About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Social media and publicity, Uncategorized

A Children’s Book Enjoyed by Adults!

Ian was interviewed by a journalist on behalf of a publisher, recently.

What’s your favourite thing about writing children’s fiction?

Ooh, lots of things. Just one? Well at the top of the list has to be knowing that the work will help young imaginations expand and grow, hopefully inspiring another generation of storytellers as authors like Blyton, Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling etc have inspired me.

What has the response been like so far for Legend of the Lost?

I’m very pleased to say that it’s attracted the reactions I’d hoped for when the children and I first committed the ideas to paper and planned the trilogy.

Comments like “compelling from start to end”,“beautifully written” and “couldn’t put it down”are great to see in the reviews on Amazon, Book Guild bookshop and feedback on social media and in person.

It really is pleasing that adults are enjoying reading the book and am especially delighted to hear of parents reading the book to and with their children as I really wanted it to be a collaborative experience. In my view there’s nothing quite like parents and children exploring a magical adventure together.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a published author?

I’ve been published in more high-brow, adult genres before, but I’ve since discovered that apparently when I was a little boy myself, I said that I would write books for children (so I’m now reminded).

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Whatever the type of book there’s really something special about watching a project catch fire from a spark of an idea to something that will spread around the world lighting up dark corners of the imagination.

Now, with the wonders of social media, authors can receive feedback and connect with readers much easier. It really is lovely to receive photos of the books from all sorts of exotic destinations, often featuring local landmarks or indeed crazy pets, as we have been.

One very lovely lady has been reading the book to the animals at her animal rescue centre in the US. She says it soothes them. Who could have predicted that?

Is there any advice you would give to other writers/how have you found the publishing experience?

First and foremost, believe in yourself and just do it. Write! There is no given technique or approach. Sure, read a lot and be informed by other voices. But find what works for you – whether that is scribbling in notebooks when the creative impulse strikes or having a routine and schedule if you must. Only you know yourself. Go with what feels right. But write.

I remember the story of Joseph Heller who wrote one of the Iconic Books of all time, Catch 22. Famously he jotted scenes on postcard-sized cue cards which he kept in a shoe box. Allegedly he dropped them one day and rather than re-arrange as a linear narrative, he wrote up the story in the random order in which the cards fell. True or not, this illustrates the point. Do what works for you. But write.

For me, the best part of publishing, as a process, is the creative collaboration. For example, I have strong opinions about each project including the visuals. When I received the first draft of the cover for Legend of the Lost, it wasn’t what I imagined at all. I could tell there was a degree of trepidation about the proposal, perhaps because of my background in brand and advertising. But it was actually better than anything I had pictured. Jack did a great job. I love it, and the feedback has been unanimously positive. I made a couple of supplementary suggestions and we agreed the finished product in a few minutes. THAT’s the power of collaboration

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What’s next in the writing pipeline for you?

Well, I committed to writing a trilogy and Legend of the Lostis the first part. I’ve written the next two, The Ends of the Earth being the second part. Without spilling any spoilers, the adventure continues in Cornwall and Africa. I’ve promised our growing community of readers that I will aim to finalise the sequel next year.

I can’t wait to see what the team does with the visuals and am sure the story will evolve further during the magic of the editing process and as the readership grows.

I’m personally excited to watch this complex family develop as individuals and a group over time as they confront and overcome fresh challenges. Because as any parent knows, growing up is filled with twists and turns of fate. We need to be reminded, from time-to-time, especially during the festive season, that the real secret to finding our magic is not to lose heart, not to shut down in the face of adulting and to keep believing.

Legend of the Lost is available in hard and soft versions tonline via all top retailers, Waterstones and from the Book Guildb okshop.

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Uncategorized

Your Chance to Appear in the Changeling Trilogy

The first book in the Legend of the Lost trilogy continues to attract great feedback and reviews. So, as we enter the new year, thoughts naturally turn to the sequel.

Book II, The Ends of the Earth is set to preview in 2019 and promises more thrills as the adventure shifts to the African continent.

As a special thank you to our growing readership, we are excited to announce that we are starting a unique competition.

Ian is offering one lucky reader the exclusive chance to feature in one of the sequels either in person or, in keeping with the central theme of the series, to nominate a loved one or family member.

The successful individual will be written into the story line and will appear alongside their fictional heroes.

To be eligible, entrants simply have to be able to provide proof of purchase of Legend of the Lost and to contact us by email, using the heading “Feature Competition”. They will then receive an email from us with a question from the first book.

Simple!

The winner will be drawn by Ian, at random, from the group of successful entrants after the closing date of Feb 18, 2019.

So please spread the word far and wide with your friends and family , may the magic flow through you and very best of luck!

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Uncategorized

All They Really Want for Christmas is Time

Being connected to social media is like being plugged into the thoughts and  feelings of millions of people simultaneously.

That should be and often is a very good thing, but d it can be overwhelming at times.

Unfortunately, Christmas has become a time of great pressure, both financially and emotionally with people feeling they have to go to greater and greater lengths to buy THE must have gadget or replace all the soft furnishings before the relatives arrive.

In the few short months since the first book in the Legend of the Lost trilogy has been published, listening to the feedback of readers from around the world, what has really struck me is the fact that the right books hold a special place in people’s hearts. This has nothing to do with the cost or the conspicuousness of the purchase to keep up with the peer group. It is mostly to do with the reading experience.And I am so pleased to hear tales of people reading this book together.

They are investing that most important resource that all children especially  respond to, time; time invested; time out.

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Nothing gives me greater delight than busy Dads telling me that they downloaded it on their device and are now reading it at bed time; grandparents who have sent copies to their beloved grandchildren far away with messages of love or Moms first taking time out to read it for themselves then repeating the process with their children having created dedicated reading time, reading purely for pleasure, together.

In a recent interview with the publishers Book Guild, I outlined that igniting imaginations was one of my aims and it delights me that this is happening.

So as you succumb to the inevitable stresses and strains of the festive period, consider this quaint tradition from Iceland and, if you’re feeling bewildered or overwhelmed, take to bed with a good book.

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Merry Christmas  from the entire changeling family…….

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Reviews, Social media and publicity, Uncategorized

Read All About It!

Interviews and articles are an integral part of the process of introducing a new book to the world. It’s a great opportunity to meet some varied and interesting people.

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With that in mind, it has been a real pleasure to chat with journalists and representatives from the communities featured in the first in the changeling series, Legend of the Lost.

Much of the action takes place during a journey between the Cornish coast and the Chiltern Hills with many scenes in Ashridge Forest.

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So we’re pleased to see articles appearing in Tring Buzz “Author Channels Magic of the Chilterns” ,Hertfordshire Life and Berkhamsted Living:

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The first book was written, produced and distributed in and from the UK by East Midlands publishing house Book Guild, so Ian was very happy to meet with the Barrow Voice editorial team to detail the inspiration and creative process behind the series. Here’s an excerpt from the interview which you can read in full on their website:

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Long car journeys with children are often experiences that parents would rather forget. But for Ian Buckingham, trips to the family home in Cornwall ignited a spark that led him to switch from writing books on brand management to a trilogy of children’s books – which he completed in Barrow.

Last year, Ian, a management consultant based in the East Midlands, was looking to take a retreat where he could write with minimal interruptions and commitments (every writer’s dream). He found an annex to let, off Cotes Road, on the banks of the River Soar. It proved to be the perfect spot to unleash creativity.

“I didn’t know Barrow, but I was working on a consultancy project nearby, ironically in the mining industry, so it worked well for me,” he says. “It was last winter and, as people will recall, we had a proper winter so I felt as though I was in the middle of nowhere, while surrounded by nature, perhaps a little too surrounded at times, given the Arctic conditions and floods.”

So, how did those conversations with little ones in the back seat of the car translate into a trilogy of novels? To keep his young daughters entertained, he would create scenes – “There’s a wolf in the forest, what happens next?” – and the family would dip into their imaginations to create exciting scenarios and characters in a type of storytelling relay.

One day, Ian and his elder daughter discussed capturing the stories they had created together. They worked through the scraps of notes they had made and sketched out the story on an A3 sheet of paper.

Years later, he took it out of a drawer and it formed the basis for his trilogy, Legend of the Lost.

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Reviews, Uncategorized

Our love of games comes from our love of stories

Ian was pleased to offer our friends at Games You Loved an exclusive preview of Legend of the Lost as well as a Q&A style interview about the changeling trilogy, making the link between great storytelling and gaming.

Here’s how the interview went:

How Our Love of Gaming Comes from Our Love of Stories

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We are really pleased to be the first online channel to feature an exclusive interview with Ian P Buckingham, about the Launch of his new children’s changeling fantasy series, Legend of the Lost.

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Q: You’re a former Omnicom director, famous in management consultancy circles for influencing major brand transformations and books on management and brand, including Brand Champions, real grown up stuff. So why the move into children’s literature?

Having spent so long dealing with issues and challenges in board rooms, watching intelligent adults struggle to make sense of their world a fair way downstream from childhood dreams, I have been increasingly trying to re-connect managers and business owners with customers, employees, even shareholders. I’ve been using storytelling as a way of engaging, becoming better communicators and better leaders as a result.

I’ve run countless workshops on creating compelling stories and narratives and change journeys. These have usually referenced the classic hero’s journey structure of mythologist Joseph Campbell and his ilk to show how timeless and instinctive storytelling should be. But I have always harboured a desire to work with people upstream, to write for a younger or more open-minded audience before, I guess, the cynicism and the bad habits set in.

Q: The first book in your trilogy is a classic-style children’s fiction thriller. It has a real sense of the legendary sword and sorcery about it with a modern twist. People are going to recognise iconic villains like the werebeasts, faerie folk and dark sorcerers. They will also identify with the journey of discovery the children go on to combat evil, uncovering special powers and magical items on the way. For me it felt it had a strong gaming feel to it at times.

Well, I’m glad you noticed. In terms of the story, I grew up reading classics like the Grimm brothers, Blyton’s Enchanted Wood and Flying Chair series and the Hardy Boys books. I then moved onto Lewis and Tolkien then the Star Wars books when older. After that I voraciously devoured superhero comics, then pulp fiction detective classics then horror writers like Stephen King. Then Ian Livingstone’s fighting fantasy work came along with other output from the Games Workshop and the work of Gary Gygax and co which all became major influences as I started AD&D role-playing. Fantasy writers like Moorcock, Howard and Iain Banks played their part too.

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I personally started gaming on an Atari with all its unique charms. But I can still remember the thrill of the first narrative games like The Hobbit on my ZX Spectrum. I have been bitten by the first-person gaming bug ever since. Most recently addictions have included Shadow of Mordor, Battlegrounds, Medal of Honour and the Assassin’s Creed series. They all have strong stories at their core.

There is clearly a basic instinct in gamers to honour the demands of storytelling narrative and the rules and rituals we learn when our parents read us our first and most basic tales. The oral tradition of passing on stories, myths and legends is as old as time. It’s a powerful instinct and I believe online and vintage gaming is now a key part of the same tradition.

Squaring the circle, I can see gaming and gamification playing an increasingly important role in formal executive education and school too.

Q: So why write for young children, why not older gamers?

I guess I wanted to be part of the process that influences people earlier. I studied children’s literature and what a lot of people don’t realise is that much literature for kids is actually morally instructive. It teaches kids how to make sense of challenges, avoid danger and the informal rules and rituals of their culture. Sure there’s some of the usual good vs evil stuff in my books. But in an age of sensationalism and extremism I’m also pointing out that not everything is black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. Characters have layers of complexity and vulnerability, strengths and weaknesses, important lessons we sometimes forget.

The books were also hugely influenced by our own kids. We have always shared stories together and have made up stories together, like on long car or plane journeys. I’ve always encouraged them to mix up their experiences and their entertainment and play. I’m, especially conscious that we live in the electronic age and how it can dominate so we’ve never simply handed over i-phones or tablets as surrogate babysitters. Too much of that goes on. We have deliberately read together, then gamed together using Leapfrog and other teaching systems, instructional PC games like Age of Empires, then watched the classic film stories together and talked about the then, read comics together. It’s been a privilege to gradually introduce them to the stories, legends, characters and then the games I loved.

We’ve handed down classic systems like our Game Boys, Game Gear etc before buying the newer systems and that’s been a real joy. The process of going from watching Batman the series to the films to playing the Lego games then X Box and Playstation games, for example, has been great fun for all of us.

Introducing them to characters like Zelda, Rayman, Mortal Kombat and the Sonic family on the Wii where the whole family could bring their favourite characters to life has been a real rite of passage for us all.

It has been great fun to then transfer all that classic and contemporary storytelling and characterisation into a series of books, written together, to create a series that is recognisable but very different.

Q: So would you still call these kid’s books?

CS Lewis, author of the Narnia books famously said:

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

Remember what I said about having to re-teach leaders and managers about storytelling to engage key audiences? Well, another one of my favourite quotes is by JM Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan:

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”

Who makes the rules that we have to “adult” at some stage and have to stop playing?

And why do so many adults turn off their imaginations as they get older and lose the basic rules of making up stories?

A business or brand vision should be inspiring, not corporatey shouldn’t it?

Same applies to the best books and the best games.

Q: Tell us more about this link between the books and gaming.

Well, I understand the joy of retro gaming because I am a retro gamer. I know what a great story is because I grew up with them myself. I still seek them out.

I have deliberately written these books for adults to enjoy reading to and with their kids, for kids to read independently or even adults to read alone. And in an age with so many distractions, the stories have to be compelling to compete or complement other forms of entertainment available.

Remember when the Harry Potter books first came out and the publisher printed versions with adult covers so they wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen reading them? Well, this trilogy is in that Potter tradition. But I think we’ve now grown past having to hide our indulgences. We should embrace and encourage the inner child and never let that light go out. We should and can be “out” about simple pleasures and be as proud to read classic stories as we are to play classic games, without feeling it is a guilty pleasure or something to hide.

Q: Turning this around, do you think you could see this book or the series becoming a film or…a game even?

I would certainly love to see the series become a game or even a film of some sort, possibly an animation. That would certainly have a nice synergy about it. There’s a very strong journey theme with the characters discovering special powers and magical items that help them overcome interesting threats, challenges and enemies. It would lend itself to our sort of first-person battle game to play as an individual or team, Lord of the Rings style and would appeal to all genders. Be a great project to work on, that’s for sure. And I have a couple of junior executive producers in mind who could certainly consult on the project…

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We encourage our followers, especially those with kids between 7-11, young adults or who just fancy a classic to add to their book collection, to pick up a copy of Legend of the Lost, the first of Ian’s changeling trilogy.

The first edition print run is out for orders now via all the key online outlets and will be arriving in Waterstones and major bookshops this Summer.

We have a strong hunch that these fresh books by a quality writer are going to become collectable classics.

Remember, you heard it here first folks!

If you want to find out more or the notion of a collaborative gaming venture based on this trilogy appeals, then get in contact by dropping us a line here or contact Ian direct via the website linked to the books or connect with him on twitter, Linkedin or other social media.

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, The Ends of the Earth book II, Uncategorized

Legend of the Lost: open for pre-orders

Arriving at a bookstore near you, the first in the magical changeling series, Legend of the Lost, is available for pre-orders on Amazon, from this week.

Click on the Ravenring to view for yourself:

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About the author, Ian P Buckingham

About the author

pen.png Ian P Buckingham lives in Nottingham, UK, (a place famous for its own mythical past) and is a widely published author across a range of genres.

Winner of various creative writing prizes throughout his education in Africa and England, he has a BA (Hons) and MA from the University of Leeds where he also specialised in children’s literature.

He has edited numerous publications including poetry and creative writing magazines and has written, produced and directed plays.

Ian is a proud father of two daughters (who helped a lot with this series) and when not writing is a well known management consultant and MBA lecturer.

He is also a great believer in gender equality at work and at home and is a passionate campaigner for shared parenting rights and responsibilities.