Wednesday, 3 October 2018

October 4th is National Poetry Day . . .

Which makes it the perfect day to share some brilliant poems by students at Litcham School in Norfolk
Thinking about home

I'm not a poet, but I love poetry, so I was delighted to be asked to spend a day creating poems with a Y7/8 group at Litcham - where I've been lucky enough to be Author in Residence for the last two years.

I had lots of discussions with the wonderful Litcham librarian, Cathy Berry, about the content of the workshop. We wanted to tie in with the theme of homelessness that the students had been focusing on. Around the same time I saw an announcement for the Betjeman Poetry Prize - a national competition for young people, with the theme of PLACE. There's no place like home, I thought . . . and we went from there.

Friday, 31 August 2018

The Writer's Map

I love maps - faded old maps, shiny new maps, everyday street maps, maps of extraordinary expeditions, maps of imaginary worlds in the pages of books . . . 


So, I was very excited to be asked to contribute an essay to a fantastic and beautiful new book, The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands. It's edited by Huw Lewis-Jones, and it includes pieces by the most incredible line-up of authors - some you might just recognize! I can hardly believe that my name is casually hanging out in such an illustrious list!




It's all down to the lovely maps of Castle Key that appear in all the Adventure Island, of course. They are drawn by Leo Hartas, and I can't tell you how much I love them. In The Writer's Map, you can see my original scrappy sketch of Castle Key - the one that Leo had to work from to produce the lovely final version. You can also find out what maps mean to me and why I love them so much.

The Writers' Map will be published in October by Thames & Hudson and by the University of Chicago Press in America

I can't wait to read the articles by all the other writers - and to pore over all the maps, of course! I think I'll be buying extra copies for Christmas presents for all my map-loving family and friends too.

Monday, 28 May 2018

If you like Adventure Island you'll love . . .

The other day I had some fantastic book post (the best kind of post!) when the lovely people at Laurence King publishers sent me a copy of a brilliant new book they've just bought out.
Thank you for the brilliant adventure kit too - I'll try to stop Emily pinching it all!

They thought Adventure Island readers might like to hear about Hoakes Island.

I'm pretty sure they're right!

If you enjoy Adventure Island (and/or Secrets of the Tombs) it's a safe bet that you are a big fan of mysteries. I'm guessing you really like maps, and brilliant illustrations and working out clues.  Like me, you probably love animals too.

Well, Hoakes Island has ALL THESE THINGS!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

The Phantom Lights is Back!

If you have tried to buy The Mystery of the Phantom Lights lately you might have noticed it seemed to have gone to ground. One reader e-mailed to tell me that it was only available second hand on Amazon for about £50! She had read all of the other 13 in the Adventure Island series and was dying to read the last installment.

The problem was a bit of a technical hitch with reprinting new copies (and thank you to every one who bought all the first print run!) but it has all been sorted out now, and shiny new copies are in the shops and on-line. It maybe that a similar delay will happen with one of two of the other titles - if so, don't worry, they will be back.

In the mean time, don't forget you can always go and borrow a copy from your local library (if they don't have a copy, you can ask and they can order it for you.)

I was in my local bookshop, Heffers, in Cambridge to collect some books for a school visit and spotted lots of new reprinted copies of The Phantom Lights along with the rest of the series - and with our lovely bookshelf neighbours, James Nicols' The Apprentice Witch and A Witch Alone (if  you haven't read them, you must - they are fantastic!) and an author you may just have heard of called Michael Morpurgo . . .