Tue

13

Mar

2018

THANKS FOR THE MEMORY!

 

Oh my goodness, look what I came across when doing some research on YouTube this morning: the video of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the British Isles and Ireland 2015! I was thrilled to be shortlisted for this award and honoured to see MINTY in such exalted company. Seeing the accompanying video at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference that November was a terrific surprise, but I must confess that I was too excited to truly absorb its content. Now, thanks to the lovely people at SCWBI, I can watch it as often as I like (writing time permitting!)!

 

Massive thanks to narrator Dom Comlon and to Addy Farmer for her beautiful words about MINTY, and congratulations to winner Clare Furniss and the other shortlisted authors. Yes, I realise this is 2018 and I should have posted about the award ages ago, but better late than never. Right? 

 

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Sun

28

Aug

2016

SILVER LININGS

Minty in Waterstones, Kirkcaldy
Minty in Waterstones, Kirkcaldy

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men 

Gang aft agley...

 

The above quote is from one of my favourite Robert Burns' poems, To A Mouse, in which he talks of how even the best of plans can go off course. 

 

I had lots of plans for this summer: meeting friends and family, book bloggers and fellow writers; plus attending several events at the Edinburgh Festival, and the book festival in particular (which coincided with a picnic to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Happy Anniversary, SCWBI!). However, life intervened which left me strapped for time, even for writing, so I’ve had to put my plans on hold. Nevertheless, I hope I’ll manage along to at least one of the things I’ve been looking forward to because, I admit, I’ve been feeling a wee bit low about my plans going astray. Then something wonderful happened – or somethings. Let me explain.

 

I’m sure that I’m no different to other authors when I say that I love getting feedback on my book. The thing is, though, my novel Minty was published two years ago so my expectations of readers noticing it amongst all the amazing new books that are being published weekly have diminished with each month that passes. Of course, in this I’m no different to anyone else who’s had a novel published. To be honest, that can be difficult to comes to terms with but then again it’s just the way things are.

 

So imagine my surprise when I received an email from a lovely reader who told me how much he loved Minty and that - and I quote - The ending was terrific and I was tearful. Thanks again for a much needed book about a subject that will touch us all.” 

 

Wow! That really lifted my mood. 

 

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Fri

31

Jul

2015

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL SCBWI PANEL - HOW TO SURVIVE BEING PUBLISHED

The EIBF in Charlotte Square
The EIBF in Charlotte Square


I expect most people are aware of the Edinburgh International Book Festival which takes place in Scotland's capital city every August. For me the book fest is one the highlights of the year, and the end of July always brings with it that delicious tingle of anticipation at the literary excitement to come. This year I have even more reason to be excited because I've been asked to be part of a very special event on August 20th: the Edinburgh International Book Festival SCBWI panel - How To Survive Being Published. Yes I know - I'm one of the panelists, can you believe it? I'm not sure I can!

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Wed

20

May

2015

SCBWI CALLING!

A view of the BT Tower from my hotel room
A view of the BT Tower from my hotel room

 

Last Wednesday I swopped my study for the train as I headed to London for a few days. Whilst speeding southwards I spent several enjoyable hours of uninterrupted writing. Then, on arrival at Kings Cross station, I began to ponder upon what my break from home would offer me - and I knew it would be good. You see, I was in the big smoke for three Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) events, the first of which was early that evening. But before I tell you a little about that, here's a question or two for you:

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Mon

04

May

2015

YOU GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS

One of my writer friends, visited the East Neuk of Fife last week. I've known Morag Caunt for a few years now as we're both members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI or Scoobie as it's affectionately referred to by many). At one point Morag and I were part of the same young adult critique group. I used to look forward to her work being posted each month as I was enthralled by the gritty, true-to-life short stories she wrote, all inspired by her work with young people in The Zone, a youth drama group near to her Yorkshire home.

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Wed

08

Apr

2015

A MINTY THANK YOU

April is the cruellest month, or so said T S Eliot in his epic poem The Waste Land. Yet, for me, nothing could be further from the truth, because last April saw the publication of my debut novel Minty, an event that will forever be imprinted on my memory.

 

My book being released into the world was something I had dreamt of since childhood, but it took me until late 2001 to work  towards turning that aspiration into a reality. During the many years that followed, as I laboured on manuscript after manuscript with no apparent prospect of being published, I often wondered if it would ever happen. But happen it did, although it took a long time to get there. That's why I'll always cherish the joy of Minty's publication day. It was such a special moment in my life, one of the most exhilarating so far. For alongside the phonecalls, texts and gifts from family and friends came a flurry of tweets, shares, likes and comments on social media, many from people I didn't know. In truth, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.  

 

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Wed

11

Feb

2015

UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA, BIRMINGHAM

I think I can safely say that I'm one of the world's most infrequent bloggers, especially when I'm in the throes of writing a new book, as I have been these past months. Today, however, I've been prompted to resuscitate my blog to write a quick post. Here's why:

 

If you've been on Twitter lately you may have heard of the UKYA Extravaganza in Birmingham on the 28th of this month. 

Organised by authors Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass, and hosted by Watersones High Street, it promises to be an amazing afternoon of literary fun. There will be 35 authors there (of which I'm one!), giving readings and talking about their books with readers, bloggers and everyone who loves UK young adult fiction. I can't wait to meet and mingle with so many incredible authors and UKYA fans. There's a lot of buzz around UKYA at the moment so I guess it was no surprise to learn that tickets for the event sold out very quickly. For those who are lucky enough to have grabbed one, I look forward to seeing you on the day.


For updates on the event follow @UKYAX, plus you can check out the Goodreads list of Extravaganza authors /books here

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Thu

27

Mar

2014

RUNNING WITH THE BATON

Fellow author, Karen Owen.
Fellow author, Karen Owen.

Following on from my last post you might be relieved to know that, this time, there will be no mention of underwear, damp or otherwise. There will, however, be quite a lot of information about how a writer works - or at least this writer. You see folks, I've been invited by the lovely Karen Owen, picture book and middle grade author, to take part in The Writing Process Blog Tour. Yes I know this all sounds very grand, but it's actually quite simple: every Monday the participating writers post a blog answering four questions about their writing process. Today it's my turn. So, if you're interested in having an insight into my working practice, not to mention my overactive imagination, grab yourself a drink of your choice and read on. 

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Wed

19

Mar

2014

A PLETHORA OF PANTS: TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG

As I was fishing underwear from my washing machine the other morning, I experienced a mild case of panic. Like Lewis Carroll's White Rabbit I found myself muttering, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!" In the run up to my book being published next month I seem to be saying that a lot lately. The thing is, I've imposed all sort of deadlines on myself: get this done, get that done; start this, finish that. So many demands on my time and so few hours in which to accomplish all I've set myself to do.

 

Phew! It's exhausting, especially when some of those tasks are mundane things like doing the laundry. Now that kind of stuff really tires me out - because I'll let you into a secret, a domestic goddess I am not. I am, however, a writer, and a writer needs a blog. Or so I've been told by several of my fellow scribblers over the years. Often. And yet I've resisted. The thing is, although I can happily work away at 90,000 word novel - through several drafts - the thought of maintaining a blog freaks me out. I mean - what do I have to write about, and, assuming I can find something to say, who'd want to read it? But to turn a phrase, 'faint novelist never won fair reader'. And so, as I untangled a heap of damp boxers and knickers, I decided to quieten my inner critic (not to mention that darned White Rabbit!), and get that blog on the go. 

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Welcome to my website!

Hi! I'm Christina Banach, author of Minty. Thanks for dropping by my website. Please take a look around. Here you'll find news and information about me and my books. If you have any questions do get in touch through my contact page. Thank you for visiting and happy reading! 

 

AUTHOR IN RESIDENCE

I am currently the Author in Residence at Knightsridge Primary School, Livingston. Many thanks to the Scottish Book Trust for this wonderful opportunity to share my love of writing and reading with such an inspiring school.

 

REVIEW FROM THE BOOK TRUST

"This is a thought provoking debut novel about love, loss and the importance of family…A compelling and ultimately heart-warming story."

 

Please click on the link below to read the whole critique: 

http://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/view/34314


REVIEW FROM THE SCOTTISH BOOK TRUST

"Through Minty's eyes we see how family and friends are affected by bereavement. It deals with loss, love, friendship and over all, hope, resilience and strength of character. It's a haunting, eerie and beautiful read that will resonate with you for days after you read it. "


TEEN'S BOOK OF THE MONTH

I'm very grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for featuring Minty as their Teen's Book of the Month. 

 http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/blog/2014/parents/11/teens-book-of-the-month-minty 

 

OTHER REVIEWS

Below are extracts of some other reviews (to read more please check out my News and Reviews page):

 

"What an amazing story! I could not put this book down!"

 

"This is one of those gems that works for young adults and also the not so young...I read it in a single sitting - something I do not ordinarily do - except for a brief pause to compose myself before the final chapter, such was the intensity of emotion the book engenders. You must read this book..."

 

"Christina's stunning style of writing succeeded in bringing tears of joy and sadness to my eyes. For a first book being this good, it makes me wonder what is yet to come."

 

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL

I was thrilled to be part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015 SCBWI panel event - How To Survive Being Published. It was a real privilege to have been invited. Thank you! 

 

Plot & Structure Event

Thank you to everyone who came to my plot and structure workshop in Edinburgh. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thanks to Sheila Averbuch for this great write up of the day. 

 

PINTEREST 

I've created a mood board for MINTY over on Pinterest. Click here to take a look:

www.pinterest.com/cbanachauthor

 

 

 

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