Lockdown Day 22: 13/04/20 Books

So, today’s book is the first for adults. I’ve been wanting to write for the full adult market for some time and this book came about as an idea a few years ago after a discussion with somebody else. I started writing this a couple of years ago and have finally finished it all apart from the last edit run, which is basically a verbal reading of it so I can hear how it flows. It gave me a lot of satisfaction and pleasure and it now completes a milestone for me. I wanted to write for four age groups and I’ve now achieved it.

So the book is called Did You See Me and the inspiration for the title came from a homeless person who told me that when people passed him sitting on the street they always averted their eyes and he said he always wanted to ask the question ‘did you see me.’

The story starts with a male character who’s lost just about everything you could possibly use and for a long period of time he’s been living on the street. After an act of kindness, he embarks on a journey north in search of something to do and a place that he might settle down and start again. What follows next is a fantastic adventure involving an eclectic group of people who pit their wits against one of the most successful smugglers of modern time.

For the first time Laura has used acrylic paints and a pallet knife for the cover illustration, normally she uses watercolours, and it has a real sinister look about it.

I’m not going to spoil this by telling you more but this one is fast action with a plot that twists and turns with alarming regularity. There’s one more to tell you about tomorrow and then we’ll return back to the Corvid 19 blogging.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lockdown Day 21: 12/04/20 Books

I have a new book arriving soon for the young adult market, although in truth this one easily doubles as a full adult book. I started this one I seven years ago although it had a different title at that time. With the growth in films and series involving men, women or creatures with superpowers, I thought I would write a novel in a similar vein.

This book is called Chameleon Origin and launches a new series of books I hope will be very successful. There are two main characters that feature, and both are women. One is seventeen and the other two-hundred and ninety-six. Yes, that is accurate, and I haven’t been drinking! Both characters are immortal and are so because of a blood transfusion that caused their bodies and minds to change.

The two characters have also developed powers of their minds that nobody else has and they use these to help individuals that find themselves on the wrong side of criminal activities. They do this by finding the victims of kidnappings sometimes in their home countries and at other times around the world.

As a writer in today’s marketplace it’s a good idea to write the sort of material that breaks the barriers of age. Michael Morpurgo and J. K. Rowling have been doing this for years and you know the films that came from their books and the fact that the whole family watches them. Chameleon Origin is a book that does this too. It is amenable for all ages down to ten. I love the cover for this one, Laura always does me proud with her artwork but I particularly like this one.

Just like yesterday I could tell you more but that would just spoil the book. More about another new book tomorrow.

Wherever you are stay safe

Lockdown Day 19: 10/04020 Schools

There’s a lot of talk about the re-opening of schools in the near future, as the young are seemingly far more resistant to Covid 19 than the rest of us. Yes, their education is important, but a return to school would allow for a serious relaxation to the rules. Many schools have bottlenecks that lead to the front entrances where the children enter, a lot because of recent years improvements to the safety of children. But parents have to gather to drop off and pick up their children, close to these points. Social distancing would be very hard to maintain at some of these schools.

When the children return to school the amount of traffic on the roads will also increase and I’m sure that others, not necessarily connected to schools, will take advantage of this to get out and about. The police would have little control in terms of managing who was out unnecessarily. Surely, the return to school would have to coincide with other restrictions being lifted.

Perhaps another issue to consider is the volume of individuals in any school. While children seem to suffer less than adults, they could carry the virus and pass it on to the adults working there, making them high risk to catch the virus. Remember this virus will still be about long after the peak of epidemic has passed and the numbers of infected has reduced.

When they open schools, then that’s the time to kickstart our economy and open shops and businesses again, so the timing is crucial. Personally, I would like to see a larger percentage of the population being tested and cleared before this happens. But let’s be honest so much of what we read or hear at the moment is speculative and wishful thinking and while it’s good to remain positive, a firm and sequenced lockdown exit plan needs to be in place. And above all it has to be realistic and achievable.

Wherever you are stay safe.

 

Lockdown Day 20: 11/04/20 Books

I’ve just seen the day’s death total, and the fact that we have now lost 12,000 people prematurely to the virus, so I thought I’d change the mood for the next few days and talk about the new books, soon to become available after the lockdown finishes. With four blogs to write, it will be nice to talk about something different. The only part of my normal working life left at the moment is the writing and editing of new material and I have been working hard on it and enjoying the additional time I can afford it.

So, the first book to share with you, is one I wrote eight years ago. It’s called 3033 The Third Millennium and is aimed at the Key Stage Two market. I know many children around the country will have heard the prologue already, as I use it to inspire children in year 5 and 6 as a writing challenge. It has been the cause of some of the most totally amazing pieces of work I have ever seen from children in this age group and no matter how many schools I visit, I am never disappointed with what they achieve and what they are capable of.

The book is set 1000 years in the future, hence the title, and is a post-apocalyptic novel that tells the story of a brother and sister who are separated by a heinous event. Each of them embark on a journey, which they could not have been prepared for, across vast distances. One is kept prisoner at a place she doesn’t want to be and with people she doesn’t want to be with, while the other crosses a desert on foot with an old man he found at the desert fringe. His journey, although hard is made bearable by the people he meets on route.

I could tell you more but that would just spoil the book. So, I’ll stop here. More about a different book tomorrow.

Wherever you are stay safe

Lockdown Day 18: 09/04/20 Holiday Fears

The Easter weekend looms ominous. Normally, a weekend to look forward to but this year it’s different. It brings fear that too many people will venture out to enjoy the sunshine, and the rise in temperature that has coincided with the weekend. When the weather changed a while ago, far too many people acted as if nothing was going on. Brighton seafront was one place shamed on the news. Worse was that the police claimed that they didn’t have enough manpower to police places that encourage gatherings.

Now with a prolonged Bank holiday weekend and soaring temperatures it threatens to happen again. Easter is family time however we tend to celebrate it, but family time is different at the moment if you are separated from them. Yes, social media can help but it’s not the same. This year it has to be different, we need to consider the safety of ourselves and others and, at the moment, there is no greater responsibility.

Don’t go out people unless it’s really necessary. The death figures are still increasing, how much more warning does it take to get through to those stubborn individuals that persistently break the guidance given? In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks lockdown is nothing compared to the rest of our lives and things will change when it’s lifted. In the meantime, stay inside where it is safe for you and the family members you live with.

Wherever you are stay safe.

C.S. Clifford

Author writing for all ages
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