The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Finding Serendipity By Angelica Banks along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?

The Challenge: Reaching The End

For this month’s challenge, write a story by starting with the end! What’s the final scene in your book? Write it out, then work backwards from there.

Submit your response HERE.

Do a little digging:

Reread some of your favorite endings, and try and figure out what makes them work. Is it some big reveal, a twist, a sudden realization by the main character? Then try and do the same thing in your ending!

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End ~ Angelica Banks is the pen name of two authors, Danielle Wood and Heather Rose, working together. 

About the BOOK:

Q: What do you think is the coolest part of the magical world you have created?

A: It was only when we started writing together that we discovered we had a few shared fantasies. An unusual one was that we had both dreamed of being locked in a library overnight. So, one very cool thing that we created together was the great library where every story ever written is housed in an enormous and beautiful book room with a vast ceiling and shelves that go on almost forever. But another dream that we each had is one that we probably share with just about every child reader and that is the fantasy of being able to walk into the world of a book that you love. Tuesday has read all her mother’s stories about Vivienne Small, and loved them, but in Finding Serendipity she has the opportunity to go there in person. 

About the PROCESS:

Q: Baxterr sounds like he’s just as involved in the story as Tuesday. What’s it like writing an animal character?

A: Baxterr with a double r was based on a very fine real-life dog called Axel Rooney, to whom Finding Serendipity is partly dedicated. There’s an old saying that dogs arefindingserendipty the nicest people. Indeed, there really is nothing like the devotion, loyalty, courage, and optimism of a truly good dog. So I think you can tell that we really enjoyed writing Baxterr, not least because we could rely on him to be pure of heart at all times.

Q: How did you decide on your character’s names? Do you have a particular process?

A: One of the wonderful things about writing in a partnership is that neither one of us has to know everything about our stories. And it so happened that each of us knew the names of about half of our characters. Danielle knew the name of Tuesday McGillycuddy and Heather knew the name of her mother, Serendipity Smith. The name of the villain, Carsten Mothwood, though, was one that we made up together, as was the name of our loveable but irritating superstar teen writer Blake Luckhurst.  

Q: Where did this wonderful idea come from?

A: Well, like most book-length ideas, this one came to us piece by piece. Some parts as if by magic and some by long, hard toil. There were some chapters that we wrote over and over and over again until we got them just right, and others that fell into place on the first try. Writing is a mysterious business. As our dear Librarian tells Tuesday: ‘a story is like a giant jigsaw puzzle: a jigsaw puzzle that would cover the whole floor of a room with its tiny pieces. But it’s not the sort of puzzle that comes with a box. There is no lid with a picture on it so that you can see what the puzzle will look like when it’s finished. And you have only some of the pieces. All you can do is keep looking and listening, sniffing about in all sorts of places until you find the next piece.’


Q: What’s it like working as one author?

A: It’s been an amazing amount of fun. Surprisingly it doesn’t take us any less time, but it certainly has made the long-distance marathon of novel writing more like a good bushwalk. There have been many conversations, fabulous companionship, good food, and an encouraging voice when one of us is losing confidence.

Q: A story about writing sounds like it could be very education for our young writers. Do you agree? In what ways could it be useful?

AngelicaBanksA: Heather has older children so she’s been helping out in classrooms for years and she noticed that many children not only never meet a ‘real’ writer, but they also have no books that help to teach them what the writing process involves. We hope Finding Serendipity is first of all a wonderful adventure series. And for those readers who are also budding writers, we hope it will inspire and encourage them to follow their writing dreams. Plus, we hope it gives all our readers a little bit of an insight into what it takes to be a writer, and the fun that can be had with words.

Q: Can we get a hint or two about the upcoming book in the series?

A: Ooooh, it’s very hush hush. But what we can tell you is that it’s called A Week Without Tuesday. We can also tell you that Tuesday, Vivienne and Baxterr return, along with some other favourite characters from Finding Serendipity. But there are also new characters including some surprising villains. Our readers get a glimpse into the extraordinary worlds that writers can create – and what it takes to look after them. Vivienne and Baxterr have to beat a seemingly relentless enemy, while Tuesday has to make the biggest decision of her life. We have loved writing this sequel and think our readers will love it too. It comes out in February 2016 in the USA so we apologise that our US readers have a little while to wait! 

Check out more on the website here! Finding Serendipity is available on Amazon!

Thanks again Angelica!!

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