Dear Little Me: Chris Bradford

Chris Bradford is the awesome author of the Bodyguard and Young Samurai series, and as a true believer that you should practise what you preach Chris has pushed himself to extremes for the sake of his books.

For his Bodyguard series, he embarked on an intensive course to become a qualified professional bodyguard, receiving training in unarmed combat, defensive driving, tactical firearms, threat assessments, surveillance, and even anti-ambush exercises!

It’s safe to say that Chris knows his stuff – but if he could go back and give his younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

To find out more about Chris and his books, visit www.bodyguard-books.co.uk.

To celebrate the release of Chris’s new book, Bodyguard: Ambush, we’re giving you the chance to win some great prizes – £100 worth of books for your school + a Bear Grylls essential den kit! Click here for more information on how to enter.

Alice: Be Your Own Hero!

by Cathy Cassidy

Cathy CassidyWhen I first read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I identified strongly with Alice… her wide-eyed innocence, her curiosity, her struggle to make sense of a world that had suddenly turned upside-down. I admired Alice because she never gave up… she kept on trying to make sense of things, to find the ‘wonder’ in life.

As I moved through my teens, I tried to do the same, even though it was sometimes a challenge. I often wished I could fall down the rabbit hole and find a whole different world, or push through the looking glass to find a life less tiresome, less dull, than the one I was stuck with. Alice, both the fictional version and the Victorian child who inspired her, was strong, determined, spirited… but one hundred and fifty years ago, when Lewis Carroll’s book was first published, not every girl could be a heroine. For most girls back then, there were few opportunities to push the boundaries. These days, we have a whole lot more freedom – and every girl can be her own hero.

Whether you are loud and confident or whether you’re quiet and shy, remember that you have a whole lot of courage and potential. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Brave, strong, feisty girls… we need them now more than ever; girls who will stand up, speak up, change the world for the better, girls who can look around and see the beauty and wonder in a world that can seem more than a little crazy. Whatever your style, stick to your beliefs and don’t be afraid to dream big and speak out when you need to. Be your own hero… there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Looking Glass Girl by Cathy Cassidy is available from all good bookshops from 2 April 2015.

For more from Cathy Cassidy, the latest book news and cool competitions, sign up for the monthly Puffin Newsletter, BeakSpeak!

Dear Little Me #3: Steven Butler

PEN_AuthorStories_2014Steven_Butler_AW_01 Steven Butler is the awesome writer of The Diaries of Dennis the Menace. He used to love The Beano and now he’s penning menacing manuals packed with the Bad Boy of Books’ trouble-making tips and tricks. But while Steven is a bit of a joker himself – he can also be very serious and here’s some very good advice which he’d give his younger self. PEN_AuthorStories_2014Steven_Butler_AW_02 Tell Your Teacher: You can find out more about how Steven became a writer when he pays a trip to his old school (where legendary writer Jeremy Strong was headmaster) in Puffin Virtually Live: Dennis the Menace. Sign up now for FREE and get ready for the best, most-menacing, lesson ever!! PVL_DENNISTHEMENACEb

 Think you could grow-up to be a writer? Steven is from Kent where there are lots of green open spaces and rolling fields. For your chance to WIN a writer’s retreat with Holiday Cottages enter the Puffin Prize Draw! WritersRetreat

Dear Little Me #2: Rick Riordan

PEN_AuthorStories_2014Rick_Riordan_AW_01Ready for some words of wisdom from Percy Jackson creator Rick Riordan?

Rick Riordan first thought of the idea for Percy Jackson when he was teaching his pupils and children about Greek mythology. Percy Jackson is now a Hollywood Superstar – so what is the one piece of advice Rick would give to his younger self?

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MagnusChase_holding_imageSo remember – always to spell check your work!

To find out more about Rick and all his books, visit www.rickriordan.co.uk to find out what’s next – we’ve done Greeks, we’ve done Romans, it’s time for the Norse Gods.

Everyone has to start something – so why not begin your epic adventure in the wilds of the English Countryside. Enter our competition to win a Writer’s Retreat with Holiday Cottages WritersRetreat

Dear Little Me #1: Jeff Kinney

PEN_AuthorStories_2014_Jeff_Kinney_AW_01We asked some of our brilliant authors what advice they’d give their younger selves. First up, hailing from the USA is Jeff Kinney. He is the mastermind behind the awesome Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Not only has he created an international bestseller but his books have also been turned into Hollywood blockbusters and he’s met THREE US presidents – not so wimpy after all.

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Want to know more about how Jeff became a super hotshot writer? Here’s the man himself to tell you more . . .

From the author: Where do angels come from?

angels

The wonderful writer Karen McCombie, author of Angels Next Door and Angels in Training,  tells us where she gets her ideas from- lots of tips here for budding writers!

When I visit schools to do author talks, I get asked some fantastically bizarre questions (“Do you live in a mansion?”*, “What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?”**), but some – more predictable – questions come up time and time again, like “Where do you get your ideas from?”.

The answer, of course, is a small alien called Zorb. OK, so that’s a lie (obvz), but I may just say it one of these days to see if anyone a) believes me or b) is listening.

The real answer is this; being an author means you need to act like a magpie, looking for shiny things to steal. You need a mind like a sponge, to soak up random inspiration where other people might just see a whole lot of nothing in particular.

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