Monday, November 09, 2009

A surprise review from an Authonomy member

'It's easy to see that this is from the pen of an accomplished writer. It may be a simple child's story, but the imaginativeness and inventiveness place it far higher than that. Creating languages that can be read by humans but are easily seen to be foreign is just genius. Using language in such a creative way is exactly what sparks the minds of adults and children alike.'

If only a publisher could look at it like that ...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Red House Children's Book Award

The new book 'Hero Required' has been nominated for the Red House Children's Book Award!!

It is the only award voted for by children which makes it very special.

If you have read the book and would like to vote for it, here's the link;

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Did you know that the inspiration for the background of the all book covers is Prague? Not sure what tooth fairies are called in the Czech Republic ...
Having a good week so far.
Wholesalers have just sent through an order for 102 books!

Also sold lots of books at a school talk today!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Had a good week so far as books go. Sold 62 which is brilliant!

Tomorrow I'm at Watertone's Alton, Hants. I'm hoping there are lots of people about who would quite like a novel about teenage tooth fairies! Let's hope they are all open minded!

I'm loving having the set of books to offer people. The three books look stunning together - thanks to Tara, of course!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If anyone's is around north London on Saturday, pop in and see me in Waterstone's Finchley Road branch. I shall be signing copies of my books from 11-3pm.

Talking of signings, I've had a lot of interest just lately. Lots of signings up to Christmas at W H Smith branches as well as Waterstone's which is great. I just need to make sure I sell lots of books because, as we know, they won't move if I'm not there!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I need to rant!

After trailing round Waterstone's branches for three years, they still won't stock my books centrally because my books won't sell if I'm not there. I don't have the budget to compete with the likes of mainstream publishers. All I have is my family to help market my work. How on earth can I reach the nation like other publishers do?

They keep books in their stores that have probably stay on the shelves for years yet won't give mine a chance even though I have probably outsold many of their 'mainstream' authors if the figures were tallied.

Instead, I must continue to peddle my books through weekly bookstore signings and school talks.
I love writing, but sometimes ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Books have arrived!!

Seven boxes of Hero Required were delivered today! Brilliant! These are for my talks and book fairs. rest will be delivered to wholesalers as needed so that the world can read the final part of the trilogy ... unless there's a comeback novel. Well, Take That did alright ...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Still no book!

Well, sadly, I am still waiting for the third book to be delivered. the printers have promised that it will be in the next few days. Just hope the distributors don't start getting ratty with me!

On the good side I have lined up five book signings for the autumn with Waterstone's and W H Smith's - hopefully the books will be here by then!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Draft Book Arrived!

The draft book of Hero Required has arrived at last! I'm now in the process of checking that all the errors I found previously have been corrected by Clare at YPS.

I still find it amazing to hold the finished book in my hand for the first time. It's thicker than the last books so a little more expensive to produce and sell. The cover is stunning and it fits in easily with the other two books.

Now just waiting for the first batch to arrive and mass selling begins!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Still waiting for draft book to come through and getting a little nervous about meeting publication date!

Time to tackle Marvin now while waiting. Now where were we ...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Have just seen that I am number five on the Authonomy children's book chart. May not mean much to some, but means hell of a lot to me.

Authonomy is a great site on which to get your writing critiqued by fellow writers plus there is a chance of it being picked up by Harper Collins who run the site!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Have finished proof reading, thank goodness. How come that even though three people have read through the work, there are still loads and loads of typos!!! Arrgghh!

Still, it's ready to go back to the printers tomorrow. Let's see what happens next!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Order for Hero Required

Today the very first order came in for 'Hero Required'! So exciting to know that people want to read my book ... and unless they read my blog or look on other sites, they'll be completely unaware that said book is sitting next to me still being proof read!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Proofs Have Arrived!!!

A nice fat padded envelope arrived today - first proofs of Hero Required. Just 309 pages to wade through! Interestingly, I have to correct any errors with a RED pen which is quite ironic as in school we're not supposed to use red pens. It's apparently a throw back from the old school days when everything was crossed through and marked in red, leaving the poor pupil quite traumatised! So what about me then - what if I become traumatised whilst correcting it?? Heigh-ho!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday writing workshop

So the writer's workshop went well. About twenty children turned up which was a good number to work with. I used characterisation as a focus which is a fun way of getting children to talk to each other and stimulates their thinking.
I just have a box of bits and pieces i.e. scarf, glasses, travel brochure, candle, an orange etc. You need around fifty items to share between groups of four children. I give a mix of 'artifacts' to each group and a large piece of paper with marker pens. Then I get them to talk about who the character could be, based on the artifacts they have. After a quick chat they draw out the character and make notes around the figure. Finally they present their characters to each other. Great fun! In longer sessions I ask the children to come up with a story summary using two or three of the characters. It certainly seems to inspire story writing which is why I like doing it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Writing workshop

Have a writing workshop at school tomorrow. I shall go through how to create good characters using different artefacts to help. Hopefully, I'll sell some books too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book launch

After placing my order with the printers for the new book, I'm now turning my head towards the book launch. My local Waterstone's have kindly offered to host it. I'm probably going to have a small gathering for friends and family during the week with an author signing on the following Saturday. Just need to tie the printers down to a firm delivery date ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another school talk

Gave an author talk to years 3/4/5/6 at Cuddington Croft Primary School today. They were a fabulous audience and listened really well. Sold loads of books. The staff were great too. Thank you!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The interview I was doing about self-publishing has just gone live! Look really good and the book covers look great!

Have a look and let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New Book Gone!

Crikey, that feels good! The third book, Hero Required, is completely finished and has gone off to the printers - at last.
It has taken so long to get this one out as I have been writing other books in between. I feel really pleased as its written in a completely different way.
It's due out in July - not sure what date, but will let everyone know as soon as I do.

Friday, June 05, 2009

New book cover!

Hooray! The cover for the third Aggie Lichen book 'Hero Required' has finally been finished. The cover has been sent to the printers for a sample print just to test out the colour and to see if the white print stands out enough. The designer, Tara Bush, has done a fantastic job and I'm really pleased. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

School visit

Today I gave an author talk to 100 Yr3/4 pupils at Northolmes Junior School in Horsham, Surrey. They are looking at British writers for their literacy topic. It seemed to go down well and the children were very interested. Sold a few books too which is always good news.

Had some fabulous questions asked:
Who is my favourite author?
What's the longest story I have written?
Did I draw the cover too?

But my favourite was:
If I didn't have a talent for writing, what talent would I wish for?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Today I am responding to questions from Tracy Baines about self-publishing. I found out that Tracey was blogging a series through SCBWI. She had some great self-published authors already on the blog and kindly agreed to let me rant and rave about the trials of self-publishing so I am just in the middle of explaining what it all entails. Do look out for it either through SCBWI or Jacketflap. Hopefully I will come across as sophisticated and knowledgable ...

Sunday, May 31, 2009


So the third Aggie Lichen book is now finished. Hero Required should hit the shelves July 2009 - well, that's the plan. It all takes a while to pull things together, but I feel confident that the date will be hit!

Hopefully, there will be a launch party at my local Waterstone's branch in Sutton. If you would like to come, please forward me your email address so that I can send you an official invitation nearer the publication date.