Introducing my new book… Jack’s Diamond and other stories.
It’s a collection of eight magical short stories – perfect for sharing at bedtime! There are ghostly pirates, dragons, a troll, a monster pudding – and a poem about what would happen if the world turned to chocolate…
I’ve written the stories especially for
younger children, aged 5 – 8.
The book is fully illustrated by Graham Higgins, who also illustrates Terry Pratchett books.
I have recently returned from another long trip. It began in Jaipur at the Kahaani Festival. From there I travelled across Rajasthan, to Pushkar and Jodhpur. Then I flew to Goa for Christmas and New Year … flew on to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam… on to the islands of Hong Kong… and then back to Barcelona for nine days, to acclimatise myself before heading back to the UK!
I love sitting in a cafes, with my notebook and Ipad, working on stories and ideas. In Goa, I worked in various cafes along the beach. A sweet lassi always helps, I find!
In Ho Chi Minh City, I favoured the rooftop of the iconic Rex Hotel. During the Vietnam War (or the American War, as it is known in Vietnam) the foreign journalists used to gather here at five pm every day for press briefings. They called them The Five O’Clock Follies.
In Barcelona, I spent long hours in the lobby of a fabulous nineteenth century hotel on La Rambla, called Hotel 1898. It was formerly the home of the Philippines Tobacco Company.
I am still working on my travel memoir, but also came home with twenty story plans for a book of stories for children, which was an unexpected bonus. I hadn’t planned on doing that!
The sold-out Secret Storytelling event at this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival was wonderful…
The venue was The Roundhouse – an old industrial building on the canals in Birmingham city centre. It used to be where the barge horses were stabled; now it is being renovated by the National Trust. It was a perfect place to tell ghost stories! Fabulously atmospheric and without electricity, so we finished the show in near darkness.
I was joined for the performance by four participants from a workshop I had led earlier in the week: How to Tell a Great Ghost Story.
I had a wonderful time at Sydney Literature Festival. I led a full day storytelling workshop and performed a show called DARK ENCHANTMENTS with the fabulous Australian author Kate Forsyth.
What an extraordinarily beautiful place Sydney is. So often, famous places disappoint. They are so iconic, so photographed, your expectations of them are unmeetable. But Sydney Harbour is totally wonderful, especially by night.
I’m back from my latest adventure! I began in Hanoi and spent three weeks travelling down the coast of Vietnam, via Hue and Hoi An, to Saigon. Then I spent a few days exploring the Mekong delta before flying to Goa on New Year’s Eve. And Goa was where I stayed for a month.
I wrote most days, but I’m still not sure if it will ever be published. Sometimes it’s nice just to write for your own pleasure 🙂
Now I’m gearing up for World Book Day – which is something of a misnomer, because it has become a sprawling beast for many authors. I am booked solid for the whole of the week and the two weeks either side. I’m not complaining, but it does get overwhelming when you’re doing four sessions a day, five days a week! You find yourself talking while your brain is shouting at you: ‘Have I already said this?!’ The answer is YES, but you haven’t the slightest idea when it was 😀
And then I’m off to Nigeria, with a group of fellow authors, poets and illustrators. We’ll be working in an international school in Lagos for the week. That should be a whole lot of fun!
I am thrilled to be launching my new show The Road to Varanasi at the Birmingham Literature Festival next week. October 9 @ 8pm in the Edwardian Tea Rooms, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham,B3 3DH
In The Road to Varanasi, Cat conjures the places and the faces, the emotion and the magic of an extraordinary land.
Dawn mist and monkeys at the Taj Mahal. A sublime sunset and astonishing kindness at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Romance in Goa and the healing ocean. Life and death in one final embrace on the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi…
Cat shares her journey through India: an emotional, physical and spiritual odyssey that left her blessed, refreshed and overwhelmed by the love of strangers.
Indian-themed cocktails and teas will be available.