Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Review of The Doomsday Mask


Fifteen-year-old Paul Jaeger and his friend, Jonas, frantically attempt to escape the war-torn city of Berlin. The date is 1945. Stumbling on an abandoned mine just outside the city, they climb down the shaft into an enormous cavern. Here they are astonished to find a huge stash of paintings, statues and boxes filled with jewels and other treasures, including a large blue crystal stone. But before they have time to look around, Paul trips over a wire. Booby trap! They run for the entrance as the mine explodes!
Now the time jumps to the present day. Paul is taking a trip with his grandchildren, driving across Canada to Alberta. As they live in Boston, their first stop is Niagara Falls. Along the way their grandfather regales them with stories of dinosaur discoveries in Alberta and the paleontology museum in Drumheller, which they plan to visit. The children, Josh and Erica, notice the blue crystal stone in their grandfathers key chain, but he refuses to talk about the war, saying only that the stone reminds him of a friend.
More than a reminder, however, as Jonas suddenly appears at their hotel in Niagara Falls, looking for the stone. He explains to Pail that the stone is part of the legendary Mask of Kulkaan, which supposedly came from Atlantis and was shattered when Atlantis was destroyed. When put back together, the mask is believed to have incredible powers. A sinister group called the Crystalline Order is trying to collect the last few missing pieces in order to take over the world. As Jonas continues his explanation, four men suddenly break through the door, managing to kidnap Jonas. Paul and the children escape in the night, heading for New York City, then possibly the Mexican rainforest. Can they follow Jonas’ instructions and find the last few pieces before the Order’s enforcer? And what will happen to Jonas?
This fast-paced adventure will capture the reader to the final page. As each adventure unfolds, the roles of the children, Josh and Erica, become more involved. The myth of the mask as well as the story of Atlantis will capture the imagination and should promote interesting discussion. Author, Simon Rose, has managed to create another fascinating, suspenseful story, which should be a popular addition to an elementary school library collection.
Resource Links, October 2009

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great Review of The Time Camera


Here's a review of The Time Camera in CM Magazine published the Manitoba Library Association


excerpt:
“It’s a camera,” Lydia said.

“It’s not a type I’m familiar with,” Jake said.

Like any digital camera, it had a screen on the back, but there were more buttons than usual. The controls were unfamiliar to Jake. “I can’t even tell which of these buttons is supposed to turn it on.

But as Jake tried pressing different buttons, the screen suddenly activated. “Okay,” he said, “let’s see if it works.”

Lydia stood in front of the desk. Jake aimed the camera at her and took a picture. However, when he pressed what looked like the display button, a different image appeared on the screen. It was not Lydia. Eleanor was standing where Lydia should have been, working at her desk.

“That’s weird,” he murmured
Lydia Chamberlain’s mom was a scientist who died while trying to conceal a secret from her research partner. The explosion that took her life consumed her confidential paperwork, but her laptop and camera were protected. They were in a safe place. When Lydia and her friend Jake find these items years later, they discover the danger behind her research in time photography involved someone they trusted. The pair try to conceal their discovery from ‘Uncle’ Magnus, but it’s impossible to hide a secret from someone when that person can also manipulate time.
      With a turn of a camera knob, Albertan author Simon Rose (The Alchemist’s PortraitThe Doomsday Mask) takes readers back to the past and into the future. When Jake and Lydia have the camera in their possession, they see the impossible; Paris in the eighteenth century; a crime before it’s about to happen, and someone who’s already dead. There are no illustrations in this book, but the chapters containing excerpts from Eleanor Chamberlain’s research highlight the suspenseful moments. This story will have children thinking about the good, and bad things, that could happen in a world where time travel is possible.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

Friday, April 27, 2012

School Programs - Author in Residence




For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover certain topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. We can also look at working with the students on a specific project.
A week in residence can be designed however you would like, to best meet the needs of the students. Here's what a week could look like, based on a school where I spent five days working with students from grade one through seven. However, this is just an example and I am very flexible and happy to discuss your schools unique requirements with you.

K/1/2 Story Creation

This highly interactive presentation explores story structure relating to the creation of a well-defined beginning, middle and end. Using a series of seemingly unrelated objects, students participate in creating a story in what is always a lively and fun filled session. Although this exercise is done as a group, afterwards students are so enthusiastic that they want to create their own illustrations to go with the story and expand on the narrative that we have created together. In the weeks after my visit, some schools have added the children’s pictures to the story, as they create their own books and design covers for them. These have often been displayed in the classroom or sent home to parents.

Grade 3 Fantasy Realms and Creatures

In two sessions, we discuss the elements of fantasy and the many creatures and characters that inhabit the fantasy realm. In The Emerald Curse, the main villain has created monsters in his laboratory, combining some of the most fearsome creatures on earth. Most students are very familiar with monsters and strange creatures from mythology, books and movies and really enjoy the workshop where they get to invent their own unique mythological creature along with its powers, enemies, diet, habitat and the fantasy kingdom where it lives.

Grade 4 Superheroes

The Emerald Curse involves a young boy who is propelled into a strange comic book dimension, to save his grandfather, the world's greatest comic book artist and writer. The novel was influenced by the comic books and superhero adventure stories I read whilst growing up. In two sessions, we explore the superhero genre, before students create their own superhero, complete with costumes, powers, secret identity, headquarters, friends, family and one or more archenemies. They are also encouraged to draw their creation and some may even write a short story.

Grade 5/6/7 Time Travel, Historical Fiction and Writing Strategies

The Heretic's Tomb, The Sorcerer's Letterbox and The Alchemist's Portrait are time travel stories. These sessions look at where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories. We examine how history has served as inspiration for authors and filmmakers and learn about the importance of historical research. Students will then invent their own time machine or device, paying attention to detail and to the need for authentic historical settings. We also explore how to write gripping fiction and cliffhanger endings.

Grade 8 The Shape of Things to Come

The events described in The Clone Conspiracy may be science fiction, but cloning has become very much science fact in recent years. These sessions examine how much technology has developed in the last one hundred years, how the pace of change has rapidly accelerated in recent decades and challenges students to contemplate what types of technology we may expect to see in the century to come.

Grade 9 People Plotting: Creating Memorable Characters

Without people there is no plot and characters are at the heart of any story. In these workshops, we explore where writers get ideas for the people in their stories, the many methods of creating strong characters and how to use descriptive language to build them. Students invent their own unique characters and also learn how to write effective and engaging dialogue for their creations.

The the above scenario is merely a guideline as to what a week in residence could look like and I am very happy to discuss your school’s unique requirements with you. Contact me directly for details of fees and availability for Author in Residence at info@simon-rose.com.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Young Authors Conference, High River, Alberta - Saturday, April 28

The Young Authors Conference, organized by the Foothills School Division, encompassing communities south of Calgary, will take place this year on April 28, in High River, Alberta. Highly creative and talented students from schools in Blackie, Black Diamond, Cayley, Dewinton, High River, Longview, Millarville, Okotoks, Red Deer Lake and Turner Valley come together for a wide variety of highly informative and entertaining workshops by local authors and illustrators. I am delighted to be part of the conference for the eighth successive year, conducting sessions on time travel with elementary and junior high school students. This year's event, flawlessly managed by dedicated volunteers from the school division, once again promises to be an unqualified success. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

School Programs - Author Visits, Workshops and Presentations



An author visit to a school can be highly inspirational, inviting children to unlock their own creative potential, whatever form that may take, and encouraging them in their own writing. Younger students especially are almost always thrilled to meet a published author, particularly if they have read their books.



I offer a wide variety of presentations for grades three to eight, but can work with grades one and two as well. I cover such topics as where ideas come from, story structure, editing and revision, character development, time travel stories, history and research, plus many other aspects of the writing and publishing world. I will present to around one hundred students at a time, although the smaller the audience the more participation from children, as a rule. We can also look at workshops with smaller groups or individual classes. I am very flexible and able to modify material in consultation with teachers and librarians. 

For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover certain topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. I have also worked on playwriting with the Calgary Arts Summer School. Each of my novels can provide teachers with a wide variety of ways to explore projects in the classroom with their students and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides and Classroom Resources page and class sets of books are also always available from my online store.

For a list of available presentations, visit the Presentations and Workshops page. However, please note that this list is by no means exhaustive and I am very adaptable. I am always pleased to work with teachers and librarians to build a group of sessions best suited to your studentsContact me directly for details of fees and availability for school and library presentations at info@simon-rose.com.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writers Help and Advice: Coaching Program for Writers


Writing is by nature a solitary occupation and can be a lonely business, without the benefit of hordes of cheering fans on the sidelines. A professional writing coach is someone with whom you can consult, ask questions, send your work to and receive constructive feedback, a guide to help you with your writing as you try to build your career as a professional writer. A writing coach can help you conquer a stumbling block, help you to regain momentum and get back to your writing or make a start on a new project. 


My coaching program is designed to help you progress as a writer. You decide what you want to work on during a personalized, one on one relationship. For example, I can be your coach for just one month or we can establish a month-to-month arrangement, depending on your schedule and expectations. Just a few examples of topics we can cover during the coaching period are point of view, creating characters, developing dialogue, story structure, editing and revision, marketing and promotion and submissions to publishers. However, I am very flexible and happy to discuss your own unique requirements and areas where you feel that you may need the most help. 


In addition to coaching, on my website you can learn more about my other services for writers, such as online workshops for adultsmanuscript evaluation and online workshops for children and young adults.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Calgary Young Writers Conference - Saturday, April 21


This weekend, I am once again proud to be a presenter at the Calgary Young Writers Conference, where elementary and junior high school students have the opportunity to meet published authors and illustrators and learn more about the creative process. The Calgary Young Writers Conference has consistently made a significant contribution to literacy and inspired countless aspiring writers over the years. The event is expertly managed by a team of dedicated volunteers and is recognized as an invaluable part of the school year by children, teachers and parents alike. 

Over 1500 participants are expected to be in attendance in 2012, as students develop creative writing skills and give full reign to their incredible imaginations.  My own workshops focus on where writers get ideas come from and how they turn them into stories, plus the importance of editing and revision, the need for good historical research, as well as delving into the complexities of time travel, after which students create their very own time travel machines, methods and devices. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Online Writing Workshops for Children and Young Adults


With my Online Workshops for Children and Young Adults, through a series of e mail assignments, details of which are available here, we explore where ideas come from and how to turn them into stories, basic story structure, plot development, creating characters, developing dialogue and more to help develop writing ability. A set of workshops can be started at any time. Following registrationall assignments are sent by e mail and are completed at your own pace, to be sent to me by return e mail. There is no time limit and participants may take as long as they wish to complete their full set of workshops.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Time Camera - 'A rollercoaster thrill ride of an adventure.'



The Time Camera, my latest novel for middle grade readers, is available from bookstores, online locations and autographed copies are always available directly from the author. 

The Time Camera - Synopsis

The massive explosion in which Eleanor Chamberlain died at her research laboratory was widely seen as a tragic accident. Or was it the perfect crime? Two years later, Jake and Lydia discover a mysterious camera, capable of taking pictures of the distant past and more ominously, of the future. As they uncover the shocking truth and learn of secrets that someone will kill to protect, Jake and Lydia are soon propelled into a deadly and desperate race against time in order to save the future.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Study Guides and Classroom Resources


Each of my novels can provide teachers with a wide variety of ways to explore projects in the classroom with their students. Check out the study guides and classroom resources for my novels here on my website

The Fun Stuff and Puzzles page features word searches related to the text and character names in each novel, plus you can also access The Super Scavenger Search, where the answers to a series of mind boggling questions are hidden in different pages all over my website. Class sets of books are also always available from me directly at discounted prices, depending on the number of books ordered. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Great Review of The Time Camera in Resource Links




The Time Camera, like other novels by Simon Rose, explores the idea of time travel. The book’s 
prologue zooms in on a power struggle between two scientists regarding the ethics of allowing 
the existence of a camera with extraordinary abilities. Fast forward one year and we learn that one of 
the scientists was Eleanor Chamberlain, deceased mother of Lydia. Lydia and best 
friend Jake fund the camera hidden in the floorboards of Eleanor’s office. While playing around 
with the camera, and watching research videos from Eleanor’s laptop, the two inadvertently 
reveal the astonishing powers of the camera. Their gradual discovery that the camera can not 
only take pictures of the past and future, but can also transport objects and people to the past 
and future leads the pair to relive events of the past and uncover the truth surrounding Eleanor’s 
death.


Without being overly technical, the book succeeds in making the concept of time travel feasible.
The action is fast paced.

The Time Camera, Simon Rose
Review - Resource Links Volume 17 No 3, Page 9-10 
by Moira Kirkpatrick


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Corporate Writing Services - Blogs and Newsletters

I offer professional and cost effective writing services for websites, blogs and newsletters, menus for restaurants, newspaper and magazine advertising, brochures, press releases, direct mail, training materials, reports, manuals and more. 


These days, more and more people make use of blogs for their online presence. Companies and corporations also recognize the importance of blogs in keeping in touch with both their existing and potential customers, delivering fresh and updated content on a regular basis. Others still use newsletters, distributed by e mail. However, actually finding the time to communicate with your clients several times a week can be a challenge. Why not hire a professional to compose the blog entries or newsletters for you?

Contact me directly for rates and fees at sorcerersletterbox@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

School Programs - Author in Residence



For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover certain topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. We can also look at working with the students on a specific project.
A week in residence can be designed however you would like, to best meet the needs of the students. Here's what a week could look like, based on a school where I spent five days working with students from grade one through seven. However, this is just an example and I am very flexible and happy to discuss your schools unique requirements with you.

K/1/2 Story Creation

This highly interactive presentation explores story structure relating to the creation of a well-defined beginning, middle and end. Using a series of seemingly unrelated objects, students participate in creating a story in what is always a lively and fun filled session. Although this exercise is done as a group, afterwards students are so enthusiastic that they want to create their own illustrations to go with the story and expand on the narrative that we have created together. In the weeks after my visit, some schools have added the children’s pictures to the story, as they create their own books and design covers for them. These have often been displayed in the classroom or sent home to parents.

Grade 3 Fantasy Realms and Creatures

In two sessions, we discuss the elements of fantasy and the many creatures and characters that inhabit the fantasy realm. In The Emerald Curse, the main villain has created monsters in his laboratory, combining some of the most fearsome creatures on earth. Most students are very familiar with monsters and strange creatures from mythology, books and movies and really enjoy the workshop where they get to invent their own unique mythological creature along with its powers, enemies, diet, habitat and the fantasy kingdom where it lives.

Grade 4 Superheroes

The Emerald Curse involves a young boy who is propelled into a strange comic book dimension, to save his grandfather, the world's greatest comic book artist and writer. The novel was influenced by the comic books and superhero adventure stories I read whilst growing up. In two sessions, we explore the superhero genre, before students create their own superhero, complete with costumes, powers, secret identity, headquarters, friends, family and one or more archenemies. They are also encouraged to draw their creation and some may even write a short story.

Grade 5/6/7 Time Travel, Historical Fiction and Writing Strategies

The Heretic's Tomb, The Sorcerer's Letterbox and The Alchemist's Portrait are time travel stories. These sessions look at where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories. We examine how history has served as inspiration for authors and filmmakers and learn about the importance of historical research. Students will then invent their own time machine or device, paying attention to detail and to the need for authentic historical settings. We also explore how to write gripping fiction and cliffhanger endings.

Grade 8 The Shape of Things to Come

The events described in The Clone Conspiracy may be science fiction, but cloning has become very much science fact in recent years. These sessions examine how much technology has developed in the last one hundred years, how the pace of change has rapidly accelerated in recent decades and challenges students to contemplate what types of technology we may expect to see in the century to come.

Grade 9 People Plotting: Creating Memorable Characters

Without people there is no plot and characters are at the heart of any story. In these workshops, we explore where writers get ideas for the people in their stories, the many methods of creating strong characters and how to use descriptive language to build them. Students invent their own unique characters and also learn how to write effective and engaging dialogue for their creations.

The the above scenario is merely a guideline as to what a week in residence could look like and I am very happy to discuss your school’s unique requirements with you. Contact me directly for details of fees and availability for Author in Residence at info@simon-rose.com.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What's it all About? The Clone Conspiracy


The Clone Conspiracy - "A must-read dedicated to unravelling the mystery surrounding human cloning, brain transplants and clandestine laboratories."

'At the dawn of the twenty-first century, nervous governments around the world reacted quickly to pass legislation banning human cloning. Panicked as technology rapidly advanced, they didn't realize that the genetic genie had already escaped from the bottle. When Luke's best friend Patrick vanishes and the police quickly close the case, Luke is determined to uncover the truth. Tantalizing clues lead Luke and Patrick's sister Emma to LennoxGen, where they stumble across a shocking international conspiracy with catastrophic consequences for the future of mankind.'

The Clone Conspiracy is available at most online bookstores which you can link to hereAutographed copies are also always available directly from the author.