Today I’m very pleased to welcome my good friend and writing buddy, Alison Reynolds. Alison has a new book out and it’s a sequel to her bestseller, A Year with Marmalade (also illustrated by the very talented Heath McKenzie).
A new friend for Marmalade once again features the wise and independent thinking Marmalade.
Marmalade is a bit of a favourite of mine so it’s so great to see his adventures continuing, and I’m in the middle of writing a sequel to my book, Letters to Leonardo so I was very interested to read Alison’s tips on writing Marmalade 2.
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Dee, thank you so much for hosting me here. A new friend for Marmalade was a very special book for me to write.
Toby is different from Ella and Maddy. He wants to be friends with them, but doesn’t know how to gain their friendship. Ella and Maddy aren’t mean to Toby but they exclude him because they’re not sure how to handle his exuberance, and Toby doesn’t have the social skills to know how to fit in.
Marmalade immediately accepts Toby as a friend, and doesn’t even notice that he’s a bit different.
I wanted to celebrate Toby’s special qualities – his exuberance and unique way of seeing and doing things. I wanted to show that once the girls were prepared to accept Toby’s differences, that they could all be good friends.
I leapt at the chance of writing a sequel for A Year with Marmalade. I love that cat!
ALISON’S TIPS FOR WRITING A SEQUEL
- Come up with a totally new concept from Book Number One. Keep it fresh.
- If self-doubt creeps in about whether you can write a book as good as Book Number One, don’t think about it and just start writing. You’ve done it once and you can do it again.
- Make sure that your sequel isn’t too similar to book one. I wrote a list of cat actions so I didn’t use all the same words that I used n Book Number One to describe Marmalade.
- Don’t change the characters too much in the sequels so you have continuity in the series.
- Hope and wish that Book Number One does well enough so you are asked to write a sequel. Then hope and wish that Book Number Two does well enough so you are asked to write a sequel. Then really hope and really wish that there is a Book Number Three and it does …
I love picture books like A new friend for Marmalade where themes of friendship, tolerance and adaptability are woven into the story and the actions of the characters so seamlessly that readers are absorbing important messages without feeling as though they are being preached to.
I can’t be completely objective with this book because Alison is my crit buddy, and I’ve seen this story grow from the gem of an idea into the beautifully told and illustrated book it is today.
But the themes in this book and the setting are universally recognisable. And the rhythm of the language makes it a great book to read out loud.
“A whirlwind cartwheeled through the sandpit. Maddy scowled and Ella frowned”
So few words, yet the scene and its characters are easily established in the mind of the reader. To me that’s the essence of a great picture book.
Readers will enjoy the sense of fun in A new friend for Marmalade, expressed both through the text, and the lively and appealing illustrations.
Lovers of the first Marmalade book will enjoy A New Friend for Marmalade, and this book is bound to guarantee this cute ginger cat a legion of new fans.
Marmalade is padding off to more great blogs. You can visit him here:
11th Dee White – review and post https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/
11th Chris Bell – post http://christinemareebell.wordpress.com/
12th Angela Sunde – interview with Heath http://angelasunde.blogspot.com.au/
12th KBR – book giveaway http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
13th Boomerang Books – Post with Dimity Powell http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/author/dpowell
14th KBR Guest post http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
14th KBR Review http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
14th Sally Murphy – Meet my book http://aussiereviews.com/reviews/blog/
15th Buzz Words – Interview http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/
17th Ask the Bean Counter – Mr X http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/
17th Pass-it-on Post and Review- Jackie Hosking
18th Ask the Publisher – Kay Scarlett http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/