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Book two: Update!

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Hello there!

I hope you're all keeping safe and well 😊

Over the last week, there's been a lot going on with my second book.

Stage one: manuscript ready

Up until then, it was in the hands of the typesetter and designer at Troubadour Publishing.

The first draft of the book cover was good - really good, you wouldn't expect anything less from the guys at Matador. Yet, it just didn't send out the right message. It's difficult to explain other than I was going by my gut instinct. Basically, it just didn't feel right.

The first draft looked good. It was similar to book one, POPPY ON SAFARI.

Poppy on Safari. My first middle grade children's book

I showed my son, who's about to begin his third year at college studying Graphic Art.

I value Nathan's opinion. He has a keen eye for colour, detail, and expressing the right message through his artwork.

He liked the draft, but he could see I just wasn't sure.

He asked if this book was a sequel to POPPY ON SAFARI to which I said, No.


Book two is similar to POPPY ON SAFARI in that its main character is a dog, but that's where the likeness ends.

It's a story that's very close to my heart and one which I can't wait to share with you all.

So, Nathan's opinion was;

If this Is a sequel then yes go ahead because the two covers follow a theme. But, if it's a stand-alone book, completely separate from POPPY, then stick with my original idea.

So, my mind was made up...

The colours in this second version have a deep meaning. Not to give too much away, but the story is one of changes and new beginnings.

Before I go further, I thought I'd just mention that there will be a sequel to POPPY ON SAFARI.

During the lockdown, I completed the first draft of Poppy's second adventure. I'm still working on the drawings at the moment before returning to the manuscript. There will be a number of revised drafts before it is ready for my amazing editor, Antonia, to read through.


It's very exciting to see the cover of your new book. Slowly, the process is coming together to result in what I hope to be something that will make people, young and old, happy.

For those moments, as the pages are turned, everyday worries can be cast aside and replaced by this window in the life of a world created from inside my head.


It was while I was spending a few days in the beautiful, old city of Chester, that I heard from Matador Books. Although I was unable to look through the attachments thoroughly and start work on the next step, I was able to thank them - it's always really nice to hear from Hannah, Joe, Andrea, Jonathan and the rest of the team at Matador..

The next step is the proofread.

The layout looks fantastic but proofreading will take some time. This is definitely something that can not be rushed!

In the meantime, I was in Chester with my daughter and a good friend, feeling positive, enthusiastic, and - for lack of a better word - buzzing!

It's a great feeling to know that things are moving forward. And isn't it funny how each time I walk into a bookshop I make a beeline for the children's middle-grade section?

So, now I'm back home, the proofreading has begun.

I pace myself, so as to keep my mind fresh.

I stop to make a drink or take 'the goldie girls' out for a walk around the forest.

Anything really, but enough to take me away from the laptop or the printed page for a while.

It's not only good for the eyes but also the mind!

The moment I feel my concentration lapse, that's when I have a break. Even for just ten minutes, it's enough to keep me focused and my mind sharp.

I'm currently about a quarter of the way through the manuscript. It's great reading it again and with my drawings heading each chapter.

and so the proofreading begins

Well, that's where I'm at as of today.

Book number two checklist:

  1. First draft

  2. Next ten drafts

  3. Critique

  4. Revisions made

  5. Illustrations

  6. Copy Edit

  7. Contact Publishers

  8. Convert and export manuscript and artwork

  9. Bookcover

  10. proofread

  11. .....

I shall let you know of further developments. Watch this space.

It's all very exciting!

Please feel free to leave a comment. It will be great to hear from you.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Speak soon 😊

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