Welcome

Liz Baddaley is an author and freelance writer for leading UK charities. Her debut novel – The Finding of Freddie Perkins – was published in May 2013 after a remarkable story of its own and went on to be shortlisted for two awards. Since then, she can’t stop writing fiction, whilst she continues to tell some remarkable true stories of hope from all over the world… and undertakes a considerable amount of rabbit care. Her latest allegorical short story – The Wonder Weavers – is currently being brought to life in the window of the Sanctuary in Ilkley.

wonder weavers best blanket shot

 

My second story window!

It’s been really exciting to be part of a second story window project with the Sanctuary in Ilkley… this one bringing to life my short all-age allegory The Secret Beauty of Sand. The story was inspired by the discovery of the amazing truth that when viewed from a magnified perspective, every grain of sand can be seen as it truly is

sand window final

Today I’ve been writing on glass for the first time! And, on the hottest day of the year, it was hard work! But the whole project, start to finish has been a labour of love.

The hand holding a gem that is the star attraction in the window was sculpted by my very talented friend Barbara Macnish – a particularly beautiful thing to have happened as the story is dedicated to her! And it helps bring to life one of the central characters in the story. Intrigued… have a read!

Lots of people walking and driving past are already stopping to look and read and it’s great to see their faces light up in response to the colour and poetry beaming out at them.

When can we do the next one?!

Welcome

Liz Baddaley is a children’s author and freelance writer for leading UK charities. Her debut novel – The Finding of Freddie Perkins was published in May 2013 after a remarkable story of its own and went on to be shortlisted for two awards. She is currently working on her third novel whilst telling some remarkable true stories of hope from all over the world… and undertaking a considerable amount of rabbit care.

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Some December stories…

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

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When you publish a book you connect with many new people as it is picked up in shops, advertised on websites, curled up with on sofas and clutched tightly on public transport. And children and adults meet and get to know the characters you see as friends.

I frequently hear stories of new people meeting Freddie… just yesterday I was having a coffee with a friend who had lent her copy to her grandma, only to have her like it so much that it was a while in coming back – because it had been shared with all her friends first!

But my favourite one in a while is from two weeks ago. I was on the phone to one of my freelancing clients sorting out a vital BACS transfer of Christmas present buying funds following a commission I had delivered to them when my contact there asked how Freddie was getting on…

This is not the first time he has asked. He is polite, kind and genuinely interested in my fiction writing as well as the work I do for him.

But this time there was a different motivation.

The previous evening, he told me, he’d gone upstairs to kiss his son goodnight when he noticed my name sat on his bedside table! Apparently Freddie had come to their house because his wife knows someone who knows someone who knows a friend of mine. And, at every stage of this chain going the other way, each individual had enjoyed the story so much they’d passed it on to lots more people they knew until here it was…

It’s like being given a present every time I hear someone loves the book.

If you’re still looking for something to give someone this Christmas – Freddie and I would be delighted to help you by suggesting his story…

The next chapter…

I love the feel of a fresh start so I like September and its sense of new beginnings despite the fact it’s been more than a decade since my life really followed the school year. My ‘September’ this year is beginning right as it ends because I took my summer hols late. I had a wonderful break in Ireland; topping up on inspiration and beauty for my next book and for myself… but I also picked up this sign at an arts festival. I thought it was too funny not to share on my website too.

careful novelPlease be reassured though… I have no tracking devices here to make this a real – or virtual – danger for any of my online readers!

More soon when I’ve caught up with myself and all those Septembery emails…

Excited to be off to Hull today

Off on the 1.40 to Hull ready for two days packed with school visits. Across six primary schools, I’ll be speaking to more than 250 children in years 5 and 6 about The Finding of Freddie Perkins. I hope they’re excited about meeting me but I doubt they’re as excited as I am to meet them! It’s all part of the brilliant James Reckitt Hull  Children’s Book Award that the book’s been shortlisted for. I’ll let you know the highlights of my visit when I’m back…

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A weekend of research

Rabbits, macaroons and purple shoes – all together in one weekend. And yes, this really was research!

research

With my second novel at final checking with an expert in “something key to its narrative” before submission… I’m now on to researching and writing the third. I’m particularly enjoying imagining the world of this new story. And sometimes a little visualising – or even tasting – helps things along just marvellously!

Just three more days…

… till the signing event I’m doing at The Grove Bookshop, Ilkley to launch their children’s story writing competition. Come along at 10:30am on Saturday 13 July to buy The Finding of Freddie Perkins and/or get your copy signed… and if you’re a budding young writer, check out the competition details below!

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The details of the competition are:

Theme: Lost and found
Age range: 7-12, with sub categories for 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12
Prizes: from Bloomsbury for each age range
Closing date: 25 July

For more information and/or to enter, contact The Grove Bookshop for an entry form – pop in from Saturday 13 onwards (10 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EG), call 01943 609 335 or email info@grovebookshop.com

Happy writing! I’m looking forward to reading the entries later this summer…

Inspired by budding young writers

Today I had the great privilege of going into Ilkley Grammar School to meet and speak to their newly formed creative writing group.

Ilkley_Grammar_School_main_building

I was so encouraged to see twenty plus students and a number of teachers coming together to encourage each other to write. And to meet a modest but obviously gifted young author who had just won a national competition.

It’s great to see schools being so proactive in exploring creativity and nurturing talent.

Inspiring stuff. I hope to visit again soon.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to reading some of their writing as a number of the younger members are hoping to enter The Grove Bookshop, Ilkley’s children’s story writing competition later this month.

Welcome

Excitement is building… it’s only a few days until The Finding of Freddie Perkins is released.

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One of the things I’ve loved about the whole process of writing this book and seeing it get published is the number of people who’ve been involved – encouraging me and helping me. And now – sharing in the anticipation of 23 May and Freddie’s arrival with us all.

I promised I’d share as much as I could on this blog and so I want to tell you a couple of my favourite stories from the last few days. 

They are personal stories because I am lucky enough to have friends who are as excited as I am about being able to find Freddie in our local bookshops…

The first is about a lovely little girl I know who lives  in York…  Her family have all known about the book since it was first submitted to A&C Black with high hopes. And her mum is a teacher who was on my team of manuscript editors. So Freddie has been long anticipated in their house.

They even helped me pass some of the anxious waiting time last year when I was holding out for a final decision from the publishers by inviting me over for the afternoon… we watched a dramatisation of J.K. Rowling’s life together.

It was surreal but lovely. And also strangely comforting because it reminded me just how remarkable it would be if the book was to get published.

Earlier this week she said to her mum,

‘I’m just bursting to have the book!’

How sweet I thought when I read her email… until I saw that her follow up was to say she wanted to be the only person to have a copy.

Her mum assured me that she had pointed out that wasn’t quite how publishing worked…

It feels slightly mean to not want a child’s dreams to come true, but in this case I do hope she isn’t the only girl to own the book!

On Tuesday night I had a call from another close friend. Several months ago she had asked whether she could read the book and I’d sent her the manuscript by email…

She kept deliberating whether to read it or not before it was a proper book. She is also a busy lady… in the end, she decided to wait.

Anyway, as the excitement in our little community built to fever pitch this week, she decided she couldn’t wait any longer.

So she gave in and read the book.

Half-way through our phone call, when she was telling me all about her reactions to the story, I happened to mention that another friend had received her copy early from Amazon.

‘Oh,’ she said ‘I had a package through from them today… hang on…’

Yes, you’ve guessed it.

Freddie had been sat quietly on the side all that time!