Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures – Tinsel Town

So today you have reached everything mummy for the final day of the blog tour for the brand new children’s book Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures – Tinsel Town written by the ever so lovely Natalie Page.

The girls are big fans of Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures books as already as mentioned in a blog post about our recent reads, they instantly recognised the new book from the distinctive illustrations by Chris Rivers Nuttall when I told them Zak and Jen were off on a christmasy adventure in this story they couldn’t wait for it to be bed time – which never happens by the way!

Zak and Jen's Astronomical Adventures - Tinsel Town

The girls and I just love how filled with magic and excitement these stories are as it’s a children’s book I figured they would be best to include their own quotes and thoughts on the book…

Maisy aged 5 – “I like the story because it’s about christmas and I like christmas because it’s fun”

Bella Aged 4 – “I like reading stories in mummy’s bed because it’s cosy this story is funny and I like the pictures”

Lottie aged 2 – “My read it to you now?”

I mean with quotes like this I think I ought to jack in the blogging and hand it over to them!

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The critiques themselves at story time!

I have worked closely with Author Natalie as she has published both books lately and as someone who would love one day to write her own books I wanted a nose into what gives you the idea’s etc so I asked some questions I thought I would share with you guys too!

1. How did you get the idea for Zak and Jen? 

To be honest, the inspiration for the stories came from Chris’ paintings. He had often painted these two characters and I was desperate to write a story around them. One night, I was trying to get my daughter to sleep and the story for the first book literally just started appearing in my head. Suddenly my brain was full of rhyming lines so I got my phone out (at 3am) and started writing. The same was true of Tinsel Town. I hadn’t intended to write a Christmas book, but once again, when my daughter wasn’t sleeping I found that the story just came to me. I called Chris the next day and said, how do you fancy doing a Christmas book? and he was like ‘yeah that sounds awesome!’ so we just went with it! 

2. How long did it take for your ideas to become a real life book?

Honestly? The Petal Planet (our first book) was written in early 2015 but it wasn’t actually published until May 2016. The formal publishing process is a long one and there are lots of hoops you need to jump through. With Tinsel Town, the process has taken about 6 months from initial draft to finished book. Ideally we would have liked longer, but unfortunately we couldn’t move Christmas so we had to work quickly! 

3. Did you always want to be a Children’s author?

I have always loved writing, even when I was a child. However, it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I had the freedom to start writing again and I got the bug back! These days, I am hooked, and if I am not working on a book then I start to get frustrated! 

4. What was your most recent read?

I have just started reading Avalon by Mindee Arnett, which is a Sci Fi YA story. In addition to writing Children’s picture books I also write young adult fiction so I love reading other YA books to see what else is out there. Avalon was also recommended by a friend so I am excited to see how it turns out! 

5. What’s next for Zak and Jen?

We definitely have more stories planned – but we have also been exploring other ideas like children’s clothes, prints and plushie dolls of the characters as so many people have asked us about them! Who knows, maybe we will be approached by a big publisher to pick up the series? 

Zak and Jen's Astronomical Adventures - Tinsel Town

And right now I also have a copy of the new book for you guys to win, just in time for christmas! WOOOOO!!!! Enter via the gleam widget below, UK only. T&C’s Apply.

Zak & Jen

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52 Comments

  1. iain maciver
    November 18, 2016 / 11:32 am

    scrooge

  2. Jo Hutchinson
    November 18, 2016 / 11:35 am

    I haven’t read them yet, and I love A Christmas carol.

  3. amy bondoc
    November 18, 2016 / 11:36 am

    no i havent read it yet looks like its a good book for kids though!

  4. Becky Yeomans
    November 18, 2016 / 11:41 am

    No never heard of them! I love a christmas carol!!

  5. Kim Neville
    November 18, 2016 / 11:58 am

    have not read any of these books yet. we like the The Elves and the Shoemaker

  6. emma walters
    November 18, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    i haven’t read it yet, we love to read the dinosaur who pooped christmas!!

  7. laura stewart
    November 18, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    no i havent x

  8. Laura
    November 18, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Haven’t read them, his favourite last year was That’s Not My Santa!

  9. Susan Sargent
    November 18, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    No i have not read this book yet.

  10. November 18, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    I haven’t read it yet. I love the Snowman.

  11. Wendy Becker
    November 19, 2016 / 9:28 am

    Not yet

  12. Solange
    November 20, 2016 / 3:21 am

    I haven’t read it yet. We love A Christmas Carol.

  13. Lynn Heath
    November 20, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    We haven’t read any yet, they look really good.

    The kids favourite Christmas story is the night before Christmas

  14. Tee simpson
    November 20, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    No never read them. We love santa needs a wee

  15. MANDY DOHERTY
    November 20, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    I’ve never read them, my grandsons love Father Christmas

  16. Andrew Curtis
    November 21, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Not yet! Our favourite is L. Frank Baum’s “A Kidnapped Santa Claus”

  17. jodie a harvey
    November 21, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    i havnt read them yet but they look interesting

  18. Kelly cooper
    November 21, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I have not read them before but tinsel town looks really good I can imagine that would be my favourite Christmas story

  19. JULIE WARD
    November 21, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Haven’t read it, we like the Snowman book, we have it on DVD as well

  20. Stevie
    November 22, 2016 / 7:20 am

    I too haven’t read the book yet. My favourite Christmas story is A Christmas Carol.

  21. Jo Carroll
    November 22, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    We haven’t read them yet but I’m definately going to search them out as they look fab. My fave Xmas book is ‘The Snowman’. x

  22. Corinne Peat
    November 22, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    No we haven’t read it yet. I love a Christmas carol

  23. Dawn Hull
    November 23, 2016 / 9:37 am

    No, we haven’t read Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures books yet.

  24. Susan Smith
    November 23, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Havent read Zak and Jens Adventure books yet, my favorite Christmas story is Scrooge

  25. Denise C
    November 24, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    I haven’t read this yet. My favourite Christmas story is A Christmas Carol.

  26. Bryony Marshall
    November 24, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Not yet!

  27. C Parkin
    November 25, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    I haven’t read it yet. We like reading “Father Christmas” by Raymond Briggs

  28. michelle o'neill
    November 26, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    no i havent read it yet , and i love twas the night before xmas x

  29. November 27, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    I haven’t read any but The Petal Planet sounds fun.

  30. Kat Allinson
    November 28, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    I’ve not read them yet. My favourite is a Christmas Carol

  31. Kerry Locke
    November 30, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    Not Yet .. but they look super good.

  32. Beryl drake
    November 30, 2016 / 11:28 pm

    No we havent read it yet , love the Nativity story

  33. Jenny Prest
    December 1, 2016 / 6:58 am

    I’m yet to read them but they look fab! I love A Chris Carol

  34. Gemma Cook
    December 1, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Haven’t read it yet. We love The night before Christmas!
    Kids would love this. Thank you for running such a generous giveaway & Merry Christmas!

  35. December 1, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Never read them but would love to. My favourite Xmas story is a Christmas carol and my daughters is nightmare before Xmas

  36. Allan Fullarton
    December 1, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    No i have not read this book yet.

  37. Sheri Darby
    December 1, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    We haven’t read any of them yet

  38. Michaela Hannah
    December 1, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    We’ve never read them but we are enjoying the Snowman so far this winter

  39. Pauline Black
    December 1, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    I haven’t read this yet. We have a book of Christmas stories. Jayden’s fav is the night before Christmas.

  40. Rebecca Powell
    December 1, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    We haven’t read this yet – we love The Night Before Christmas

  41. Lia Burns
    December 2, 2016 / 12:44 am

    We haven’t read them yet, we love the snowman x

  42. Natalie Gillham
    December 2, 2016 / 2:24 am

    My favourite Christmas story is The Christmas Carol. I love the illustrations in this book, thanks for the chance to win it x

  43. kelly morgan
    December 2, 2016 / 7:19 am

    I haven’t read the book yet.

  44. carol boffey
    December 2, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    aint read it yet

  45. Diana
    December 2, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    Not yet! But would love to. My favourite is Christmas Carol 🙂

  46. Richard Tyler
    December 2, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    Not yet, would love to though!

  47. Sarah Wilson
    December 2, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    Not read the yet, and my favourite Christmas story is The Night Before Christmas.

  48. Sarah Wilson
    December 2, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    *them (typo!)

  49. Jo McPherson
    December 2, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    I’ve never read them before. We love the Jolly Christmas Postman

  50. Natalie Crossan
    December 2, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    night before christmas 🙂

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