Works for You

Author and writing consultancy

Blog

view:  full / summary

Book reviews so far

Posted on 20 July, 2017 at 20:50 Comments comments (0)

New reviews for Into Another Dimension

Julia D wrote

"Willem just arrived home first thing he said was he loved the book it was awesome are you writing another one. Good review from a thirteen year old so I havethe book to read. Well done as thirteen year olds are hard to please."


Sarah Holmes wrote

"I read the book – first children’s book for many years!

I did enjoy it … thought your writing is very exciting and full of energy which carried me along with it.

The ending left me wanting more … good for a series, also it would make a good cartoon or film with some interesting visual imagery.”



Newly published author

Posted on 14 June, 2017 at 0:50 Comments comments (2)

Into Another Dimension

The author “behind” the book?

I’m Kass Harker. I was born and raised in rural New Zealand and now live in Nelson in the South Island. I've always written stories and poetry but never before written with the view to publishing my work. This is also the first time I've written for children. 

 

My inspiration

The idea of a children’s book came to me, when i was walking my dog along the boulder bank on a typically sunny day in Nelson. The first line of Into Another Dimension just popped into my head. When I got home and wrote this down the words just seem to run onto the pages. Amazingly, once I got going and mind-mapped the plot and characters, I had the book finished in less than five months. The direction of my writing had a complete change of course, from business and technical writer I had become a fiction writer and so the direction of my business changed as well.

Before I sent the book to publishers I got some of my target audience to read the first draft. I was knocked out when the first response came. The subject line of the email read “Review of your awesome book.” This gave me the courage to take the bull by the horns and send it to publishers.  

My literary influences

As a child, I loved the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton and also books like the Hobbit and Swallows and Amazons. I never thought about writing for children and through my life I have started, but never finished, a number of books for an adult audience. I think the biggest influence and some adults may see this in my style, was the Enid Blyton book, The Faraway Tree.

The one message i'd like to convey to your readers

Writing for Children is fun and you really can let you humour take over and be as imaginative as you like. But it is always good to try and have a message. For me the message is that good will conquer evil.

The sense of pride in holding a printed book with your name on the cover and spine can’t be matched.

Now that the book is published and I have a marketing strategy I am busy with reading sessions at local school, a book launch in July (Saturday 8 at Nelson Library 11 - 12.30 and a road trip in August.

If you have a venue and would like me to do a book signing or reading please contact me with details

I love the characters of Into Another Dimension so much I decided I would, like Enid Blyton, make a series. I have called it the Hathaways Series, using my maternal great, great grandmothers’ family name. I‘ve sent the second in the series, currently called The Mystery of the Disappearing Translators, to a number of publishers and have already had a positive response. This will be a two part book and I am a good way to completing part two.  

I set myself daily targets and although the creative juices don’t flow all the time, I try to do something towards getting the third book completed. This may include some research or doing some of the record keeping required for the business side of being a writer. Without a work plan it’s too easy, especially on fine days, to be side tracked. If you are thinking of writing for publication put a work plan in place and above all map your plot and characters. Happy writing.

Developing your writing skills

Posted on 21 July, 2016 at 0:50 Comments comments (1)

Most of us write on a daily basis. We write things like emails, business documents about process, technical data and we even write for inter and intranet. But most of us aren’t paid just to write or write as a profession, so we don’t know all the tricks of the trade.


When you write if your message isn’t targeted well or set in a language style that your reader understands you are wasting both your own and your readers time. You are possibly also losing customers, money and the interest of staff.


If you write in your business or organisation but have had no formal training in business writing and communications, you can consider to:

• Keep the status quo and hope you are reaching your readers

• Upskill either formally or through self-help options

• Employ professional business writers.


If you want to upskill there are many options. You can even get help through YouTube. Who would have thought. There are also a lot of groups that you can join particularly in the larger cities. Plus, there’s always the internet. Here you can find the like of style guides.


My preference is to look at more formal options or to pay for professional services.


If you are in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch you can get formal training from a number of well-known providers. Some, like Write NZ will both write and provide training. You can also search writefind which is a list of writers throughout New Zealand. Be aware though that this list is made up of people who simply pay an annual fee to be on the list.


Works 4 You can also help and we’d relish the chance to talk with you about your needs.


Whatever you do decide will make you more competitive in a global environment and be worth the time, effort and any cost.



 

An eye for detail

Posted on 14 July, 2016 at 4:50 Comments comments (3)

Having produced e Newsletters for a large government department I know the work involved in having a captivating, professional and easy to read publication.


If your business has or is thinking of having an e Newsletter here are a few things to think about:


 Always put yourself in your reader’s shoes

 Cut the jargon – you know what it means but more than likely your reader won’t

 Simple language is best, it’s not “dumbing down”

 Good quality images and graphics draw attention (a picture speaks a thousand words)

 Think, draft, redraft, peer review, call the experts in, rewrite, proofread, edit and proofread again.


If you need some help Works 4 You specialises in this. We can

1. Advise

2. Proof and edit

3. Write

4. Do the newsletter from start to finish.



 

Keeping up with the neighbours

Posted on 7 July, 2016 at 4:50 Comments comments (0)

I've just joined up to Neighbourly and found it really useful already. I can find out about things that might affect me right down to hints about locking up because there's been some thief lurking the hood. I can even use it to promote my business and sell excess stuff. I love it already and think everyone should join.




Don't sweat the small things!

Posted on 5 July, 2016 at 21:05 Comments comments (2)

You’ll have heard it before I'm sure. But as I make my way as a small business owner I realise just how true the saying "don't sweat the small things" is. One tip I can give you, whether you run or work for a business, is to take time each day to set your tasks and prioritise them. I do it at the end of each day for the next day. That way any leftover tasks from that day or any fresh ones as a result of an action that day, is added while still fresh in my mind.

A simple “Things to do” list with the most important tasks at the top will help you march through your day with clear direction. It’s amazing how satisfying a tick alongside a task can be. It saves me heaps of time. I’m no longer scratching my head trying to think what I need to do next, it’s all set out for me.

Give it a go. You wont look back.


 

Influence and words

Posted on 3 July, 2016 at 23:05 Comments comments (0)

 

In business we write for many reasons. One key reason we write is to influence. It may be that we want to sell a product or concept. It may be that we want to change a behaviour. It could be that we want to motivate.

Finding the right words, using the right tone and laying out your message, are all key to how well your aim to influence is achieved.

Khowing how to do this isn’t inherent and so if your intent is to influence, it’s a good idea to get some training or pay someone with these skills to do the writing for you. Winging-it can mean a train wreck.

 

Health check - Emails

Posted on 1 July, 2016 at 21:45 Comments comments (3)

 

 

   How well are your email messages received? Do you sometimes respond from emotion? The tone and language in your email can mean your intention is misunderstood. If you send an email with mistakes in it, your reader may not be too impressed.

Here are some tips to help improve your emails.

1. If you have an emotional reaction when reading an email don't reply straightaway

2. Don't rush a reply, take a little time to work out what you need to say

3. Format the email, white space is always good and it helps with the flow of your message

4. For longer emails use bullet points to get the message across more easily

5. Always re-read it before you press "send". Quality in your email leaves a good impression

6. Write with a smile in your voice. It will show in your words.

7. Always finish in a friendly way

8. Always leave the door open for further conversation.

 



Words for a modern world

Posted on 30 June, 2016 at 23:25 Comments comments (0)

The historical development of New Zealand’s foreign affairs is “the history of a colony becoming independent.” [2] When the British Parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act in 1852, New Zealand embarked on a journey of independence from Britain in exercising sovereignty – legislative, judicial, and executive authority – over its domestic affairs. However, ‘imperial interests’, (including foreign relations, external trade, the constitution and ‘native affairs’), were beyond the powers of the New Zealand Parliament. New Zealand did not obtain ‘Dominion status’ until 1907, but this also did not mean full sovereign independence because “the status of the dominions in international affairs is not necessarily identical with dominion status.” [3]

What does this all mean? Great question and when time pressure means we want quick answers we don't want to be reading through the bunkum to get to the crux of the matter. The writer above could have simply said that New Zealand has a foreign affairs service because we are our own country, making our own way in the world and need to be able to be part of the global community.

When you write, think about the reader you want to talk with. Have a conversation that they can easily understand.


Rss_feed