Year of the Ox

Happy Lunar New Year! Year of the Ox 


Hooray! I was finally able to reveal the cover of my debut novel, Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths! It was such a lovely Friday. I spent most of the day replying to tweets and thanking everyone for the love. One of the BIG things for me, is that #DannyChungBook will be one of the first (perhaps the first) middle-grade book written by a British Chinese author to have a British Chinese child on the cover. What do you think of my book cover? Do you think it stands out? My U.K illustrator is called Anh Cao. And she is originally from Vietnam, but now lives in London. She is very talented as you can see, and is currently working on backgrounds in Netflix's Deadendia.  


Being a debut author is so far both exciting and daunting. I am already a 'published author' and have some books out, but having your own novel coming out (rather than say a commission or other writing project) makes you feel like great. It's the dream to have books in bookstores, to do author visits with children and have your work read by loads of people. 


I've joined two debut author groups on twitter that you can follow to see new books coming out this year and you can follow #DebutUk2021 and #21ders to see some new books coming out this year. 


I'm looking forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year which is also Lunar New Year for those who celebrate but are not Chinese. In Vietnamese New Year is called Tet. I've bought some cute decorations in the form of little Oxen and will get the children to decorate in red signs in a few days. I am not a great cook so we will probably be ordering take out! 


This month I've also set up a bookshop I am an affiliate author which means I can earn a small percentage if books are sold though the link on my bookshop. I have added my own books (still waiting for Danny Chung to be loaded) and also many other titles by East and South East Asian books that I think might be of interest to people. Do have a look if you are looking for titles by or featuring East or Southeast Asian characters and storylines. 


I resumed my picture book course with Lou Kuenzler at City Lit and this time around there are other published and agented writers in the group. I have three picture book stories that I have been working on. And I still have some other ideas that I hadn't written down yet. I also have been offered another small commission to write a reading book. I've begun my second novel and planned out the chapters so hope I can get on with the rest and write a first draft before the end of March. It's do-able, I just need to focus and try to concentrate more in the times when I am not home schooling. 


I'm also waiting to hear back from a large and well-known TV company to see if I go onto a mentoring scheme. I did gain a place on a three week Screen Skills Course: Writing For Animation with Myles McLeod who has written for shows such as Hey Dugee and The Octonaunts. And continuing my professional development this year in picture book writing, I have signed up for a 6 week course with Amy Sparks. That will be my fourth picture book course! Let's hope that I am getting better at it! 


Enjoy the rest of Febrary!