firstly let me introduce myself, my name is Lexi Rees and I write adventure books and activity books for children. Most people probably picture authors locked away with a laptop, still in their pyjamas at three o’clock in the afternoon. Whilst that is perfectly possible, I’ve been delighted to find it’s actually a very sociable industry.
Personally, I’m a member of several writing groups and organisations including the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) but so much of writing is not genre specific that it’s always interesting to share thoughts and ideas. That’s why I enjoy being part of the multi-genre Chindi Authors group.
This year, I attended two big gatherings of authors (is there a collective noun for that - maybe a scribble of authors?): the London Book Fair, and the Winchester Writers Conference. They were very different. LBF is really a trade fair so, although it was interesting to wander around and there were a few talks to attend, once I’d taken the obligatory photo at my publisher’s stand and had a couple of chats with people, I was basically finished in a few hours. Winchester on the other hand was a full three-day conference with a packed agenda where I really struggled to choose which sessions to attend and could easily have done twice as much if time had permitted. Attendees at Winchester were really varied from people just keen to develop their writing skills to authors published multiple times and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone considering getting serious about their writing.
I haven’t done a writing retreat myself, but it’s on my wish-list. Another Chindi author, Isabella Muir, (who writes brilliant cozy mysteries) did one earlier this year and absolutely loved it. I think the atmosphere and the discipline would be really good for kick-starting a project. I currently use the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in November and is kind of an online equivalent to a retreat where you commit to certain targets (usually 50k words in a month). Although it’s online there are cabins and FB groups so it’s actually quite sociable too. There’s also Camp Nano in April which I really enjoy as I usually seem to be publishing in November and it’s a bit of a hectic month for me, whilst April seems to be a good writing month. Given I almost always write outside, November is not particularly appealing from that perspective! Oh, and if I win the lottery, I’m going to buy a beach hut then I can be a bit more productive in winter!
Anyway, thanks so much for inviting me to join you on the blog today to chat about writing. I hope that was interesting and gave readers a little sneak peek behind the scenes as to what we do when we’re not typing!
To celebrate the publication of Wild Sky on 28th November, Lexi is running a competition to win The Relic Hunters series. You can enter here:
Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures and workbooks for children.
The Relic Hunters #1, Eternal Seas, was awarded a "loved by" badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently long-listed for a Chanticleer award. The sequel, Wild Sky, is out on the 28th November.
She's passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.
In her spare time, she's a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.
Social media links:
Wild Sky: Release Date 28th November 2019