Thursday, 16 February 2017

Guest Post: Ally Kennen on what she loves about writing for children

We are big fans of Ally Kennen's here and can't wait to read The Everything Machine! We're excited to have her talking about what she loves about writing for children.


Do I love writing for children? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes absolutely not. On the ‘yes’ days the writing flows, the words tumble, I laugh at my genius jokes and amusing quips. Maybe it will distract some little soul somewhere. Maybe it will encourage a horde of naughty lads to go and read something richer afterwards, and then something else and then something else. Perhaps my wisdom and wit will entertain, guide, enlighten.. who knows?

On some of the ‘yes’ days I get to go visit schools and meet Actual Children. This is always humbling and makes me want to up my game. These kids are being exposed to my ramblings. I must sharpen up, make it for them, crack on with the story, don’t leave anyone out!

On other ‘Yes’ days I get to try out drafts of books on my own children. I have four of them. They’ve all had to endure first drafts and I am rewarded with their brutal X-Factor panel style judgements. But my eldest son is 9 and a half and DOES NOT WANT ME TO READ TO HIM ANYMORE (emojj’s of horror/terror etc) so I am sneakily writing a football book. He loves football and cannot resist a football story, so now I get to read to him again. AND I get to write a book with a guaranteed audience. (currently of one, but you never know)

Then there are the No days. When I’d rather scrub out the dustbin or clean the toilet than write another word. But I think this would be the case if I was writing for children or adults. Sometimes my brain doesn’t fire up, or it is clogged with too many distractions, or I am simply not inspired.

I don’t hold with the notion that writing for children is easier than writing for adults. There are plenty of glorious children’s books that are far richer and more elegant than any amount of books for adults. (and plenty that aren’t.. ha ha) We children’s authors also have to compete against a myriad of more immediate entertainments. How can we possibly make our stories more alluring than the latest must-have game, with all its addictive ploys and tricks? Maybe the children’s book is DYING! like stamp collecting and dissecting tadpoles for fun. (though book sales data seems to suggest otherwise, that lots of children still read hurrah hurrah)

And so my latest book (this is a Yes day now) is all about some kids who are utterly addicted to a computer game, MAZZO. But something arrives at their house which is even more compelling and fun.

It’s Russell, a state of the art, cutting edge, globally created, sentient 3D printer. It is The Everything Machine!


The Everything Machine by
Ally Kennen


Summary:
Three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of it's own . . . What could possibly go wrong?

Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It's a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print ANYTHING they want it to. How about a never-ending supply of sweets and a cool swimming pool in the shed, for starters?

But is getting everything you've ever wished for all it's cracked up to be?

Information about the Book

Title: The Everything Machine
Author: Ally Kennen
Release Date: 2nd February 2017
Genre: MG
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Format: Paperback




Author Information


Ally Kennen has been an archaeologist, museum guard and singer-songwriter. Her dark and thrilling teen novels have been nominated for over eleven literary awards. She lives in Somerset with her husband and four children.



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