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World Book Day – Keri Beevis Visit

On World Book Day we were lucky enough to have visits from two authors, here’s a little snippet about our first author Keri Beevis;

Keri Beevis 

 

Keri Beevis is the author of the award-winning novel, Dead Letter Day, and its sequel, Dead Write. She lives with her two naughty cats in Norfolk, England, where she writes a lifestyle column for a local magazine. The Darkness Beneath is her third book.

 

‘I have always been something of a daydreamer. Even back to when I was a tot and all the other babies were starting to crawl and walk and talk, I just sat there in my own little bubble, taking it all in, not in any rush to go anywhere.

As I grew, the pattern continued. I hated school with a passion, was painfully shy – hard to believe now – and only happy when I was scribbling stories. In the rest of my classes I doodled, dreamed and stared out of the window.  I wanted to have adventures in Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree, I longed for my life to be a John Hughes movie. I wanted to write like Stephen King and have my plots directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

An overactive imagination is a powerful tool and great for what I do, but unfortunately it didn’t help me with my grades. Released into the real world at fifteen, I had no idea what path to follow and so I tried a bit of everything, from working in my dad’s video rental store – which only fuelled my love for film – to being the world’s worst hairdresser. Seriously do not ever let me near your head with a pair of scissors; I make the stylist who worked on Edward Scissorhands look like Vidal Sassoon.

Eventually I settled into a role within the travel industry, but the writing bug wouldn’t go away. All I wanted to do was make up stories and have people read them. As a teenager with zero qualifications, how does that work?

I wrote my first novel at age twenty. Six months earlier I had been devouring Stephen King’s Misery on a sun lounger in Tenerife, thinking it must be a hell of a task to write a book. I had ideas, some of them good, and eventually decided to commit one to paper.

A few months later I finished writing a tale I tentatively called Twisted. Armed with a copy of the Writers Year Book, I bombarded every publisher and agent I could find. I had several flat out rejections, but some gave encouragement, telling me I had potential and to persevere.

 

Keri posted this on her website and dedicated the post to our writing club here at Newsome High School;

It always saddens me when I hear someone say they don’t like to read. There are good books and bad books, and books that are just okay. But then there are also great books. Books that pull you in and make you forget you are reading words on a page, immersing you in their story until you feel you are really there and living with the characters.

And those great books will differ from person to person, as we all like different things. When someone tells me they don’t like to read, it saddens me because I know they just haven’t yet found a great book for them.

My childhood was spent reading or writing, and if I didn’t have my nose buried in a book, I was penning stories. I always knew I wanted to be a writer and I was determined I was going to be a published author. By age 25 I had written four novels. Were they any good? Hell, no. But at least I was writing, unlike the procrastinators.

And that is the number one rule. If you want to be a writer you have to write. Laptop, longhand… typewriter if you are so inclined. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you have to write. And frequently.

There are no rules. Some authors I know meticulously plot out every chapter on a storyboard before they even start writing the story. Others, like me, tend to fly by the seat of our pants. Maybe there is a beginning and a proposed ending, but once we start writing the characters lead us.

Talking of characters, live with them for a while. I may not use a storyboard, but I know the people in my story as intimately as I know my family by the time I come to write them. Hang out with them in your head for a while, until you can not only see what they look like and how they sound, but you know how their mind works, what food they like to eat, what music they listen to. Give them flaws too. Make them real so readers can relate.

Dialogue is important. Have conversations with your characters in your head, listen to other people around you. Keep it real and to the point.

And don’t write the book you think you should write. Write the book YOU want to write. It’s all about passion to paper. You have to really care about your characters and the story you are telling. If you don’t care, neither will the reader.

Happy World Book Day. And remember, the world can never have enough storytellers.

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