27/06/17: WIN WIN WIN!!! Signed Trilogy of US Books!!
To celebrate the publication of The Book of Shadows in the US, I'm giving away a copy of the entire trilogy, in the beautifully-illustrated hardback versions published by Henry Holt.
All you have to do is complete the first line of your new novel, beginning with the words 'The storm...'
Whichever line makes me desperate to read on wins the prize! Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org before 31st July 2017. Good luck!
6/6/2017: THE BOOK OF SHADOWS published in U.S.
Super super excited to get the beautiful hardback copies of The Book of Shadows from Henry Holt - out in the U.S. on 6/6/2017. There are lots of new illustrations by Greg Call in the chapter headings, and they're just wonderful. My particular favourites are the stoat and the hole in the sky, but he does an amazing job with all the other animals too! Feels like a long time since I finished this book, but it's such a thrill to have a new copy land on the doorstep. I'll be running a giveaway very soon for readers in the U.S. or the UK who'd like to get their hands on this edition - watch this space!
26/11/16: The Book of Storms in Czech!
Hugely excited this morning to get copies of the Czech version of 'The Book of Storms', with incredible illustrations by Karel Jerie. Must brush up on my Czech! It's published by Albatros Media, and this is the first foreign edition of the book I've seen - but watch this space for more!
18/11/16: THE BOOK OF SHADOWS published!
With a fantastic launch the night before at Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, the final part of the 'Book of Storms' trilogy was published on the 17th of November. I can't believe all 3 are finally done. Fly, my beauties, fly!
I spent a brilliant day yesterday at Thurston Community College, helping to launch their latest Reading Challenge. Schools are often inspiring places, but this one was particularly good - they even have a co-ordinator whose job it is to enthuse the students about reading. Four of the students read out pieces of their writing, which were impressively well-written. I was just so happy to be invited along to a place where creativity and pleasure is emphasised and celebrated - it gives me great hope!
Can't believe it's finally happened, but the third and last volume of the 'Book of Storms' trilogy is out this November! Here's the fantastic cover for The Book of Shadows, drawn by Nicolas Delort.
I'm super excited to finally see Sammael on a cover - although I'm also pleased that a lot of him has still been left to the imagination! In Danny and Cath's final adventure, grey shadows are drawing over the world, draining it of colour and hope. Danny sets out to destroy Sammael once and for all, but comes up against the terrible truth: sometimes the only way you can defeat someone is by trying to take their place....
13/06/16: The Color of Darkness published in the US!
On 07/06/16, The Colour of Darkness lost a 'u' and was published in the US by Henry Holt, with a glorious cover and more illustrations inside. A paperback of The Book of Storms published by Henry Holt is now also available.
In other news - the third and final installment of the 'Book of Storms' trilogy is now complete, and currently with the publishers being made beautiful! It'll be out in November in the UK. Meanwhile, I'm continuing to blog once a month for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, running various writing workshops and working on something entirely new. It has horses in it, which makes me very happy!
29/2/16: A visit to Topping & Co, Ely
On Sunday afternoon I visited the Swallows book group at Topping & Co, Ely (possibly one of the best bookshops in the country...). I listened to some very sharp readers discussing their choice of reading from the previous month - one of the books they'd read was Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer, which sounded brilliant - another one for my list. After a reading from The Book of Storms, the group members told me about their own writing: everything from mystery to nonsense to non-fiction. And even among the crowd of relatively young writers, there was a universal groan at the mention of writer's block. They've chosen The Book of Storms as one of their book to read for the next meeting in a couple of months - I wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear the views of this eloquent and very vociferous group!
It's been a hectic year! After much drafting and redrafting, The Colour of Darkness (the sequel to The Book of Storms) was finally finished at the beginning of the year, and was published on the 5th of November. We had a party to celebrate at Heffers Children's Bookshop in Cambridge (here's some pics). Other important happenings this year: my 'name a character' competition was won by Nicolantonio Prentosito, whose suggestion was perfect (you'll have to wait until the third and final installment of the 'Book of Storms' trilogy to find out the name). I finally finished writing that third and final installment, The Book of Shadows (phew!). And news just in - over in the US, Henry Holt are planning a paperback version of The Book of Storms, with some bonus material including an author Q&A, out next year!
I've also started blogging for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, the blog of the Scattered Authors Society, a group blog full of diverse posts about anything and everything to do with writing. I blog on the 12th of the month, but it's well worth checking out on any other day!
I'm currently updating my website to provide more information on events and some teaching resources for The Book of Storms and The Colour of Darkness, so watch this space!
27/01/15: THE BOOK OF STORMS published in U.S!
And a competition!
Today The Book of Storms is published in the United States, by Henry Holt. Mitz has successfully scaled this mountain of beautiful hardbacks, complete with chapter heading illustrations! If you'd like the chance to win a free copy, perhaps you could help me with this dilemma: In the final book of The Book of Storms trilogy, Mitz has a new friend. Well, sort of friend... he's an enthusiastic, sandy-haired, bouncing dog, who may have the second sight... I've got a few ideas for his name, but none that seem right. Can you come up with anything better? Email me! (before the 1st of April 2015). Best suggestion wins a book!
14/01/15: Happy New Year!
Last year finished with two events: a reading (and Christmas tree decoration making session) at Saffron Walden Museum, and a talk and Q&A at the Cambridge Central Library. Both events were great fun and threw up some interesting questions (how do you explain a life's worth of writing in ten minutes? Is is right to admit how many other books and stories you've shamelessly pillaged along the way?).
This year begins for me with a visit to my old school coming up this week. It's very exciting to go back to the place where it all started: I can still remember some of the stories I wrote there. One of which I'm holding in the picture above. It's called 'Nutty's Mystery' - regrettably still unfinished, like so many hundreds of my other stories...
25/11/14: Meet the Author
I'm involved in two events in the run-up to Christmas, so why not come along and check out the brilliant
Saffron Walden Museum,
or the equally fantastic Cambridge Central Library. I'll be at the Saffron Walden Museum on 6/12/14 from 3pm, and the Cambridge Central library on 13/12/14 at 3pm. I'll be reading from The Book of Storms and answering as many questions as possible!
24/11/14 Cornerstones Critique Prize
At the SCBWI 2014 conference, I was lucky enough to win the raffle prize of a manuscript critique donated by the amazing Cornerstones! Halfway through editing The Colour of Darkness, I don't have a manuscript ready for them just at the moment, but they've very kindly agreed to give me a bit of time to decide what I'm going to send them. I've persuaded the grumpy cat to get involved on twitter @thebookofstorms, so thanks very much to Cornerstones, and watch this space!
11/11/14: Listen to The Book of Storms on Youtube!
I've uploaded a video to Youtube with a reading of the prologue and first chapter of The Book of Storms. Very kindly engineered by Simeon, and read by the author - listen here!
The Book of Storms celebrated its UK publishing date with a launch party in Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, on 5th November 2014. Lured away from the fireworks with promises of an exclusive glimpse of the original cover artwork by the awesomely talented Nicolas Delort, a fantastic bunch of people came to snap up the first 50 copies.
There was cake. There was wine. There was a reading, for which a crowd of the biggest, oldest (and quietest!) children the Children's Book department has ever seen sat cross-legged on the floor, leaning against tables and shelves full of all the wonderful books that the shop sells. There was also a great opportunity to thank some of the many people who've helped me so much to get this book written and into bookshops. Or there would have been, if I'd remembered to make a speech...