I’ve waited so long to take these pictures. I know they’re not perfect, but when one of your favourite animals strolls out from the trees a few metres away, you take whatever photos you can get, regardless of the strong shadows. Red deer feature prominently in my middle-grade novel, Guardian of Giria, and I have been seeking them out for about two years, mostly to no avail. This hind posed nicely for a moment, then trotted off across the road and disappeared back into the trees. I had just put my camera down when I realised she was being trailed by her newborn calf – the tiny creature on spindly legs looked like it was only hours old. I had no time to focus, so please excuse the blurry shot. I still think it’s cute as can be! Continue reading “Red Deer Hind with Calf”
Now that spring is here and the snow has finally melted, I am reopening my school & library visits. If you would like me to visit your school or library (here in Lithuania), please contact me and we can arrange a date. The presentation typically lasts for about one hour, but we can adjust this to your specific needs. I give a short introduction to my novel, Guardian of Giria, followed by a presentation on the wildlife featured in the book. The presentation appeals to kids of all ages but is particularly suited to those aged between 10 and 16. Continue reading “School & Library Visits: Now Reopening”
One question that has come up a number of times when chatting with readers about Guardian of Giria is why I made wolves the “bad guys”. And my answer is this – the wolves are not the “bad guys,” they are the antagonists. And those are not the same thing. Let me explain. (Please note that this post contains slight spoilers as to the content of the book.) Continue reading “Why the Wolves are not the Bad Guys”
Here’s a great post from GroundEd on creating a visual display of your school library in the style of a NetFlix screen. Full instructions and a template are provided. Continue reading “Bookflix”
Regardless of whether you are traditionally or self-published, you will need to be heavily involved in marketing your book. This means having a visible presence on a variety of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as attending a wide variety of events, either as a speaker or to mingle with other attendees from the publishing industry. Continue reading “Step 5: Market & Promote Your Book”
Self-publishing is a huge area and whole books have been written on the topic. I have tried to condense what I’ve learned into a few short(ish) sections, but if you plan to self-publish you will need to explore each of these sections in much more detail. Continue reading “Step 4b: Self-Publish Your Book”
If you would like to be traditionally published then you need to find a publisher who is interested in publishing your book. Some publishers will allow you to submit your manuscript directly to them. However, most big publishers will only accept submissions via an agent. Continue reading “Step 4a: Find an Agent and/or Publisher to Publish Your Book”
Now that you have a well-written and clean manuscript, you need to decide which publishing route you would like to take. There are two main routes – either publish through a traditional publisher (the traditional route) or publish the book yourself (the self-publishing route). There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Continue reading “Step 3: Pick a Publishing Route”
Yes, I know – you’ve written the perfect book. There’s nothing that could possibly be done to make it better. Except there is! I have no doubt that your book has the potential to be a bestseller or Man Booker prizewinner, but at the moment it is an unpolished gem. It needs lots of further care and attention before it is ready for publication. Continue reading “Step 2: Make it Better”
If you want to publish a book, the very first thing you need to do is write a book. You simply cannot publish a book that isn’t written. While it’s good to have an overview of the process of publishing before setting out on your own publishing journey, there is little point in reading multiple “How To” guides unless you actually have something to publish. So, if you’re reading this and you haven’t yet finished your book (or maybe not even started it) – you need to get back to work! Continue reading “Step 1: Write a Book”
Since I published My Food Odyssey – Lithuanian Food: Nine of my favourite traditional Lithuanian recipes early last year, and perhaps more so since I released Guardian of Giria earlier this year, I am often asked how to go about getting a book published. It’s a question that is not easy to answer in a few sentences, so I have put together a short guide to talk you through the process. Continue reading “5 Steps to Publishing a Book”
I’m delighted to announce that “Guardian of Giria” is now available from Vaga bookshop in Tauragė!
Su dideliu džiaugsmu pranešu kad nuo šiandien, “Guardian of Giria” galite įsigyti knygyne “Vaga” Bažnyčių gatvė 6. Tauragėje. Continue reading “Vaga Bookshop, Tauragė”
This week, I visited the Waldorf Green School in the village of Skirgiškės, about an hour north of Vilnius. The school is set about two kilometres from the village, deep within the forest, where it is surrounded by paddocks and lots and lots of trees. The classrooms, all built of wood and each with their own woodburning stove, are cosy and welcoming. Continue reading “Waldorf Green School, Vilnius”
I am delighted to be involved in this wonderful charity project in aid of Pieta House (Ireland). Pieta House helps people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm and those in need of suicide bereavement counselling. Since first opening their doors in 2006, Pieta House has helped over 30,000 people and has subsequently established twelve more centres across Ireland. In 2015, they launched a pilot program in Queens, New York. In 2017, this became a permanent centre and changed its name to Solace House. Continue reading “Charity Book: A Bowl of Irish Stew”
‘How could books about wizards, werewolves, hobbits and fairies be desirable, but books about real-life animals not be? Have the animal books that I loved so much in my youth died a death?’
My guest post for Mairead Hearne of the wonderful Swirl and Thread. Continue reading “Are Animal Books Waning in Popularity?”
Today, I am delighted to announce my new “Free Books for Schools & Libraries” initiative.
Schools & libraries in Ireland and Lithuania can now apply for a free Paperback copy of Guardian of Giria. Teachers and librarians internationally can also apply for a free Kindle copy of the book. Continue reading “FREE BOOKS for Schools & Libraries!”
Giria Wood is a large forest with a healthy population of animal families, many of whom feature in the story. Some are main characters and others are just family members who are mentioned once or twice. Together, they make quite a cast of characters. Continue reading “Characters in Guardian of Giria”
The Kindle version of Guardian of Giria is currently on sale for just 99c / 99p.
Available from Amazon here.
A sample from the book is now available here.
Continue reading “Guardian of Giria – Read A Sample”
The first batch of hardbacks arrived today and they are totally gorgeous (even if I do say so myself!)
Continue reading “The Hardbacks Have Arrived!”
I had a lot of fun making this. I hope you enjoy it!
Continue reading “Guardian of Giria – Book Trailer!”
A red deer stag with a massive crown of antlers is a very impressive sight. And indeed, that is part of their function – to make the stag look more impressive to the ladies. It takes a lot of testosterone to grow those antlers and it takes a lot of food to nourish them, so large antlers are a good indication of the virility and strength of the male. Unfortunately for the stags, they lose their antlers every year and then grow a new set. And while they’re between sets of antlers, they look just like the girls!
Continue reading “Red Deer Antlers: Annual Regrowth”
It feels like I’ve been waiting such a long time to bring you this news and I am very, very excited. On Tuesday, May 8th 2018 I will be releasing my very first novel, Guardian of Giria.
Continue reading “Introducing: Guardian of Giria!”