One of the best things about writing stories is that you can go anywhere in your imagination – even during lockdown. You might not be able to go on holiday yet, but you can have an adventure without even leaving your house. All you need is a pen and paper. Here’s an idea. Imagine you’re on an Easter Egg hunt. You’re scrambling through the bushes looking for that brightly wrapped chocolate egg when suddenly . . . What do you think could happen next? You might fall into another world. You might find a message that takes you on a strange journey. You might find a treasure map. What problems are you going to face? Remember that all good stories have problems to overcome. You might find you are very small in this new world. Your strange journey could take you into space or the centre of the earth. Someone else may want your treasure map and they will stop at nothing to get it.

How are you going to overcome these problems and get back to the Easter Egg hunt before your friends have snaffled all the eggs!?

So get writing. And have a great Easter holiday!

It was a World Book Day with a difference but we had great fun meeting you all. Not only have we been on pirate treasure hunts and chatted to lots of classes online but we’ve also read stories to audiences that included at least one dad and a couple of dogs. The dogs were very good listeners although one did pretend to be asleep! It was fantastic to see the comments come up on chat as the stories reached their climax. “Oh no!” “Poor Chelsea!” “Nooooooo!” It was almost as good as being in the school hall with you all.

We have more admiration than ever for teachers since we’ve had to grapple with Zoom, Google Classroom and Teams. They’ve been doing it all year. We’re also very impressed with how our readers deal with the technology – although maybe not the scribbling over our presentation when we shared screens! It’s lovely to see how excited the children are to be going back to school. Have a great time getting back together on Monday.

 

Secondhand SneakersTowerblock Blowdown

Want to tell a story but you’re running out of ideas? Why not take a traditional tale and tell it or write it in your way? We love doing this.

Tom, Dad and ColinOur story Tom, Dad and Colin is based on an old fable, The Man, the Boy and the Donkey. We wrote it for a reading scheme at a level where the words boy and donkey were too hard. So we gave them easier names to read. Tony Ross’s illustrations made it a very funny book.Sometimes we do more than just change the names. We’ve written two stories about Cinderella.

In Cindy and the Football Boots, our Cinderella is an amazing football player with two horrible stepbrothers who want to stop her getting to the match.

In Cinderella:The Real Story Cinderella is the villain and her ugly stepsisters are the heroes. We even managed to bring in The Big Bad Wolf and Rumpelstiltskin. The story is told in texts, emails, social media and police reports.

We’d never been happy with the original ending of The Princess and the Pea. The poor princess has a bad night’s sleep and then has to marry a prince she’s only just met. In The Proper Princess Test we changed the ending to make our princess much feistier and in charge of her own destiny.The Proper Princess Test

These are just some ideas. Have a go yourself. How about the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk? You could make Jack the villain and the giant a vegetarian. You could set it at your school where the beans have been sown as a school project. There’s lots of stories out there waiting for your special touch.

Welcome to our new website. We’re delighted to see you back again. 2020 was a very strange year for us all. We hope you’ve all stayed safe and well. One of the good things was that we’ve all been reading more. Books are a wonderful way to escape. Only last week Jan went back over a hundred years to Dickens’ London and Sara flew to Mars!

Our writing has been a fantastic escape too. In the last few months we’ve been working for two reading schemes. We’ve imagined what was creeping in the depths of a pond and we’ve explored our fantastic world for Collins Big Cat. Then we had pirate adventures with Rising Stars Reading Planet. The Collins Big Cat books come out in April and the Rising Stars books will be here in August.

We’ve had fun working on Zoom as we couldn’t be together. We just pretended we were out in the snow in Austria!

We hope that 2021 is a year of health and happiness . . .  and lots of reading.