It felt like I was stepping back in time the other day, as I slipped inside the Society of Authors HQ in Drayton Gardens, Kensington, London. Such a wonderfully atmospheric old building. And when I found a heavily-laden bookshelf with a sign saying ‘Help yourself to a book,’ my happiness was complete!
I was there to lead a workshop for authors on how to present your work live. So we did everything from microphone technique to how to choose a perfect extract to read. Along the way we hurled socks at each other (a confidence building exercise – honest) and shared our experiences as working authors. Best of all was hearing about the fabulous new books the participants were bringing out. Such a talented group!
March was crazy busy with World Book Day (!) work, and the snow really didn’t help… I had to reschedule two schools and four adult shows. So it was funny to find myself heading to Kyiv, with its deep snow and -10 degree temperature! But I had a truly wonderful time. First at the Kyiv International School, where I worked over three days with all ages, from 3 – 16. And then I had an adult event for Mystetskyi Arsenal, talking to children’s authors about the interface between live storytelling and novel writing.
This event was also the Ukrainian launch for my picture book BREATHE. It was great to meet the whole team, especially illustrator Olga Kuznetsova (pictured on the far right here)
When you can’t control your emotions and your birthday is coming, you need great friends…
Introducing my gorgeous new picture book BREATHE! I met the publisher, Liliya Pochkun, at the Arsenal Book Fair in Kyiv last year, and we immediately knew we wanted to make a book together. It was illustrated, designed and printed in Ukraine, by Liliya’s Wise Bee books.
I hope this is the first of many collaborations with my new Ukrainian friends 🙂
I was fortunate to spend another Christmas in India this year, beginning in Hampi then moving on to Palolem Beach, where I wrote a new children’s book – The Girl in the White Mirrored Dress.
It still needs some polishing, but I have a very good feeling about it. There’s magic, friendship, dogs and a shadow tiger, all set against a Goan beach backdrop…
Weather permitting (!) I will be taking Truth & Truffles to this lovely festival on Saturday 10 March at 7.30pm. Naomi cannot make this date, so I will be joined by the fabulous RUTH GRAHAM. Come!
Tickets here https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/447562 or from Rossiter Books, Monmouth.
I still get a thrill when I hold a new book in my hands. The Hairy Marys is a quirky, uplifting school drama about a twelve year old girl called Emmy. She has just moved up to St Mary’s High School and dreams of being in the end of term play.
There’s just one problem. Nearly all the parts in the play are male, and the teacher in charge, Mr Derren, will only give male parts to boys.
Inspired by the Suffragettes, Emmy and her friends begin a protest that turns them famous overnight. But being a celebrity… is it a dream or a nightmare? Emmy is about to find out!
The cover illustration is by Mariya-Racquel Amato, a fabulously talented young illustrator from the US. I met her at the Arsenal Book Fair in Kyiv. www.facebook.com/mariyaracquelart
Buy the book here: 272562503595