Bottom line basics of children’s fiction with Stuart Reid – 11 March 2020

I don’t know what I expected when I first went along to Ayr Writers’ Club four weeks ago. I do know what I didn’t expect – on my fourth visit to land the part of Annoying Alison in the impromptu production of a Gorgeous George book by the children’s author, Stuart Reid. The one where two little cheeky cheery chappies find a giant jobbie germinating in somebody’s potty paddling pool and round off their adventure by drinking Irn Bru and having a burping competition. I can’t lie – my acting abilities were wasted on the role of annoying Alison whose part was – to look over the fence and be annoyed.

Blogger Jennifer “volunteers” to act as Annoying Alison with Stuart ready to direct

 

Stuart Reid, guest speaker at the club on 11th March, is author of the Gorgeous George crazy adventure books for 8 to 12 year olds. Now a series of eight books no less, with alliteration a leading theme. The star of the books is Gorgeous George. The author is Silly Stuart – who clearly loves being a big daft kid. It wasn’t hard to see why he finally left the day job behind and followed his dream of being a children’s author as he could not stop being simply silly for a split second.

Stuart told us of his cool career curve from teenage trolley boy, to off-licence manager to hotel chain manager in Dubai. Of his luxury lifestyle complete with swimming (not paddling) pool and a maid. We knew from the first line of his writer’s tale that Stuart was going to burst out of his buttoned up business suit in Incredible Hulk fashion and follow his dream to write Gorgeous George adventure stories but it was no less inspiring to listen to. George loves to solve mysteries which are laden with childish humour – lots of bums and bogies and sniffing, sneezing, belching, burping and snot. Stuart is clearly doing something he loves. Although I was sorry for him not having a maid any more. She would have come in useful to clear up all the snot.

Even more “volunteers” act out a chapter with Stuart

Complementing Silly Stuart was his alter ego – “Switched on Stuart”. He certainly didn’t come up the River Ayr on Gorgeous George’s pogo stick. He gave us a slick run through of the business bit of his author’s world. His take on mainstream publishing – don’t – self publish for best returns. His take on marketing – know your market – kids, schools and mums and dads. His take on success – organisation and hard work. Stuart’s entire approach echoed the opening line by author Pat Young who spoke two weeks previously when she said – generally, success is a choice. Books don’t write themselves, they don’t pitch themselves and they don’t sell themselves. Lots of hard work and enthusiasm have made Stuart a stunning slimy success.

Jennifer Martin

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