Song Bird Book Series How I Wrote it

Song Bird Book SeriesSong Bird Book Series How I Wrote it

Who would believe that bullying, child empowerment and self-belief would inspire me to write my Song Bird book series?

How? In grade six, a frenemy (half friend-half enemy) bullied me continuously, eroding away my self-confidence. I found solace by singing in the school choir and becoming a science nerd, empowering me to believe in myself and ignore the bullying.

These personal experiences inspired me to create Song Bird Superhero (Book 1) and my favourite character, Rosella Ava Bird aka Rosie.

Once Rosie found her empowerment, she formed a dynamic trio with friends Amy Hillcrest, a disabled girl in a wheelchair … and stuttering, geeky school captain Ben. All three kids love Maths, Science, Engineering and Technology – STEM.

Together, they support each other and fight bullies and save the bullied and the school.

Song Bird Superhero became a success with young readers, and they implored me to write the next adventure in the book series.

I made Rosie an environmental superhero, an eco-warrior. She found that if she can stop the bully, Frank her next-door neighbour, she can do anything.

She believes in herself and friends that they can save the environment and stop environmental villain, Destructo.

I wrote Song Bird: Battle of Bug World to show kids the effects of climate change and the simple things they can do themselves to save the bees and care for the planet.

In Rainforest Rescue, Destructo returns to wreak havoc on the rainforest and the trees. It’s up to Song Bird to solve the secrets about disappearing friends, strange mythical creatures and why the rainforest is dying.

How did I create the Song Bird Book Series?

 I include eight key characters in every story- friends, family and enemies.

For my main character, Rosella Ava Bird (bullied), and her side-kicks Amy Hillcrest (disabled) and Ben (low self-esteem), I have detailed character notes and interviews, keeping tabs on their appearance, description, back story, flaws and favourite expressions. As the series progresses, I give them increasing self-confidence and problem-solving abilities. I do the same for Rosie’s family and class teacher, Miss Darling AKA Wonder Girl but to a lesser degree. I want her character to remain mysterious.

Why did you choose eco themes for the Song Bird book series?

As a teacher, environmental issues were part of my class teaching and my personal lifestyle and interest. For twenty years, I have hiked through Gondwana rainforests and national parks in Mt Tamborine, Springbrook and Lamington National Park behind the Gold Coast.

I want families to hike in our rainforests and find their own health benefits, It’s the perfect way to de-stress, get fit, and breathe in nature.

#5 Top Tips in Creating a Book Series

  1. Write your first book with a series in mind. As you write book 1, scribble down ideas for books 2 and 3.
  2. Create a series title or make the character’s name the series title e.g. Song Bird, Jo-Kin.
  3.  Craft your first book with an extremely likeable hero main character, a character who readers will strongly identify with. Create a sidekick and/or a team to fight the bad or evil characters or to fight challenges. Create a strong sense of place with each scene.
  4. In book 2, introduce new characters, new challenges and new scenes to keep the story fresh and exciting.
  5. Keep track of your characters, their dreams and fears, their description and their character tags. Keep these consistent over your series.

What’s the message of Song Bird book series?

Children can empower themselves to live stronger, to make a difference in their own lives and in the world around them. I continually preach, take risks, have a go, and never give up.

Rainforest Rescue Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwYIUpieXA8

Rainforest Rescue is available at Amazon, Booktopia, good bookshops OR with a FREE Rainforest showbag at www.songbirdseries.com

Karen Tyrrell writes empowering books to help kids live STRONG through humour and self-belief. She’s an experienced Brisbane school teacher, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. Karen won an Arts Queensland grant for book Ready Set Discover Logan. Karen’s acclaimed books include Song Bird series, STOP the Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember and Super Space Kids series.  Karen won 3 awards, 4 literary grants, 3 sponsorships and a mentorship through the Society of Editors www.karentyrrell.com

What Book Series tips resonates with you?

What writing tips would you like to share?

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8 comments to Song Bird Book Series How I Wrote it

  • Lorna Elliot

    Karen, I love your use of the term frenemy, I relate to it as possibly a lot of other women.
    I had a frenemy I high school that made my life turbulent. I think I was lucky she moved
    to another State, and I made life long friends. Daughter number 3 loves your Song Bird
    Books, and devours them, always bugging me to check when the next one is out…
    I love the messages you give in the books, we need more empowering girls especially with
    Events that caused the Me Too movement to grow. Thanks so much and keep writing about
    Strong girls !

  • Thanks Lorna, for your incredible support and sharing of your ideas on bullying. I’m thrilled I’m helping both boys and girls to become more empowered. Yours (etc) Karen x

  • You’ve broken this down so succinctly. You’ve done a marvellous job.
    I hadn’t thought about keeping a series in mind – scribble ideas for 2 & 3.

    Having super likeable main character for readers to identify with.

    Creating a sidekick and/or a team to fight evil characters and challenges.

    A strong sense of place with each scene.

    To lead into book 2, introduce new characters, new challenges for exciting new story.

    It sounds like a spreadsheet to keep track of character tags, fears etc.,
    Wow! Well done Karen.

  • Hi Maria,
    Thanks so much for reading my Blog on Book Series and responding here. You’ve given me extra incentive and encouragement
    to present more writing workshops in the near future.
    I wish you every success in your writing and publishing … take care, Karen x

  • Noela

    Enjoyed your explanation about how the series was planned and how it’s debeloped. I looked the Frenemies word too. Had a whole group of work friends who turned out to be just that so I had to eventually cut all contact particularly as I was starting to be left out of things. 10 years on I occasionally miss their company about things that we had in common but generally glad to get away from the ‘bitchy’side of things. Much better people in my life anyway. Good on you Karen for showing children how to deal with these issues!

  • Thanks Noela,
    For taking a peek of the STORY behind why I wrote the Song Bird series.
    About the frenemy senario,I think its more common than you think. My experience is that often its well educated women who can be the ones dishing out “bitchy bully” behaviours to their friends. Thanks for all your kind support. Karen x

  • Therese Ralston

    Thank you so much for this, you are a treasure and a wonderful songbird yourself. Excellent advice; cheers.

  • Hi Therese,
    Lovely to meet you here. Thanks for taking a peek of my writing tips for a children’s book series. Thrilled those tips were helpful.
    Cheers,
    Karen

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