Creating a Children’s Book Series

This post is written by Fiona Ingram as part of the blog tour for her latest book, The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. For more about Fiona or to join her blog tour, check out the information here.


Developing a children’s series is both rewarding and taxing for the author, and possibly gratefully welcomed by parents whose children suddenly discover a hero they can relate to and whose actions keep them riveted. Isn’t it wonderful when a child begs, nay, commands its parents to go out and buy the next in a favorite series because they ‘absolutely must know’ what is going to happen next? There are many children’s series currently on the market and perhaps many adults are reading them as well as their children.

Developing a children’s series is not an exact science and not a guaranteed road to writing success.

Sometimes an author will start out with an idea, and try to stretch the story over several books, but to no avail. They discover that when a story is done… it’s done! On the other hand, an author may find that the story takes off and grows into something that spills over the last two words (“The End”) and shapes itself into another and then another and then another book, before winding down to a great final climax. Yet another scenario is when the author creates a set of characters that have several adventures, each one clearly contained with a storyline. The characters have a particular history or set of circumstances to retain the familiarity for readers who keep coming back for more action.

Can a writer tell if the story has the potential for a series?

The plot will evolve naturally if the characters are appealing, and if their personal growth and development hold readers’ attention. Again, appealing characters are not worth anything if the action and conflict are not compelling. There must be a perfect marriage between plot and characters to sustain the strength of a series.

So why do children love an exciting series?

A gifted author will be able to create characters that readers can relate to, and either love or hate. The readers get to know the characters well as the action evolves and, as each book comes out, can explore something new about their heroes. Characters become friends to the avid young reader, who shares in the hopes, dreams and choices the characters make. Readers are amazingly loyal to their favorite characters, even though they may often disagree with the characters’ choices. A good writer can explore these further, enabling readers to begin to make their own choices, especially in a moral dilemma or emotional conflict.

Parents who make the time to read with their children, or who are interested in their children’s book choices, will be able to discuss these issues further. It’s a great way of dealing with ‘sticky’ issues because the discussion is less focused on the child and more on a fictional character. It may be easier for a child to express an opinion if discussing a topic via a character’s choices.

Sensible advice to writers

There are many good reasons why a first-time author should NOT start out with a series. But wait a moment, I hear you ask, aren’t you marketing your own books in a series. Yes, although I hadn’t planned on that initially. I thought I’d create lots of exciting, unrelated adventures for my heroes. But just after the halfway mark in Book One, things changed and the mythology behind the story grew and grew into almost a story on its own.

It was then that I surrendered and said to the characters, “Okay, you win, it’s a series.” Whereupon they all burst into mad cheering, especially the ones who made it into Book Two.

Perhaps writers shouldn’t set out to ‘create’ a series but rather let an original good story develop, allowing the characters and plot potential to determine the result.

FionaIngram.jpg (1)

About the Author

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle-grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book,

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! She also teaches online novel writing for aspiring authors and she finds that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds her enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. She loves doing research for her book series. Fiona loves animals and has written two animal rescue stories. She has two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

You can find Fiona at –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/

Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram

Using Computers to Improve Reading Skills

The following post is by Fiona Ingram and part of a blog tour promoting her new book, The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. To join the blog tour, see the list of dates posted here.


What makes children want to read, and how do parents encourage them to read, especially in a world where there is a dizzying array of technological devices to draw them away from the printed word. How can one make reading fun in a media driven world where social media and technology have such an impact on the
simple act of reading?

Digital and visual literacies are the new wave of communication specialization. Most people will have technologies readily available not only to communicate but also to create, to manipulate, to design, to self-actualize. Children learn these skills as part of their lives, like language which they learn without realizing they are learning it. Our children are natives of cyberspace—they are digitally well informed. The greatest challenge is moving beyond the glitz and pizzazz of flashy technology to teach true literacy in this new milieu, without losing hold of the basic building blocks of reading the old-fashioned way.

There are many creative ways to get kids to rediscover reading and one of them is by engaging them with something all kids understand: computers.

Many parents see computers as an obstacle to children reading the printed word. Many parents also fear that their children will lose out on the tactile pleasure of handling a real book, of learning to love and cherish firm favorites, and that their concentration will be affected by the instant gratification of technology-driven devices. This is also true where children show distinct signs of illiteracy yet can instantly manage to work a cell phone and tap into the sub-language that defines texting. However, some novel and fun ways of using technology creatively will get kids right where parents want them—reading! Parents can use computers to get kids more interested in reading by letting them create their own ‘books’ and projects.

Empower Your Child

Kids love playing around on computers so turn the idea of reading around—let them create their own story, become an author. What could be more empowering! This will allow them ‘ownership’ of the story, and that’s an irresistible challenge for any child.

Creative Thinking

The subject can be about them, an incident, or a fictitious character. They’ll not just create it but illustrate it (either their own drawings or using free images available from the Internet), design it and print it out. Parents will be amazed at what happens once the child takes charge of their own project. You can help your child develop the story, getting them to write it out first by hand, and then going through it several times (maybe another family member can also give their input). They can then create the project on the computer.

Share the Results

When their book project is finished, parents can suggest the child hand it in to their grade teacher for inclusion in the school magazine or newspaper. Or perhaps it can be a gift for a grandparent or family member. You could even have it properly bound at a local stationer.

Offer Praise

Praise and success are incredibly motivating factors in any child’s development. They’ll automatically feel inspired to achieve more. Now parents can introduce new activities that show printed books in a very novel light.

Read Together

This is a good time to find a book you both like and, besides reading together, ask your child to suggest alternative actions on the part of certain characters, asking if they agree on how the story is unfolding, and how they would have written the characters’ actions if they disagree. Encouraging a thought process will make your child feel their opinion counts. Once the book is finished, have your child create their own ‘review’ on the computer, print it out and either post or email it to your local bookshop or library. Imagine their pride and delight if the review is published in a local newspaper or put up on the library notice board.

Wonderful Websites

Most successful children’s books and book series have websites with interesting aspects to explore. Is the series set in a real or fantasy place? Do the characters have important choices to make? Don’t be afraid to let your child get onto the computer and read all about the series, the author, the movie, the actors, the settings, and the characters. Ask your child questions about what they have learned and praise their research.

Far from being an obstacle to reading, computers can enable children to think creatively in producing their own literary projects. Taking ownership of something unique and special will encourage a child’s confidence and inspire them to read and research more. Parents can assist their child to achieve the desired results by helping with practical aspects of the book project, by praising their child’s efforts, by involving other family members or teachers, and by reading together with their child.


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About the Author

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle-grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book,

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! She also teaches online novel writing for aspiring authors and she finds that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds her enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. She loves doing research for her book series. Fiona loves animals and has written two animal rescue stories. She has two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

You can find Fiona at –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/

Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram

Fiona Ingram’s Blog Tour for The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

Good morning readers! If you have been following me long, you know that I have been involved in a blog tour before that promoted another writer’s work. A blog tour is like a traveling book tour, but all the traveling happens across blogs. The writer writes specific posts and shares them across the participating blogs, bloggers read and post reviews of his/her book, and promoters get the word out about the tour for a lot of people to come and see it. I was a bit skeptical to get started, to be honest, because I am very protective of you and the voice of the message(s) I share with you. Nevertheless, the tours afford me the opportunity to introduce myself to people who would not have found me otherwise. I have taken a chance on them with writers I felt were worth the effort, and I have not been disappointed.

Fiona Ingram’s blog tour starts this week and I can’t be more excited about this author! I’m so excited, that I am writing this extra post outside of the ones I agreed upon just to tell you about her. 

I have a lot of respect for writers–especially children’s book authors. I have a lot of respect for Fiona because she also adopted a child. Her adopted child will be stopping by to share her story on my blog about her “paper mom”. You don’t want to miss it. Check out the blog tour listed below and stay tuned to the posts forthcoming on my blogs from this author.


 

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR OF The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

Tour Begins August 13th

Book Summary

A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

 

Print Length: 318 Pages

Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Adventure

Publisher: Bublish, Incorporated (November 2017)

ISBN: 978-1946229465

 

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

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About the Author

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle-grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book,

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! She also teaches online novel writing for aspiring authors and she finds that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds her enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. She loves doing research for her book series. Fiona loves animals and has written two animal rescue stories. She has two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

 

You can find Fiona at –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/

Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram

 

— Blog Tour Dates


Today @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning with coffee than a muffin? Grab your cup of morning brew and join us today when we celebrate the launch of Fiona Ingram’s book, The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.  You can read our interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

 

August 14th @ Write Like Crazy

Make sure you stop by Mary Jo’s blog Write Like Crazy where Fiona Ingram talks about why your child doesn’t like reading and how to fix this.

http://www.writelikecrazy.com

 

August 15th @ Girl Zombie Authors

Come by Christine’s blog where Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts on writing about different places for kids.

https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/

 

August 16th @ Jessica Samuel’s Blog

Come by Jessica’s blog today where Fiona Ingram talks about how to transform your non-reader into a reader.

https://jessicasamuelsauthor.com/

 

August 19th @ Madeline Sharples’ Blog

Stop by Madeline’s blog today where author Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts with young writers on writing and creating characters.

http://madelinesharples.com/

 

August 20th @ Mari’s #JournalingPower Blog

Stop by Mari’s blog where author Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts on developing characters that children will relate to.

https://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog

 

August 20th @ Bairn’s Bard

Stop by Rebecca’s blog Bairn’s Bard today where you can read a post by Fiona Ingram’s daughter and also you can read about Rebecca’s thoughts on the book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

https://bairnsbard.wordpress.com/

 

August 21st @ Cover2Cover Blog

Stop by Steph’s Cover2Cover where you can read Fiona Ingram’s blog post about choosing books for your kids.

http://cover2coverblog.blogspot.com/

 

August 22nd @ Look to the Western Sky

Come by Margo Dill’s blog Look to the Western Sky where Fiona Ingram writes about her experiences fostering (and later adopting) an illiterate African child who is now a lovely young woman who loves reading.

http://margoldill.com/

 

August 22nd @ A New Look on Books

Come by Rae’s blog where Fiona Ingram writes about the joy of writing for children.

https://anewlookonbooks.com/

 

August 26th @ Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi

Come by Karen’s blog where Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts on how to encourage your kids to start writing.

http://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/

 

August 27th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??

Stop by Ashley’s blog where Fiona Ingram talks about helping kids read better with homeschooling. A must read as school is about to start!

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

 

August 27th @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog

Come by Rebecca’s blog where you can read Fiona Ingram’s post about using computers to improve reading skills.

https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com

 

August 28th @ Jennifer’s Deals

Stop by Jennifer’s blog where she shares what she her thoughts about Fiona Ingram’s incredible middle grade adventure book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

https://www.jennifers-deals2.com/

 

August 29th @ Jill Sheets Blog

Stop by Jill’s blog where she reviews The Temple of the  Crystal Timekeeper and shares what she thinks about the book.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

 

August 30th @ Story Teller Alley

Visit Veronica’s blog and check out her thoughts on the book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

http://storytelleralley.com/blog

 

August 31st @ Mommy Daze: Say What??

Make sure you stop by Ashley’s blog again where she shares her thoughts on Fiona Ingram’s book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

 

August 31st @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog

Stop by Rebecca’s blog again where you can read Fiona Ingram’s post about writing a children series.

https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

 

September 1st @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy’s blog today where Fiona Ingram shares the top ten things you never knew about Mexico!

https://c-c-hall.com/

 

September 2nd @ Break Even Books

Come by Erik’s blog Break Even Books where Fiona Ingram talks about how to make your books both enjoyable and educational.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

 

September 3rd @ Beverly A. Baird’s Blog

Join us over at Beverly A. Barid’s blog where author Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts on developing a children’s series.

http://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

 

September 4th @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Make sure to come by Cathy’s blog again where she shares her thoughts on Fiona Ingram’s book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

https://c-c-hall.com/

 

September 5th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog

Come by Jill’s blog today where Fiona Ingram shares her thoughts on writing for children.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

 

September 5th @ Ali’s Bookshelf

Stop by Ali’s blog where Fiona Ingram talks about whether books can help children cope with life.

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com

 

September 7th @ Beverly A. Baird’s Blog

Join us at Beverly’s blog again for her thoughts on Fiona Ingram’s adventurous book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

http://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

 

September 7th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Stop by Anthony’s Blog where you can read Fiona Ingram’s post about why a book series is so good for non-readers.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

 

September 9th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Make sure to check out Anthony’s blog again where you can read his thoughts on Fiona Ingram’s book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

 

September 10th @ Misadventures with Andi

Come by Andi’s blog where you can read Fiona Ingram’s post about why children love reading about other countries and cultures.

https://misadventureswithandi.com/

 

September 10th @ Whitman’s Academics

Stop by Rebecca’s blog where Fiona Ingram’s talks about turning a non-reader into a reader.

https://whitmansacademics.wordpress.com/

 

September 12th@ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog where she reviews Fiona Ingram’s book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

September 13th @ Coffee With Lacey

Be sure to stop by again when Lacey interviews author Fiona Ingram and chats about her newest book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

September 14th @ World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog where she shares her opinion about Fiona Ingram’s middle-grade fiction book The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

 

September 15th @ Story Teller Alley

Stop by Veronica’s blog Story Teller Alley to read Fiona Ingram’s post on how she came about to write the series The Chronicles of the Stone. 

http://storytelleralley.com/blog