ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Well, It's Not Golf But...

I'm really proud of this. I'm now a children's book writer!

The Krilt's Secret Weapon cover imageSeveral months ago our local children's librarian convinced me to try writing some easy reader-type adventure books that would appeal particularly to boys. What I came up with is a sort of halfway point between easy readers and chapter books. I'm particularly happy because they sound more like adult books -- no "See Spot run. Run, Spot, run!"

The first book is a science-fiction story called The Krilt's Secret Weapon. It stars Captain Nexus and his first mate, Scopes, as they go on a mission to destroy a new secret weapon that threatens the Border Space Worlds. However, they're in for a surprise...

Most publishers say that kids don't read science fiction until around the 4th or 5th grade. My friend at the public library would disagree. Star Wars is incredibly popular with those young guys. I wanted to blend the idea of old movie serials with more modern serious SF (which can be written for this age group btw), so Captain Nexus is a blend of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, while I patterned Scopes after Doc Savage.

My "first grade novels" have a mostly first-grade vocabulary with two or three "advanced" words that the kids would know if they heard them. The books are between 2000 and 2500 words long -- longer than an easy reader, but nowhere near as long as a chapter book -- with chapters that are no more than 400 words long. (That's about the length of a short story for that age group.) And the books have a few full-color illustrations to ease the transition from picture-heavy books to text-heavy ones.

According to the librarian, I "nailed" the reading level. And they still sound "adult enough" that she said they might even work as hi-lo books, which are what adult literacy classes use.

The Krilt's Secret Weapon is available at Amazon for the Kindle, BN.com for the Nook, and at Smashwords in a variety of formats, all priced at $2.99. I'm writing my kids' books under the pen name Mick Michaels to keep them separate from my golf books, and I plan to have a special PDF version available at the Mick Michaels site as soon as I finish the site. (I'll have a link to it in this blog's sidebar once the site's up and running.) It's not available in paper yet simply because the color pictures would make it too expensive, but the librarian said that the kids were more eager to read on a computer anyway. What a surprise, huh?

So that's my newest project. See, I don't expect you to live and breathe golf... and I don't either. Smiley Faces

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