Salmek and the Earth Keepers – Book 2

Finally, Book 2 in The Rainbow Serpent Trilogy is here!

It’s the start of a new school term, or at least it should be. But school is the last thing on Salmek’s mind. She has been given a significant and dangerous mission – to visit the world’s sacred sites and discover fellow children who have been chosen to help save the planet from destruction. She doesn’t have much to go on – the clock is ticking and time is running out.

The Tree of Life is wilting, natural disasters are striking across the planet and developers with bulldozers are standing by ready to destroy native communities that have been protecting the land for thousands of years.

Although she now understands more about how to use her own crystal, Salmek is discovering there are many layers to the task she has been given – the difficulties she has to face challenge her in ways she never thought possible.

She is courageous, but can she outsmart all the followers of The Dark Serpent who are hot on her tail? They want her out of the way – for good this time…

World Book Week

I had the pleasure of spending a day with the children at Redlands Primary School during World Book Week.

In the morning, we worked on developing a character for a story book with years 3 & 4. After a little pondering and some jotted notes, each of them managed to develop an interesting character in a relatively short amount of time. I was delighted to see their creations and a few still stick in my mind: the eccentric adventurer with his maps and fine khaki outfit, the woman who had lips the colour of red tomatoes (what a fantastic description!), and the skater-punk with blue hair and eyes! A very talented group of children, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.

The afternoon was spent with years 5 & 6, and this time, the idea was to develop a character and write a story about them – which in the time allotted, was a pretty difficult task. However, once more, the creative sparks were flying and by the end of the day, there were several amazing stories that were shared.

I was enormously impressed by the standard of writing and how gifted the children were at creating these interesting and gripping tales, in such a short space of time -I even told them I was tempted to steal some of their ideas for my own books!

And from the schools newsletter:

Nick Sharratt and Maria Grima- authors in Redlands this week

The children thoroughly enjoyed their sessions with both these authors this week. Nick Sharratt did a wonderful session with the children on Tuesday afternoon, showing them how to draw some of his characters. They were so inspired! We were pleased to welcome the Reading Chronicle to cover this event, so please keep an eye out for this in the next edition(s).
Maria Grima was also great, working with different classes in school on what makes a good storyand other aspects of being an author. Both authors have contributed enormously to our school focus on improving writing across the school – lots of children are buzzing from both sessions! Many thanks to Miss Palmer for organising these author visits-the children learnt such a lot from them both.

Visit to Manor Park School

I recently visited Manor Park School, where I was given a tour by the lovely Ms Hodgson and met lots of friendly students.

Salmek’s Crystal was chosen as the Manor Park Book Club read for Year 4 students, and it was a real pleasure to answer their questions and get some interesting feedback on the book. This is one of the best bits about writing – getting to share it with other people and hearing about what they liked (and sometimes, what they didn’t like!).

The great thing about the Manor Park School Book Club is that the children choose to attend this in their lunch hour; it’s not something they are made to do. So the fact that they willingly turned up during their break and were enthusiastic and complimentary about the story, was inspiring.

 

 

 

 

 

A few of the questions I was asked were:

Q: Where did the name Salmek come from?

A: The name came to me in a daydream and I couldn’t change it to anything else (even though I tried to). It had to be Salmek.

Q: Are you going to have a film made of the book?

A: Whenever Danny Boyle or Peter Jackson is free, yes, that would be great! I have always seen The Rainbow Serpent Trilogy as a film playing out in my head, and I just write down what I see, so to me, it’s already a movie.

Q: Who inspired the characters, especially George?

A: The characters are all a mish-mash of different people really, but George is loosely based on one of my uncles who was rather eccentric and very lovable.

Q: Have you finished book two yet?

A: The first draft is complete but there is more work to do to get to the final, finished, proper book.

Q: Have you been to Cuba?

A: Sadly, not yet.

Q: Have you been to Egypt and India – all the places that are featured in Book One?

A: Yes, I have been really lucky and have travelled to both of these places. I would like to go again one day!

Q: When did you start writing stories?

A: I have been writing stories and poems from a very young age – probably about six (ish).

The photo above shows how much fun we had (assisted by a joke or two from Ms Hodgson as she took it!)

Thanks to all the staff and pupils for making it such a fun visit.

Book Two

The first draft of book two is now complete. It’s always an exciting time but there is still more work to do: editing, tweeking, adding new bits, scrubbing other bits out – so whilst it’s far from being the finished book, the basic story is in place and I look forward to the process of it developing over the coming weeks.

manscipt-framed

 

 

 

 

 

Didgeridoo

One of these instruments is played in book two by one of the new characters. You have to learn how to circular breathe to do this, and it’s not easy. You’ll have to read book two to find out more.

didge-framed

Rost Quartz Crystal

rose quarz-framed

Here is a stunning photo of a large piece of rose quartz. 0f course, this is far bigger than Salmek’s (she would never be able to tuck this in her pocket or hang it around her neck if it was!) but the size means you can really appreciate how beautiful this mineral is.

Rose quartz crystals are said to have healing properties and bring a sense of peace and calm.

 

 

 

 

Book Art

Instead of writing a book, you can make a piece of art out of it. Sharp scissors and patience required! Still busy writing – and being distracted by trees popping out of books instead of the other way around.

paper art-framed

 

Rainbow Serpent in a Tree

Couldn’t resist posting this photo!

Rainbow Serpent Trilogy…Rainbow Serpent in a Tree (I’m afraid it was asking a bit much for the tree to actually create a rainbow coloured serpent).

serpent-framed

 

 

 

 

 

Still working at book two, so must get back to it…