Goodreads, dry gardens, and a visit from Trinity

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Children's Stories, Promotion, Writing Process, Zambia4 Comments

A delightful visitor – the best of my readers and reviewers

I had an unexpected and delightful visit yesterday from Trinity. She arrived holding my book Dust and Rain. She is busy reading it and wanted to ask me some questions. Let me tell you that this is one of the best things that can happen to a writer. We need our readers and reviewers and we depend on them to say what they think about our stories.

If they enjoy them we hope that they will tell other people about them. If they don’t like them we need to know so that we can write a better story next time.

Trinity’s sensible parents have asked that I don’t use a photo of her but she is talking to me in this picture and I hope you can see I’m listening.

Names, how to say them and their meanings

Trinity said that she wasn’t sure how to say the names of the characters because she had not heard African names before. I explained that they are said phonetically as they are spelt and that made me think that the next book I write with African names in it may need to have a little explanation added to it for readers and reviewers. So thank you Trinity for telling me something so important.

I told her why the bad man in the story is called Mr Wabenzi. It is because he is rich and owns a Mercedes-Benz automobile so Mr ‘Wabenzi’ is the owner of a Benz car. I showed Trinity the first drawings I made for the story. Some of them are included in the book now.

How people live in different places

Trinity was also surprised and shocked to read that some poor people in Africa use old car tyres and plastic bottles to make fires to cook their food. I think the story was interesting because it told how people live in different places. I am hoping that Trinity will go to my website and ask me more questions about the book when she is back in England.

Trinity has a teacher who is interested in the environment and climate change and she is also taking part in a reading challenge. I’m sure she will do very well in it.

This morning Trinity came to see me again. She has finished the book and enjoyed it very much. She did say that I could have made it into two books or a series of books each ending on a cliffhanger. I think that is another good idea and I said that the book would make a very good adventure series for television – maybe one day?

My dry garden and almost empty water butt with a wheelbarrow full of weeds that I allowed to grow to keep the ground cool and provide a few flowers for insects

Drought-stricken gardens and good reads

Trinity and I sat in my poor dry garden. The drought we are suffering is the result of climate change.

When Trinity has finished reading about Chipo and Chibwe the heroes of Dust and Rain, I will want to ask her if she thought it helped her understand what happens in climate change and also if it makes her feel that there are positive and helpful actions she can take to change it.

If my book does that – then it is a good read.

Readers and reviewers

Please, anybody reading this blog post – help spread the word about this book and climate change: subscribe to my website, go to Goodreads, and rate and review my book. That helps my book reach readers who care about our planet.

Thank you, Trinity, and thank you, my readers!

4 Comments on “Goodreads, dry gardens, and a visit from Trinity”

    1. Ruth Hartley

      Hello Marianne
      We miss you too! We had a meal at your old house here on tuesday evening so of course we were thinking about you and wondering what you are doing and when we would see you again! Love from us all here in labatut!

  1. Mel O'Gorman Davies

    It is always really useful and wonderful to have the target audience age group review ones work and make suggestions. Trinity sounds like a very switched on young person. Her suggestion of a three book series sounds like a good one. Wishing you a fruitful time developing the next two lovely books.

    1. Ruth Hartley

      You are so right Mel and this is exactly what I want to happen. My website has been set up with the good advice of two other children in South Africa about how to make it attractive, friendly and easy to use. I do need readers from my target audience. Please spread the word if you can! By the way – has the copy I sent you arrived yet? If not – I’ll send another.Thanks for your comment.

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