Best Blogger Tips Katie Dale

Friday, 31 January 2014

Storytime!



Happy New Year!

So, one of my resolutions was to update my school visits page on my blog - so I though to give you all a taster of me and my books I'd film a little video! Hope you enjoy it!

Meet Me!
I also write for teens and adults (SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE, LITTLE WHITE LIES).  If you'd like me to visit a teen/adult group, please feel free to get in touch via my Contact form, or read on for more information on primary school visits... :)
For Younger Readers
A trained actress as well as an award-winning author, I like to bring an element of performance to my visits, and am more than happy to dress up if required (as you can see from the photos!)
I have visited lots of different schools (as far afield as Moscow!) and have a variety of tried and tested events and activities for years reception up to year 6 including:
Interactive quiz/drama/stories
Becoming an Author  
Reluctant Readers/Writers
Able Writers Days
Differentiated workshops for years 1-6, including
Fractured Fairytales
Fairy Tale Crimes Court Case
Writing in Rhyme
Reporting

I can customize any event to meet your needs, and all include readings and a Q&A, and also book or postcard signings if desired. I now also offer the option of collating and showcasing all the pupils' work (from all ages) into a "Daily Mirror Mirror" Fairy Tale Newspaper!

If you’d like me to visit your school or library please click here to use my contact form to discuss fees and dates. 





Monday, 25 November 2013

EXCITING NEWS!! Fairy Tale Twists - The BALLET!

EXCITING NEWS!! 
THE THREE MAGIC MICE from my Fairy Tale Twists series (published by Orchard Books) is being transformed into a ballet! 
The fabulous Balletomane, a self-funded company of volunteer dancers (many of whom have non-dance related careers, from architects to social workers!) are dedicated to bringing ballet to those with limited access to the theatre, and will perform their new ballet in public libraries free of charge to children aged 5-7 in the new year, even offering post performance workshops during which children will explore story-telling and literacy themes through movement and dance.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to a rehearsal and have to say I was completely blown away! They are just fantastic, I was so impressed by their talent and professionalism, and I am so honoured that they've chosen one of my books. It really was just magical watching the characters come to life in the sneaky peek I saw, and I cannot wait to see the whole performance - do let me know if you'd like them to perform at a library near you!! The ballet is already fully choreographed, however they are in desperate need of funds for costume, sets, props and transport, and this is how you can help! Click here for more details


What They Need & What You Get

They are aiming to raise £2000 through this indiegogo campaign:

28 sets of costumes

Back cloths and sets
Props
Transport -- for the sets and costumes 
to and from performances
They appreciate any help they can get, and as a token of thanks, have some fantastic perks lined up, including signed pointe shoes from company members, and a chance to watch their dress rehearsal and meet and greet dancers.  

About Balletomane
Balletomane was established in 2005, dedicated to bringing free, in-house classical ballet performances to those who are elderly, disabled, with limited access to the theatre, or suffering from illness or financial hardship. We bring performances to many places in Greater London, such as elderly care homes, disabled groups, specialist schools and public libraries.

Since the founding of the company, we have performed The Nutcracker (2006 - 2008) and The Sleeping Beauty (2009 - 2012), to various libraries and schools in the Greater London area. The performances and workshops have always been free for the audience as our aim is to bring ballet to those who would not be able to access it otherwise.

The company is currently self-funded. Our members are volunteers and many have non-dance related careers. We meet every weekend to rehearse, and the company members all contribute to the hiring of weekly rehearsal space. Any surplus goes towards other costs such as costumes and props. Therefore any donations are very gratefully received.

For The Three Magic Mice, we would like to bring the highest level of performance to our audience. We are therefore setting up this campaign to raise funds so we can put on our most spectacular show ever.









Friday, 22 November 2013

Stockport's Mad About Books!

I am incredibly thrilled and honoured to announce that my novel Someone Else's Life was awarded the Stockport Mad About Books Award for Key Stage 4. It's my first award, and my first novel, and the result was strictly embargoed until the night - then announced at the most glitzy Oscar-like ceremony I've ever seen. It was truly incredible, with prizes awarded to pupils whose reading had improved the most, as well as authors and illustrators.
A red carpet led up to the entrance of the gorgeous Plaza Theatre in Stockport, which was soon filled with hundreds of pupils from surrounding schools, their teachers and librarians, members of the council, and even the mayor, all dressed to the nines, so of COURSE I had to buy a new dress too (When else am I going to get to wear a dress like that?), coming together to celebrate the joy of reading.
It was breath-taking, and made all the more special by the fact that the winning books were voted for by the pupils themselves - and the prizes were a works of art created by the pupils, inspired by the winning books.
With Rit McErlean, who announced the award, and Natasha Brierley,
 the artist who created the prize artwork for Someone Else's Life.
It was clear that the real champions of the evening were books and reading - and what a thrill that was, in contrast to the library closures happening in so many towns around the country. I am in awe of Stockport council, schools and librarians, for valuing books so highly, for engaging pupils with them so creatively, and for orchestrating a truly special evening - one I'll remember for the rest of my life.
With other Winners: Thomas Taylor (The Pets You Get), 
Christopher Edge (Twelve Minutes to Midnight), 
the ever-glamorous legend, Jeanne Willis (Hippospotamus,
 with Tony Ross not pictured) & Matt Dickinson (Mortal Chaos)


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Hair Loss, Spinal Taps and Oscars!

Two years ago, when I was researching my first book, Someone Else's Life, which centres on a teenager whose mother dies of Huntington's disease, I was invited to attend the Huntington's Disease Association's Annual General Meeting, where I was overwhelmed by the courage, hope and kindness of everyone I met. I'd been anxious that they'd see me as some kind of imposter - no one in my family has Huntington's - but instead they were incredibly grateful that I was writing about Huntington's, hopeful that my book would help raise awareness of this little-known illness, and generously told me their stories and gave me advice and support. 
So this year I was thrilled to be able to give something back. Someone Else's Life is dedicated to people affected by Huntington's disease and their families, and I felt it only fitting that part of my advance for the novel should go to help those people - in particular the HDA - in gratitude for the help they gave me when I was researching my book, and in recognition of the amazing work they do for families with Huntington's disease. 
One of the questions I most often get asked is why I decided to write about Huntington's disease in the first place, and the truth is it was almost by accident. For the purposes of my plot I began researching various genetic illnesses, and and stumbled upon Huntington’s disease, a hereditary condition with symptoms similar to the physical effects of Parkinson’s plus the mental decline of Alzheimer’s. 
Having never heard of Huntington's before, I was especially surprised to discover that while there are around 6,000 reported cases in the UK there may actually be up to twice as many cases, because people often hide their condition, are mis-diagnosed, or even decide not to be tested.
Why? Because there is no cure.
This got me thinking. What would Rosie do? 
What would I do, if I were at risk?
What would you do? 
Suddenly, Huntington’s disease became the beating heart at the centre of my story, which consequently evolved into a  much deeper, more emotional tale about secrets and lies, devastating ethical decisions, the complexities of family, and the enduring strength of love through any adversity.
Talking to and meeting with people affected by HD really made me realise that while the disease itself is devastating, it doesn’t define you. It’s how you choose to deal with it that counts – they’re some of the most inspiring and courageous people I’ve ever met. And last Saturday was no exception. The mood was overwhelmingly upbeat, there was much excitement and nervousness when one brave lady had all her lovely locks shaved off to raise money, and at the end of the day everyone got together and dressed up for an Oscars-themed dinner party - complete with a mini awards ceremony! The phenomenal Matt Ellison, who himself has Huntington's disease, won an award in recognition for his hard work in setting up the Huntington's Disease Youth Organisation - in between all his many marathons. Matt tirelessly campaigns for awareness and fundraises for the HDA and is a true inspiration.
Another "Oscar"winner was the engaging and charismatic Dr Ed Wild, who's tirelessly searching for a cure for Huntington's disease, whilst taking the time to run the HD Buzz website to explain all the medical-speak in plain language. He even posted live tweets during a lumbar puncture/spinal tap to reassure and encourage others to do the same (spinal fluid is extremely useful for HD research). There have been some extremely exciting developments recently, and hopes are high for a cure within the next few years.
And the HDA even kindly gave me an "Oscar" for writing the best book about HD - beating Ian McEwan's Saturday, which features a villain who has Huntington's disease.
The "Oscar" now sits in pride of place in my living room.  
The HDA do an incredible job supporting families affected by HD - and to those families they're a godsend. Because the disease is thought to be so rare, and little heard of, there is very little government support, and even GPs don't always spot the symptoms or know how to deal with people affected. If understanding and awareness of HD grows, hopefully so too will support and funding for sufferers, their families, and the search for a cure.
I hope to help raise awareness and funds with Someone Else's Life, and in addition to the cheque, I will be donating £1 for every copy of Someone Else's Life sold at my launch events for my new book, Little White Lies, this week:
Thursday 17th October Waterstones Islington 6pm 
Saturday 19th October Heffers, Cambridge 4pm
Do pop by if you're free, it'd be lovely to see you x

About the Huntington’s Disease Association 
The Huntington’s Disease Association is a UK registered charity which exists to support people affected by the disease and to provide information and advice to professionals who support Huntington’s disease families. The HDA is financed through the generosity of trusts, foundations, the statutory and corporate sectors, branches of the HDA, members and friends. Find out more at hda.org.uk




Monday, 16 September 2013

BLOGTOUR - Out of Office!


Hello lovelies!


Until October I am away on tour!
(Blogtour, that is!)
Here is a guide to the lovely bloggers who have invited me over for a cuppa and a chat, and it'd be lovely if you'd join us.
Otherwise, feel free to have a nosy around my Children's Books, YA Books, Reviews or Story So Far - or if you'd like to Get In Touch, I'd love to hear from you.
Oh, and if you could feed my blogfish (below, left) before you go, that'd be lovely.

See you soon!

Katie x

Monday, 9 September 2013

BLOGTOUR Stop 2 - Interview with Dark Franny...

Do join me on Stop 2 on the LITTLE WHITE LIES BLOGTOUR over at                       Mind Reader blog, where I'm interviewed by the fabulous Dark Franny...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Little White Lies BLOGTOUR!

I'm thrilled to announce the LITTLE WHITE LIES Blogtour! Many lovely bloggers have agreed that I can drop in on their fab blogs this month for a cuppa and a chat - and it'd be great if you could join us!
Kicking off the action is Jodie at Books For Company with a first-look sneak peek!

My Blog List

Read Chapter 1

 
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