• Auction Queen!!

    16 July 2009
    With all the news of the last couple of days, I didn't get a chance to report on the outcome of the eBay auction of a signed set of my vampire books, in aid of Autism Speaks. Bidding was fierce and furious, and I'm delighted to be able to announce that in the end the winner bid a grand total of £440 for them!!! (That's a bit more than $715!!!) The winner, Jennifer, actually lives in Germany, which just goes to show that no matter where you live in the world, you'll find avid Shansters everywhere you turn!!! I was obviously very pleased that my books managed to raise so much money for such a good cause, but I was doubly pleased because they also made a lot more than any of the other books in the auction -- heh heh heh!!!! I don't believe in professional jealousy or oneupmanship when it comes to things like this, but at the same time, there's no denying the little stab of extra satisfaction that comes with being top dog!!!!!!! Shades Thanks to everyone who took part in the auction, and better lukc next time to those of you who were unsuccessful on this occasion!

    I edited more of the final book of my 4 book series today. I should hopefully wrap up work on it tomorrow, if all goes according to plan. Then it's back to my one-off fantasy book for another edit, and then (hopefully!!!) on to something new. The only problem with having as many books on the go as I normally do is that editing can sometimes get in the way of writing new material. I wrote two new books early this year, and had hoped to have at least another one written by now, but editing has kept getting in the way. Still, that's just the way it goes -- I suppose it's better to have plenty of work to be getting on with, than sitting there struggling to come up with something new!!!

    I received a very nice email today from the mother of a boy who's just caught the reading bug:

    I just want to say Thank You. My son, Brandon, is 14 and has a very difficult time finding books to read for his age. He's dyslexic and just will not follow through with any books normally. The other day I went into my local "Border's Books" store and found your books through a store associate. My son picked out the first book in the series and as of this morning, he is up to Chapter 9 and cannot wait to finish this so he can go get your next book. FINALLY!!! All he is talking about is your book now. Thank you... you reached a lost boy and now he is reading!

    Heh heh -- that made me think of the Ghostbusters theme tune -- "If you've got a lost boy... who just won't read... who you gonna call?!?" I love printing letters and emails like this, because I know how difficult it can sometimes be to convince reluctant readers to give books a try. I firmly believe that just about every child CAN be convinced to read, IF you can find a book that can capture their imagination and excite them. My books have done that over and over again, so -- at the risk of it sounding like blatant self-promotion -- I really do recommend trying Cirque Du Freak out on any reluctant readers if you're reading this and are a parent, teacher, librarian or whatever. If you're suspicious of my motives, go rent a copy from a library!!! I never intended for my books to appeal to reluctant readers -- I don't ever think about an audience when I write -- that's just the way they turned out. But they DO work, as the email above proves, with children who, for all sorts of reasons, don't like to read. I'm not saying my books will work in EVERY case -- each reader is different, drawn to different sorts of stories -- but they're a pretty damn good place to start in most cases...
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