Thank you to all of you who submitted questions to Chris Bradford, author of The Young Samurai series, and now The Bodyguard. Here are his answers!
May 14th, 2013
May 13th, 2013
Spinebreaker Rosie runs her own literary blog, The Lonesome Chapter. Here, she introduces the backstory to the blog and invites you to share in her world. Read on to discover more…
Hello! I’m the head writer of the book blog The Lonesome Chapter. I’ve been given the opportunity to speak with you, so I’ll tell you a little story.
Once upon a time, there was a girl called Rosie. She was fourteen years-old and had an obsession with the world of reading and writing. She spent most of her time in a land called Apathia. She began to create her characters through paper and pen and read from the grand library all the time. Elizabeth, Edwin, Charleton, Lista, Poppy, Cedric and Maribel were born along with many others and their story began.
One day, Rosie hit a brick wall. She didn’t know where to go and her passion for writing began to fade. She continued to read, even more so than usual. Eventually, the land of Apathia disappeared into the depths of Rosie’s mind, along with Vindicta and all of the other countries she had previously discovered.
However, it was as if a spark had been set off. She began reading more and more and decided to start a book blog. This was where she shared her thoughts and feelings on different books. As she began to get her creative juices flowing, Apathia came back along with Elizabeth and Edwin and all the others who had previously been lost.
It was then that she enlisted the help of some friends. These friends were like knights to a queen. They worked behind the scenes, helping Rosie create different layouts and emailing publishers.
That is how The Lonesome Chapter got to where it is today. Please go and check it out! http://www.thelonesomechapter.
When I get a few more followers, I am going to start writing more about the land of Apathia and I want you, Spinebreakers, to be a part of that.
May 9th, 2013
Spinebreaker Atifa tells us about her work experience in the Marketing and Publicity department of Penguin Children’s.
Day one of my 3-week work experience placement at Penguin Children’s and I’m standing blinking in the bright sunlight streaming over a wonderfully empty Trafalgar Square, first thing on a Monday morning. As expected, I’m feeling slightly nervous.
But I take a deep breath and walk somewhat purposefully down the Strand, twirl my way through some revolving glass doors, get taken to the right floor and introduced to everyone in the Marketing and Publicity department.
My first hour at Penguin was a whirlwind of information. I was given my own desk, a health and safety briefing, a security pass, a welcome pack and computer log-ins. There was a tour in which I saw (mostly) BOOKS- books in cupboards, books on shelves, books on tables, books shoved under desks and piled on top of boxes (these boxes, no doubt, contained even more books) It’s was like Narnia, if Narnia was made of books and office equipment.
From then on, members of the department began giving me tasks to do and I settled in.
The welcome pack included, amongst other things, a desk plan of the department and general duties like collecting and distributing the post each morning. As you can imagine, the desk plan came in handy when I was trying to figure out who everyone was and by the end of my placement I had proudly managed to learn the names of each and every person in the department so that I barely needed to glance at it before handing out the post.
I undertook a variety of other different tasks each day, which kept me busy from 9.30am when I walked into the office until 5.30pm when I left. On some days I mailed out more than 100 packages, running down to Stationery periodically to stock up on envelopes.
I ran errands for people in the department like collecting train tickets, buying sweets for a cake decorating activity at an author event and picking up packages.
I rang for Porters and arranged overnight Couriers, packed up books in boxes and unpacked books from boxes. I created showcards, selected colours for friendship bracelets and printed and bound more than 25 manuscripts using a rather terrifying-looking machine called a binder comb.
I had the opportunity to write for the Puffin Blog - albeit it was about The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but writing is writing after all. It challenged me to write for a specific target audience and whilst the thought of doing it utterly terrified me in the beginning, I did it nonetheless and am rather proud of the end result.
I spent time watching the printer, muttering under my breath about the printer, shouting at said printer and even (embarassingly) watching a video about how to scan. The printer and I, we’re now the closest of friends but it was rocky for a while. I can now boast that I know the exact location of the bypass tray AND how to clear umpteen paper jams without referring to the instructions.
When I walked into Penguin at the beginning of my placement, I felt like I had stepped into a whole new world of publishing. Everyone else knew so much more than I did and it would have been easy to feel as though I’d never catch up with them or never learn enough to feel at home there.
But this placement has given me the confidence to be assertive in a work environment; I introduced myself to people I’ve never met before, learned so many new skills that it would be impossible to list them all and most importantly, gained an insight into how the largest book publisher in the world is run.
Penguin is one of the most interesting places I have ever been and I loved every single minute of my placement. Words cannot adequately describe how lovely everyone was there. They were incredibly generous and kind towards me, making me feel so welcome. They are some of the sweetest people I have ever met and I count myself lucky to have worked with them.
May 1st, 2013
Spinebreaker Katy gives her 10 top tips to help all of you who are revising for exams right now. Thanks Katy – we just hope you didn’t procrastinate too long writing this blog for us!
Since exam season is approaching rapidly – my first exam is in two weeks (eek!) – here is my advice about how to approach revision and your exams. This is what I have found useful having taken some GCSE exams already in Year 10.
Don’t procrastinate – it won’t get you anywhere; at the end of the day the exams will still be there, so don’t put it off.
Find an application for your knowledge – tell a family member/friend about the Prague Spring or photosynthesis, and in the case of the friend they might add to your knowledge! Other suggestions – newspaper articles, table, thought clouds.
Know your exam specification – it’s no good revising something that’s not on your course, plus you can find revision guides specifically for your exam specification.
Take a break – by allowing your brain to have a rest you are more likely to remember the stuff you have just learned.
Manage your time – you still need to have some me time so you don’t turn into some kind of exam-zombie or something.
Actually revise – this links to Number 2; don’t just sit there staring at the page. The information won’t magically get in your brain.
There is no wrong way to revise – I hear so many people saying that they don’t know how to revise for said subject; remember that you have to do whatever works for you.
Small chunks, long time – the best revision doesn’t consist of four hours of History or Geography the night before your exam. The best way is to break the information up into small manageable chunks and spread them out over time.
Familiarize yourself with your exam papers – some exam papers have multiple questions which are for all kinds of topics; you may only be required to answer one or two questions.
Reward yourself – for example set a goal; if you revise a whole historical event or a topic in chemistry, you get to watch your favourite TV show.
Best of all, when you sit down in the hall to sit that exam all those hours of revision will pay off! I’d say good luck, but I don’t think you’ll need it!
April 22nd, 2013
Phil Earle’s blog tour has begun!
Check out his first blog post in the form of the video below…is the answer to the question in this post?
Q: What was Phil’s favourite book of 2012?
Check it out: