… I’ve been lucky enough this year, first time ever mind, to be able to enjoy our garden. It’s looking quite good, small or should I say bijou!!!! I’ve read in the sun, eaten alfresco and listened to the radio, bliss.
The 1st of August saw ‘Bella and Bentley’s Day Out’ Book Two out!! I dedicated this book to my amazing Mum and Dad because of there continued love and support and to thank them for honestly the best childhood I and my sister and brother could’ve ask for! For this month I ran a competition to win the book and some products from The Dog and I company in Devon that produces shampoos etc… Wendy Nivison and her lovely Bob were the winners and she kindly sent me this picture with his prize… apparently here he’d already had a bath!
This month too I booked myself a place at the The UK Southern Book Show for next year too… exciting times planned for 2018.
Hi, this month has been quite busy. I finally got round to photographing all the bits of merchandise I had made. The ‘Little Shop Of Goodies’ page was created by Antonia on the website because if anyone knows me I still struggle with this computer lark… learning new things everyday though. I shall surprise myself and others one day! I now have the book bag that fits the books perfectly which I love. I’m very pleased with the mugs, keyrings and magnets. They were made by a lovely young lad here on the island. My very creative mum has made me some lovely handmade cards too! Still thinking of bits to add, got some good ideas in the planning. Also in July I connected to quite a few fellow authors of all genres not just children’s they have been amazing to talk to and have given me some great advice, pointing me in all the right directions.
This month too Book Two ‘Bella and Bentley’s Day Out’ was ready to print and Sarah again has done a great job. I’m so pleased…
Very pleased with these tags that Betapak, Isle of Wight made for me. Thanks Luke Smith you’ve been a great help! As Sarah my Illustrator has been working on Book Two and of course super busy as always, she kindly put together this design. It’s double sided and I’ll attach to my merchandise which will be on My Little Shop of Goodies page soon.
You may have noticed I’ve been flat out since the start of my Bella & Bentley adventure! So much has happened in such a short time. I’ve spoken and met so many lovely people and so I thought it only right I filled you in!
November: Sent my book to a school, Purbrook Junior School, Hampshire where it was read to children of different ages, from early years to age seven. As the book was intended for parents to read to their children, I was extremely pleased when the school librarian, Lisa Wiltshire, said her age seven children loved it. It got them talking not just about the characters in the book but, and this brought a tear to my eye, about their own situations at home with some saying ‘my Mummy’s having a baby, will she still love me?’ It led to a wider discussion and depth of feelings than I had imagined it would. Thanks for a great review Lisa!
December: Busy month! I was involved with a brilliant corporate event in Southampton, at The Grand Harbour Hotel. Many thanks to Tracey Cook, Events Manager, who invited me. I had a lovely response to my book in the magical setting of Narnia!
I had an online interview with Helen of Mummymode blog, a lovely lady who reviewed my book. Thank you Helen!
Mummyconstant ran an online ‘12 days of Christmas’ competition incorporating Bella & Bentley. Thanks Sonia!
My local Isle of Wight County Press ran a small article about me and my debut book! Thank you IWCP.
InTouchRugby.com featured me! You see it’s not all about rugby – I was included alongside some great household names. The post reached nearly 38,000 people. Ooh!
Gifts4You also gave me some amazing coverage, a big ‘thank you’ to you too!
And… drum roll if you please, I’ve been asked to read my book to a reception class here on the Island, date to be arranged. I’m super excited (and a little nervous), but mainly excited… I will let you know how it goes!
Then Christmas happened… Wine was drunk, chocolate was eaten. Well, if in Rome…
And then New Year happened. Happy New Year everyone!
And then headfirst into January: Slick Mummy Magazine featured me and wrote the most gorgeous review ever. It was heart-warming to think my book prompted them to get their coats and Wellies on and take their dogs out… Thank you Slick Mummy.
‘Hankies to the ready’ alert: the Isle of Wight County Press article prompted a very kind-hearted Islander to contact me anonymously and donate funds, for ten books to go to the Children’s Ward of our local St. Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, and for a further ten to go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. I delivered the Island books myself and received a lovely message back and photo of one of the Play Specialists reading my book to a poorly child. I also received a lovely response from Great Ormond Street thanking me and the anonymous donor. In the donor’s letter to me they wrote, and this is quite true… ‘Books are great gifts, they work as soon as you open them and they do not require batteries’, a sentiment they had read in The Guardian newspaper, so there you go. If my book brings a smile to just one little one and gives them a brief distraction from thinking about being unwell, I’ll be happy.
January also saw the draft of book two, Bella and Bentley’s Day Out, go to Sarah my illustrator. Many people have commented on her illustrations for book one so I’m looking forward to some sneak previews soon!
February: My first competition, yippee! To enter you had to send me a photo of your dog and tell me what made you laugh about them. I was so pleased with the entries for my first comp. All the dogs were lovely and will feature on ‘My Gallery of Dogs’. It was hard to choose but the lovely ‘Fritz’ won – congratulations to Fritz! He was so adorable cuddled up on the settee with all his toys, protecting them, ready to thwart any attempt to steal them. Fritz, your prize is in the post, I hope you like it little one. Share a photo with us when you get it?
Wafflemama Uk, wow, a lovely write-up and pictures, especially of your little boy and dog. Dogs are family and it really showed in that photo! Thank you Laura!
It was International Book Giving Day on the 14th February; you just had to tell me where your favourite place to read a book was. We’ll contact someone soon but in the meantime thank you to all who entered.
In this month too I’ve had a little bit of merchandising done by Aaron at Warehouse44, here on the Island. I’m really pleased so far and you’ll be able to treat yourself to some Bella & Bentley goodies, VERY SOON, by hopping on to my ‘Little Shop of Goodies’ page.
Well that’s it for now! Many thanks to everyone who has bought my book and thank you also for the lovely reviews you’ve sent me, especially Joe age 10. I was told he collects Isle of Wight authors… I’m glad to hear he loves books and reading! And a special thank you to Richard, a childhood friend from the age of about 8 years old. We had lost contact but are now conversing through social media. He’s just become a granddad for the first time and can’t wait to read Bella & Bentley to his grandson!
Take care everyone and send me photos of your dog and their name from wherever you are in the world…