The Billy Cart Derby Blog Tour

Earlier this year, Donna M Smith from Jelli-beanz Publishing visited Literary Clutter to tell us about her publishing venture and about the yearly Packed Lunch anthologies (see “Jelli-Beanz”). She’s back again — this time as part of her blog tour for Billy Cart Derby

Character Development in Billy Cart Derby
By Donna M Smith

Hi George. It is wonderful to be here today.

The characters of Billy Cart Derby were relatively simple to create as they are based on my three children. TJ is my eldest son, short for Timothy and he is very comical and animated. Ben is my youngest son, short for Benjamin and he is somewhat the cheeky one. Jazmine is the eldest of the three children and is often the bossy one! When I first wrote the story Jazmine was in grade 1 (she is now in grade 5) and Benjamin was a new born. I named the characters in the story after my children and then as time went by and I re-wrote subsequent drafts, the characters in the story began to develop their own individuality which mirrored my children’s individual personalities.

As my children became older and Billy Cart Derby continued to evolve, I lengthened the story into a chapter book. This allowed me the freedom to create more depth to the character’s personalities. The original story was about 1000 words less than what the published story is today, which is considerable. This is where I was able to add depth to the character’s personality and their roles in the story.

Miss Peterson was my daughter’s teacher in prep and was just wonderful in helping her settle in and was the special teacher who set up the garden club to help Jazmine make new friends. These special moments have their presence in the story.

Billy Cart Derby is based on a Grade 2’s class fundraising event, a billy cart race to try and whip the pants off the Grade 3’s skateboard fundraiser day. The story introduces the characters in the beginning and quickly takes the reader on a rip-roaring race through the school yard. It is fast paced and really exciting.  Grade Preps to 3 classes really enjoy it.

Of course my children are quite chuffed to see themselves in the book!

Thanks for hosting my visit today, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting Literacy Clutter.

Jelli-Beanz Publishing
‘where imagination comes to life’

George’s bit at the end

Thanks for stopping by, Donna.

To find out more about Donna and her writing, and to find out about the other stops on her tour, check out her blog. To find out more about Jelli-Beanz Publishing, check out their website.

Catch ya later,  George

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George Ivanoff

LITERARY CLUTTER: Bookish bloggings from the cluttered mind and bookshelf of Melbourne author, George Ivanoff. George is the author of the YOU CHOOSE books, the OTHER WORLDS series, the RFDS Adventures and the GAMERS trilogy.

8 thoughts on “The Billy Cart Derby Blog Tour”

  1. Hi George and Donna;
    Good to catch the next leg of the Billy Cart extravaganza. I hope Donna is planning more stories about these characters. What could they do to top this one? Favourite moment is the lemonade scene.

  2. Thanks George and Donna. Donna, it was great finding out a little more about the inspiration behind the characters of your book, Billy Cart Derby. Enjoy the rest of your blog tour.

  3. Hi George and Donna,
    Great reading about Donna’s character development. My children are a source of constant inspiration to me as well. I’m always guaranteed a fun story just by observing them.

  4. HI Sally,

    Thanks for popping by today. I am delighted you have been following the blog tour and enjoying the journey. The lemonade scene is very funny, my son Timothy inspired that part of the story. Just a little secret between you and I; Jaz, TJ and Ben from Happy Valley Primary School are currently penning their next adventure – a school excursion gone a tad amiss. I hope you enjoy the rest of tour.

  5. Hi Helen,
    Thankyou for popping in and visiting Literacy Clutter today. I am glad you are enjoying the tour, it has been lots of fun thus far. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

  6. Thanks to everyone for their comments. Good to see that this blog post has inspired some responses. 🙂
    Cheers, George

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