• Slide 01
  • Slide 02

Welcome

A good book, a pot of tea and some dark chocolate. Heaven! Thank you for joining my world of magical mysteries and exciting adventures. Bring your own refreshments and I’ll provide the rest.

More about me

Writer's Notebook

Read Here

The Bookshelf

View
Day At The Desk - blog post image

Day At The Desk

Today's 'A Day At The Desk' welcomes the author illustrator duo Sam Hay and Sarah Massini, my stars of the week and creators of the  Star in the Jar (reviewed here), a book that bought tears to my eyes. 

Calling All School Children! - blog post image

Calling All School Children!

Kids - I need your help! I want loads of brilliant questions from 4 - 14 year olds that I can put to professionals across the publishing industry. I'll compile their answers into a series of features on the site that will hopefully help us to really understand how a book goes from the first word on a scrap of paper to a shelf in your local library. 

How did you choose the cover? - blog post image

How did you choose the cover?

The first question children ask when they hear I’ve had a novel published is, “did you do the illustrations?” The next is often, “how did you choose the cover?” and “how many have you sold?” I fear I disappoint on all scores as all I did was write the story (and even that with a co-author); I can’t draw for toffee, our publisher chose the cover and until the royalty statement I have no idea how many we have sold. 

Help Reinstate The Lost Words - blog post image

Help Reinstate The Lost Words

By removing many nature words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, children will, rather than caring for the earth and everything on it, be more insular and lead less healthy lives. This is alarming at a time when species are approaching extinction and more and more children are suffering from mental illness and obesity. 

Sherbert Lemon Flavour Words - blog post image

Sherbert Lemon Flavour Words

I have fallen a little behind on my notebook, distracted from what should have been the final triumphant week of editing my novel by voluntary work. It's all 

Young Storyteller - blog post image

Young Storyteller

What could be more motivating than seeing your writing published and available for readers to buy and download all around the world? 

A Word With Lisa Thompson - blog post image

A Word With Lisa Thompson

I am delighted to welcome the bestselling author of The Goldfish Boy whose second fantastic novel The Light Jar launches to huge critical acclaim this week. Lisa has kindly agreed to join me on the blog today and to answer some of your questions and I am delighted to feature reviews on both of her novels on The Bookshelf.  

A Word With Kate Frost - blog post image

A Word With Kate Frost

Kate and I have not met but I feel like I know her - we are members of the same fantastic Facebook group (Book Connectors), she lives in Bristol which is near where I come from and, like me, she writes adult and children's fiction.  I recently reviewed Kate's novel Time Shifters Into The Past and a few people have got in touch to say they are going to read it.  If you haven't read the review you can read it here and if you scroll to the end of the interview you'll find details of Kate's Time Shifters Club with a fun freebie for those who sign up. 

A Word With Cate Douglas - blog post image

A Word With Cate Douglas

A big round of applause and an enthusiastic tail wag for author Cate Douglas, creator of Poppy's Tail, who has kindly agreed to come on the site today. Cate and I have never met, but I have a 

A Word With Author Helen Dennis - blog post image

A Word With Author Helen Dennis

I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Helen Dennis to the site today to talk about her books and answer some of the questions you have sent in. I met Helen at a library event in Windsor and liked her instantly. Before you read further you should know, even though she has written ten fantastic books Helen is very modest. When I congratulated her on her amazing work she said, “at least it means I don’t have to get up as early as I would if I did a milk round.” I wonder what time she got up to answer our questions? I started by asking her to tell us a little about herself ...
 

A Word With Author J.L. Smith - blog post image

A Word With Author J.L. Smith

Today we welcome children's author Jenny Smith. Jenny's super successful novels include Diary of a Parent Trainer, (already reviewed on The Bookshelf), My Big Fat Teen Crisis and the fab Abominator series.Jenny has kindly agreed to answer questions submitted from my Instagram and Twitter followers.  

A great new initiative called #BookBuddy links donors with schools.  Visit Book Buddy and help more children discover the world of books.  

The Trapdoor Mysteries - blog post image

The Trapdoor Mysteries

The first book in The Trapdoor Mysteries, a series about Tally, a code-breaking, animal-loving servant girl and her best friend, a squirrel named Squill, who solve mysteries with the help of a secret library...  

 

The Wizards of Once - blog post image

The Wizards of Once

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide. 

Twenty Things You Ought to Know About Pigs - blog post image

Twenty Things You Ought to Know About Pigs

I thought this list from the fabulous Secret Life of Cows (by Rosamund Young) might be interesting for anybody wanting to feature a pig in the cast of their next story. 

"The moon illuminated the yew tree's ghoulish profiles turning them into grim reapers that watched over us as we rowed."

~The Witches' Punchbowl