Total immersion in children's books

March 23, 2016
I think that if it's possible to overdose on children's fiction then I am currently in a bit of danger.
Yesterday evening I was in London for the monthly book group held at Nosy Crow. It is brilliant being part of a group that only discusses children's books (and its held at the Crow's Nest which is always an exciting trip!)
Today I signed my children and I up for yet another talk at the Oxford Literary Festival in April.....that makes 4 talks now but when you get the chance to be creative with Abi Elphinstone and Chris Riddell you take it!
Spent the day in the attic again (I am loving my Wednesday days off at the moment!) polishing submissions for the Winchester Writers Festival and then began writing my third rhyming picture book.
Ordered a copy of the Clockwork Sparrow to take to FCBG conference next week where Katherine Woodfine will be speaking and then sat on Twitter for an hour talking author school visits as part of fortnightly UKMG chat.
Now off for a lie down (with Jenny McLachlan's latest book 'StarStruck.')

New ventures

March 1, 2016
Since my last post I have been spending rather a lot of time at my desk in the attic (which has luckily been converted into a bedroom for my smallest child with a tiny workroom as a bonus for me!)
I have finished my second book for mid grade children, aiming at an audience slightly older than Zachary Mackerel, around 9-12 years.
It is called Dog-Girl and tells the story of Lily Ritson, a twelve year old girl who discovers she not only has super powers but also the ability to morph into a border...
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Meeting the Children's Laureate

October 27, 2015
It is half term and what better way to begin than by letting my two daughters take me to an author event at our local book shop.  A tiny book shop but my favourite, (Chapter 1 in Woodley if you fancy going along to say hi to Mary and John there.) A visit to a book shop is never a bad thing to do and can be a very happy way to spend an hour or so.  Yesterday Chapter 1 had an added attraction, not one literary hero in our household but two.  A F Harrold, poet, author and very funny entertainer ...
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Agent whirlwind

October 19, 2015
You may have thought that I have been sitting at home twiddling my thumbs over the summer as my last blog post was back in June. Not so!! 
I have been busy meeting people left, right and centre in the hope of securing an agent to help take me to a main stream publisher.
I have found that agents are actually, on the whole, rather lovely.  When I submitted my adult stories to agents I sent cold submissions and my postbox was flooded with standard, two line rejection letters....thank you for your ...
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Play Script Joy

June 14, 2015
Last week I went to a Primary School to spend the day talking to children about creative writing.  This is always something I love as children's imaginations never fail to tickle me.  
This time though I had an extra treat as I was presented with a piece of homework that one little girl had done and wanted to share with me.  She had turned a scene from Zachary Mackerel into an amazing play script.  I hope she got top marks from her teacher, she absolutely deserved it!
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Writers and Artists

June 8, 2015
Last Thursday was my birthday.  Usually for my gorgeous (but not always quite on the right track) husband that means raiding my card box and stopping off at Tesco on the way home from work for a box of chocolates.  This year though I took matters into my own hands and bought myself a day out on his behalf.  
And so it was that on Saturday I spent a very sunny time in the heart of British publishing, Bloomsbury.  The Writers and Artists' Yearbook is a volume that I buy religiously every year an...
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June 2, 2015
WARNING; vaguely slushy mushy blog post about preciousness of family.
You were warned, so if you are still reading then I have to assume the odd bit of smush doesn't bother you too much.
Whenever I give talks to schools about writing stories I always begin by asking the children to consider purpose. (If you are at Birch Copse Primary then you have until Tuesday to come up with some really good answers!) Part of the purpose of story writing has to be to entertain an audience, so for that you mus...
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Dragons in Reading.

May 5, 2015
There are dragons flying around Reading at the moment.  Real dragons, who breathe fire and melt wheelie bins.  You thought it was just gangs of youths finding ways to amuse their tiny minds didn't you?  No, it is the dragons.  The terrible wind that is battering our fences and blowing over our trees at night at the moment.....dragons!  if you don't believe me then come along to St Laurence hall next Saturday (16th May) and prepare to be proven wrong!
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Children have pretty amazing thinker uppers.

April 19, 2015

Any time I can find a good reason to quote Dr Suess I generally like to take it and today was the real epitome of brilliant 'thinker-uppers.'  
I had the pleasure of sitting in the book tent at our local community fun day and talking to children about writing stories. They each had a very simple planning sheet to write on, scribble over, colour in, whatever they wanted to do under the headings; Crazy Characters, Super Settings and Priceless Plots.  
I am very glad to say that the bombardment of...
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Totally literary submergence

April 16, 2015
What a week it has been, what an incredible, exciting, slightly surreal week.  I feel as though I have been swimming on a tide of children's literature since Friday when I jumped into the FCBG's annual conference feet first. If someone was to draw a cartoon of my world at this precise moment it would show a large pool of books with me in the middle wearing one of those 1950's flowery bathing caps with a chin strap trying to master the back stroke.  
In the past week I have talked books with Ka...
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