'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 7 October 2010

Blog Tour - Aleesah Darlison

Kids Book Review is thrilled to host children's author Aleesah Darlison on her blog tour, celebrating the release of her fabulous new chapter book series - Totally Twins. .

Be sure to check out Aleesah's Blog Tour schedule at the end of the post, and follow along on the book launch celebration! Fun!

My Writing Processes and How I Came To Write the Totally Twins Series

Whenever I begin a story, I usually start off by creating Character Analysis Sheets where I list all the attributes of my characters. This gives me a good idea of what the characters are like: what they look like, what they spend their time doing, what they wear, what they dream about, all that sort of thing.

I spend quite a bit of time plotting and planning, too. I make up a notebook and start filling it with ideas for scenes, events, characters and snippets of dialogue. I also spend time researching topics, themes and areas of interest I intend to build into the story. All of this research goes into the notebook.

I’ll draw graphs, plotting out the hero’s journey and the climaxes. I’ll do a breakdown of what happens chapter by chapter. Then I’m ready to begin.

Once I start writing, though, things are open to change. Plots and characters are finessed and fine-tuned. I try to throw in a few surprises (sometimes I even surprise myself) to keep readers guessing. I love to weave secrets into the plot, too. I think it’s healthy for every character to have a secret or two bubbling along in the background. Usually, these secrets are revealed along the way, but not always.

I'm a big believer in satisfying endings. I don’t like to leave things hanging, although if I am writing a series, I do try to add a little hook at the end to entice readers back to the next book.
As for my latest series, Totally Twins, the idea for that came from a severe case of wish fulfilment.  As a child, I always wanted to have, always wanted to be, an identical twin. I honestly thought my entire family were aliens and that I was the only normal one. Having a twin would solve my problem of loneliness, surely?

Having a twin would mean I’d have someone who looked, thought and felt the same as me. And then, of course, I’d never feel lonely again. Besides which, it would be kind of fun to play tricks on people… Having an identical twin would be the best!

I guess what I was searching for was a soul mate - even at that young age - which is what many of us search for, really.
Now that I’m an adult and writing children’s books, like many other authors I often draw on my childhood memories, hopes, experiences and dreams. For Totally Twins, I drew on that dream, that wish, to be a twin. And now, in my books, I can be a twin. What I couldn’t make happen in reality CAN happen in my books.
I write the books in diary format from the point of view of Persephone, or Perse for short, the main character of the stories. And although she faces her challenges and dramas, she also has loads of fun. There are plenty of quirky characters in the books and I had an absolute ball writing about them.
Totally Twins: Musical Mayhem, the first book in the series, was released on 1 September. The next book in the series, Model Mania, is due for release in November. The first book has been really well received, so I’m hoping this positive feedback continues and I can have the pleasure of writing many more books in the series.
About Aleesah

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for children. She also reviews books for The Sun Herald. Aleesah has won many awards for her writing and her stories have appeared in the black dog books Short and Scary Anthology, The School Magazine and Little Ears. Her first picture book, Puggle’s Problem, was released in July. Her junior series for girls aged 9 plus, Totally Twins: Musical Mayhem, was released in September. The series follows the adventures of identical twins, Persephone (she’s the sensible one) and Portia (she’s the messy one) Pinchgut and is written in diary format by Persephone.

You can find out more about Aleesah at: aleesahdarlison.com. Persephone also has her own blogspot where you can send her messages and download cool Totally Twins material. Visit Perse at: totally-twins.blogspot.com

Follow Aleesah on tour!

Tuesday 5 Oct
Sandy Fussell's Blog - Author Interview

Wednesday 6 Oct
Be a Fun Mum - Juggling Act/Author vs Mother

Thursday 7 Oct
Kids Book Review - Writing the Totally Twins Series

Friday 8 Oct
DSJOHANSSON - Writing Article

Monday 11 Oct
The Book Chook - Pokemon Article

Tuesday 12 Oct
Dave Hibbins Blog - Character Interview (Persephone)

Wednesday 13 Oct
Alphabet Soup Blog - Character Interview (Portia)

Thursday 14 Oct
Katrina Roe's Blog - Guilt Free Motherhood

Friday 15 Oct
Squiggle Mum - The Joy and Challenges of Writing for children

Monday 18 Oct
Let's Have Words - The Difference Between Puggle and Totally Twins

Tuesday 19 Oct
Sally Murphy Blog - Getting Published

Wednesday 20 Oct
Dave Hibbins Blog - Writing for Children

Thursday 21 Oct
Read Plus - Totally Twins Series & Working With An Illustrator

Friday 22 Oct
Boobook - Reminiscence - Sibling Rivalry

Aleesah has written a glorious guest post for us about how she created and wrote these fabulously fun new books for 8-12 year olds