Woohoo! I am super excited to have award-winning children's resilience author, Karen Tyrrell, joining me once again, to delve this time, into the benefits and learning possibilities of her Song Bird Superhero, Book 1 in the Song Bird Series. With a fabulous cover design by Trevor Salter, Song Bird Superhero is an action-packed comedy superhero adventure for children between 7-12.
Rosella Bird’s nightly dreams are filled with flying. Too bad her waking hours are a living nightmare:
Her flying inventions crash.
Her kooky parents are overprotective.
Her singing shatters windows.
The principal bans her from the science fair.
Worst of all, she lives next door to Frank Furter, an evil boy-genius whose sights are set on seeing her fail!
Rosella is the girl least likely to soar, and yet when she learns to sing something incredible takes flight. Rosella becomes Song Bird, a flying superhero who saves the day.
Can Song Bird defeat Frank Furter’s evil bullying ways?
All of Rosie’s Superpowers are explained by STEM science. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. It’s the NEW buzz subject at school that kids LOVE to engage in.
Hi Karen and welcome.
Karen, I’ve enjoyed your books in your resilience series, Jo-Kin. What has been your inspiration for writing Song Bird Superhero?
Song Bird Superhero is a humorous adventure story inspired by how I empowered myself as a bullied girl. I joined the school choir where singing boosted my self-confidence and self-belief. Then I discovered how much FUN hands-on science was.
2. You have learnt about mental health and resilience yourself through your own experiences. Is this why you write the stories with these resilience themes?
I’ve overcome bullying and PTSD using humour as a powerful coping skill. Kids need powerful stories that touch their hearts and their funny bone.
I don’t want kids to experience bullying. So I write positive books that connect with kids. I created a pantomime script for Song Bird which I perform as FUN interactive story with music, props, costumes and prizes for best superhero or a winged creature. Afterwards kids complete SUPER fun crafty activities.
I perform Song Bird at schools, libraries and festivals.
I’m thrilled so many child mental health organizations, teachers and schools have endorsed my humorous books: Bailey Beats the Blah, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, STOP the Bully, Jo-Kin Battles the It, Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra and now … Song Bird Superhero.
That is brilliant, Karen.
3. What inspired you to come up with using Rosellas in your story?
Crimson Rosellas are striking birds displaying bright red and blue plumage, the same colours as superheroes. I shortened Rosella Ava Bird’s funny name to Rosie, giving her a relatable name for the reader.
To add to the humour, Rosella comes from a family of birds. Her dad, Mr Bird is Ozzie ostrich, the fastest runner on earth, but he’s scared of heights. Mrs Bird is a clucky Little Red Hen type of Health and Safety officer. Rosie’s sister Raven is a punk-rock singer, singing on Song Star with Rosie.
4. How long have you been working on this book? What was the motivating factor for writing Song Bird?
From birth to publication it took a year to write Song Bird Superhero. I wanted to write a FUN entertaining adventure story that kids would love. At the same time, kids would learn positive messages that kids can do anything … if they believe.
Thank you so much, for joining me on my blog today.
Why don't you check out the FREE Teacher Resources and kids' activities, AND the Song Bird Giveaway below...
FREE Teacher Resources and kids’ activities for Song Bird!
Includes STEM science, creative writing, flying history, art, craft, maths, literacy, drama, social skills and bully prevention. Download HERE.
Song Bird Superhero is now available in bookshops & on Amazon in print & eBook HERE.
Song Bird Book Giveaway
Let’s celebrate the release of Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell on Amazon.
Comment below to win a FREE signed stamped “Limited Edition” of Song Bird. Giveaway closes on October 20. Good luck!
Answer this question: Why do you want to win Song Bird Superhero?
WIN Limited Edition on the Blog Tour. Finishes 6pm 2th October 2016Alison Stegert Blog … Write a superhero story with a relatable hero HERE
Melissa Wray Blog… World Building … How to Build a Fantasy World HERE
Jill Smith Blog… Review of Song Bird Superhero HERE
Just Write For Kids Blog … How to write Positive Books for kids HERE
by Megan Higginson
Writing a story, I have found, can be exhilarating. Creating new characters, new worlds even, and sending them out on adventures is a fascinating process. But then there are times where it can come all unstuck. A scene is bogged down and you don’t know why; your male hero sounds very effeminate; your female heroine is acting out of character; or you just can't seem to move the scene forward. How can you get yourself out of the mess you find yourself in? At a recent writer’s group, we tried out one way—acting out the scene.
According to Shelly from Keystrokes and Close Doors in her blog Writing Tips- Acting Out Your Scene, “If you are having writers block in a scene, acting it out is a useful tool to get passed it. When you act out the dialogue and portray a character it can fuel the action within the scene and help you break passed your creative wall. This is because when you get really into it you may discover other things you character might say that propel the story along or even the responses of other characters to what you are doing.”
"When you act out the dialogue and portray a character it can fuel the action within the scene and help you break past your creative wall."
This especially helpful—and lots of fun I might add—when your characters are not humans. Ester had a scene in her current W.I.P. (Work in Progress) Gnerk.
To do this properly Ester:
In the end it was only minor things. But they were so important to the text and the understanding of what was happening. It was also important to increase the tension. So acting it out and discussing it, we found small ways to achieve that goal. An addition of a movement of a person here, slowing the pace here, changing what another character does in another spot, changing what someone says, all made an impact on the scene overall.
I have found myself doing this as I work on my own mss. So whether it is a picture book or a novel, it is so helpful to at the very least, read your work out loud. It is even better to act it out. You may find in the process the very action/dialogue/description that your scene was lacking, and boost its impact on your story.
If I ever write a fantasy novel, I think I'll join the local L.A.R.P. (Live Action Role Playing) society. Now that would be fun.
Good luck, and happy writing.
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Books for certain readers can be intimidating and overwhelming. My daughter, Ashlyn (21) has Dyslexia. (I interviewed her about how dyslexia effects her here.) Even though I read to her from a baby, gave her own books, her own library card and she has always read, she would feel intimidated by large books. For example, the whole volume set of The Chronicles of Narnia my children bought me one year, or Lord of the Rings. She would take one look and run to the proverbial hills.
I am a proponent that you need to keep encouraging children to keep 'tasting' different books. Eventually, they will find one that they will devour, gain confidence and keep going. And this is the key—confidence.
My daughter and I recently watched the entire Harry Potter movie series. She enjoyed them so much she bought the book series. We have always made it a habit to discuss the books that we are currently reading. We discuss the things we love, the things we hate, and the things we don’t understand.
From the first book, Ashlyn raved about how Joanne’s descriptions transported her into the world of Harry Potter. It made her feel compassion for Harry, and she got to know and love other characters like the Weasley family, Hermione Granger, and Hagrid.
Intrigued, as I had not read the series, I said once she had finished with the first book, I would read it. I am normally a fast reader, and she reads slowly (it took her a year to read Black Beauty). We both figured I would be waiting for her to finish the next book. (It has happened before). We also had planned when I finished the book we would watch the movie together. The race was on. (You may have followed our race on Twitter or Facebook).
And so, together, we entered the world of Harry Potter.
To both of our surprise, Ashlyn was the one waiting for me to finish—rather impatiently too, I might add. I have reasons as to why I wasn’t reading as fast as usual: blogging; re-working two picture book manuscripts and getting them ready for submission; work; and working on my first novel.
Still, it came as a surprise to both of us how she was tearing through these books. By the time Ashlyn had consumed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (190,637 words), she was ready to tackle Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (257,045 words). Ashlyn is currently reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at a mere 168,923 words. Stats from Wordcounter.
She has caught herself shaking her head in surprise at the thickness of the novels that used to intimidate her. Now, to her sheer amazement she is looking forward to tackling those same thick volumes. That is an achievement worth celebrating. Woohoo! Happy dancing!
This brings me to my first point—keep encouraging children to 'taste' different books. Eventually, they will find one that they will want to devour. They will gain confidence and go on with reading. And this is the key—for them to gain the confidence. You can read more on my blog, '10 Practical Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers.'
Ashlyn explained to me that part of her problem (lack of reading confidence) began in primary school. As she had difficulty with reading and comprehension, she was placed on a low reading level. One day she found a fiction book about Alexander the Great that interested her. However, as it was above her (then) current reading level, she was told that it was too hard for her and she was to pick something else.
From that point on, Ashlyn said that it was as if they had put her in a box. Then she put herself in the same box with a tag that said, ‘You are too stupid to read that. It’s too hard’. It is only as she has gotten older and realised what had happened, and she knows that she is smart and capable of learning and reading, she is no longer restrained by the negative thinking that held her back for so long.
Don’t get me wrong. She has always enjoyed reading, just not the thick books.
So the Harry Potter race continues, though no longer at the frantic pace that it began. I know Ashlyn will finish the next book quickly and be on to the last book in no time. As for me, I will sit back and be happy that she has discovered that she does not need to be intimidated by a thick book, and now she can even enjoy them.
Now excuse me, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is calling me.
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You can find more about me, and read my children's stories at Creative Kids Tales
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