Saturday, 18 October 2014

JAKE: THE BONE COLLECTOR...

Meet twelve year old Jake… and find out how a cool hobby led him to becoming a published author at the age of just ten!

Jake says:
Two years ago I signed my first book deal… and if you think that's strange, it gets weirder still. I have an unusual hobby; not many other people my age are interested in it, and some people think it's odd. And most people who do it are scientists who write in a way that is difficult for children to understand.

You see, I collect bones. I live in Scotland where there is the most amazing countryside and wildlife. When I was six I was out walking with my dad and found a skull; I took it home and worked out that it was from a rabbit. I started to wonder what other mysteries were out there waiting to be discovered in the woods and moors around my village. Soon, I was discovering all sorts of amazing things, not just skulls and bones. I discovered old WWII army bunkers, old deserted water mills, 150 year old pottery hidden in the ground, unexploded bombs from 70 years ago… even an ancient Roman tunnel beneath my village!

Five years ago I started blogging about my finds and my adventures. I made myself a promise that I would blog at least once a week for six months, and pretty soon I was hooked! Other people began reading my blog and sending me bones from around the world. Sometimes they were able to help me with puzzles I had blogged about. And the more I blogged, the better I got at it.

Explaining bones can be difficult, so I used lots of photographs. Skeletons can be complicated, so I explained things simply. Telling my stories in a funny way made more people read my blog posts. Soon, I got quite good at it, and newspaper ran a story about me. And that's how a publisher in London saw my blog and decided it would make a great book for children! It's strange now to walk into a bookshop and see my book, or get stopped in the street because someone recognises me. Sometimes I go to book festivals like the Bath Festival of Children's Literature - which is where I met Cathy Cassidy - and I have to do a presentation about my book and meet my readers!

Blogging has taught me a lot of things… including how to write for myself and write about the things I am passionate about. If you think something is interesting, other people will too. I've learnt that the more you write, the better you get. And I've learnt that amazing things can happen, but it takes a lot of hard work at first. And it's amazing fun as well!

You can check out Jake's book here…
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jakes-Bones-Jake-McGowan-Lowe/dp/1783250259/

and read his blog here…
http://www.jakes-bones.com

Cathy says:
I was thrilled to meet Jake at Bath Kid's Lit Festival… and I was so impressed at how cool, enthusiastic and professional he was! Do YOU have a fascinating or unusual hobby? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

4 comments:

  1. My hobby is unicycling (riding on a one wheeled bike). I fell in love with it about six months ago and although it is hard to get your balance to start, it is worth it to be stopped in the street and told it is a great and unusual skill.

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  2. Hi Jake, that is so cool! You seem immensely clever and I think it's amazing about your book. I love science/bones too and studying them. P.s. do you want to be an archaeologist when you grow up? That way you can study and discover dinosaur bones! I love dinosaurs! Best wishes. :)

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  3. Hi Mae ! Thanks for your comment. Not sure exactly what I'd like to do as a job yet, but definitely something involving bones.

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  4. Hi Jake,
    I think it is great that you have been able to achieve this at your age! (I am 13 do probably only a few months older than you!) I especially think it's
    great that you do it despite the fact your friends and other people our age may not understand it. I was
    wondering how you fit it in with school and stuff and wheth you see it as work or a hobby? Thanks and good luck for the future! ��

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