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Natalie C Page

Author of YA, MG and Children's fiction

Month

August 2015

Talented individuals

Throughout my life I have had the good fortune to meet and become friends with some incredibly talented people and since starting this Pitch Wars process, I have met even more! However, I wanted to take five minutes to talk about some of my friends who I feel have talents worth sharing, and those that may be of interest to the writing community.

Firstly, Neil Spring (Author)

I met Neil back in 2004 when I first started working in PR, he was a rising star even then but he was never arrogant and I liked him immediately (I don’t spend time on false people). Since those early days Neil has released his first book, The Ghost Hunters, which has now become a bestseller and I was delighted to see yesterday an announcement from ITV that they have cast Rafe Spall to play the lead in the full length feature based on the book. This is a massive accomplishment! Since releasing The Ghost Hunters Neil has still kept himself busy and I have been privileged enough to have been given a proof of his next novel, The Watchers, which is due out in September.  Neil has a unique style of writing and cleverly blends facts with fiction to create a truly compelling read. Although I haven’t finished The Watchers yet, I can say with certainty that it is even better than his first offering and if you are a fan of the X Files or the paranormal, Neil’s books are definitely something you should be reading. I have added a link to his website in my links section, but for quick reference here it is : http://www.neilspring.com

Lee Lennox (writer and film director)

I met Lee on a music video shoot about 7 years ago where he was directing the indie band Delays in the video for their latest single. Since then we kept in touch and I have watched him go from strength to strength as a director, even directing his first full length feature film AmStarDam which will hopefully be hitting our screens soon. Here’s a quick synopsis:

Jack comes to Amsterdam to find his father and, through a momentary magical encounter, finds the secret weapon that could turn around his father’s ailing marijuana coffee shop.

His latest project was a horror short film which will be premiering tonight as part of Film Four’s Fright Fest and will then be made available online. The film is called Behind You and I am so excited to see how it turned out because I was fortunate enough to be sent the script in advance and even given the opportunity to provide a little feedback! Check out the full programme http://www.frightfest.co.uk/festival-programmes.html and Behind You is featured on page 32.

Chris Rivers (Artist and Drummer)

Chris is actually 1/4 of the UK rock band Heaven’s Basement who are signed to Redbull Records and have toured with rock giants such as Papa Roach, Black Veil Brides, The Pretty Reckless and Buckcherry. I met Chris and the other lads back in 2010. After going to one of their gigs I cheekily called up their tour manager and asked them if they would be prepared to play as part of a rock gig I was organising in aid of UK forces charity Help for Heroes. Amazingly, he said yes and the rest is history! However, what some people don’t know is that Chris is also an extremely talented artist and as you will see from the pages describing my children’s stories, we are now working together to bring our joint project Zak and Jen to the world. We sincerely hope other people will love these poems and illustrations as much as we do. You can see some of Chris’ artwork on his Etsy page and he also does commissions. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Riversdrums

Last, but in no means least is Laurie Ellingham

Laurie is another friend from my PR days and after struggling through the long and tiring journey of trying to get her first book published the traditional way, she took to self publishing. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Celebrity (Women’s Commercial Fiction) was a great success and off the back of self publishing, she found a publisher and now spends her time managing book signings and workshops as well as running around after her family and puppy. Laurie has been a tremendous support to me over the last year or so in the writing of my YA novel. She is always honest but still encouraging, and on the (many) days where I have felt like giving up she has been one of the key people telling me to keep going. For that, I am extremely grateful. You can buy The Reluctant Celebrity on Amazon, but otherwise give her a follow on Twitter @LaurieEllingham and see what she is up to!

All of these individuals have talents that are well worth checking out (and I am not just saying that because they happen to be friends of mine!). So whether you are into UFOs, ghosts, horror or women’s fiction please take some time to investigate. You never know, you may find your new favourite author / illustrator / film director.

Keeping up momentum

Recently I took another step on my writers journey and entered my YA MS in Pitch Wars. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept (as I wasn’t ), this is where around 100 writer mentors are assembled (by the lovely Brenda Drake) and un-represented writers can submit their manuscript for review and the chance to work one on one with a mentor to get it ‘agent ready’. Once the mentors have selected their mentee, everyone enters a furious two months of revisions to finish their MS’s in time for the agent round. This is my first Pitch Wars and we are currently in limbo. The submission window is closed and I (along with many others, judging by Twitter) are now obsessively checking Mentor Tweets for any hint of which MS they might pick. It’s amazing how even the most sensible and level headed can be reduced to a paranoid mess by 140 characters!

Anyway, what I did want to highlight is the incredible people I have already met through the process. The whole community is so supportive and when you have those down days (as we all do) they are there to pick you up and encourage you to keep going. Finally, I feel like I have found my people, the people who understand what it feels like to pour your heart and soul into something and send it out only to have it rejected. Yes of course you need to develop a thick skin, but I doubt I would find any writer that would say rejection doesn’t hurt. So this is a big shout out and thank you to my incredible #menteemates – I wish everyone the very best of luck and I feel privileged to be sat amongst such a talented group of people. Roll on Sept 2nd!

My first post!

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I have finally found some time to begin the process of setting up an author site. Although, it is not quite how I would like it to look just yet.

Despite the hectic weekend, I have still managed to get quite a lot done, including a bit of writing.

For all you tired parents out there, I will leave you with this little ditty that I penned …. again, it’s part of a series I have written – enjoy!

Toddler Explorer

Nia checked her diary,

It was busy today.

Pictures to paint,

And a friend round to play.

But first things are first,

Its time to help mum,

Unfolding clean washing,

Is job number one!

Emptying the washer

Is job number two,

Mum will be pleased,

When she’s done in the loo.

Now onto the bedroom,

What’s needed now?

I’ll decorate the wall,

With the face of a cow.

Mums make up case!

What treasures I find!

Red lips and pink cheeks,

Not much left behind!

Now onto the wardrobe,

I have nothing to lose,

She won’t mind me wearing,

Those Louboutin shoes.

Into the kitchen

I’ll make mummy some tea,

She won’t mind the mess,

If it’s made lovingly.

Phew what a day!

I am such a jet setter,

And in my opinion,

The house looks much better!

Mum walks down the stairs,

Her face marked with a frown,

As she notices her shoes,

Her makeup, her gown.

He eyes roam behind me,

She has noticed the tea,

But she’s not noticed the puddle,

That’s just behind me.

We go up to the bedroom,

And I wait for the noise,

And instead she just laughs,

And hands me some toys.

And later that day

When its my time for bed

She kisses my cheek

And strokes my forehead

“My little explorer,

In time you will see,

Whatever you do,

Is alright with me.”

“Now sweet dreams my angel,

Be whatever you choose,

But do not help yourself,

To my Louboutin shoes.”

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