Saturday, 21 July 2012

And the winner is . . .

Q: What could be more exciting than The Mystery of the Whistling Caves being nominated for a Holyer an Gof* award?

A: The Mystery of the Whistling Caves winning a Holyer an Gof award!

Insert small victory dance here!

My very first book award! Or rather, our award, as it's for everyone who has made Adventure Island happen, and not just for me!

The award ceremony was held at Waterstones book shop in Truro, Cornwall on Thursday evening. I put my party frock on, went along and had a lovely time - it was fascinating to hear the awards for the Cornish language books being made in Cornish, and a

Monday, 16 July 2012

Top Five

Cool trousers, lads!
I love lists! I have lots of to-do lists on the go all the time and often lie awake compiling my list of eight favourite pieces of music just in case I'm ever invited onto Desert Island Discs (not very likely, I admit,  but  there's no harm in being prepared. My selections vary over time but always include Aretha Franklin - Say a Little Prayer for Me, Tracy Chapman -  Fast Car, The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love With Someone and Booker T and the MGs - Green Onions). I often worry I should include some classical music to show that I'm cultured. But I'm not. So I can't!

A few weeks ago Bookbabblers - a great website all about children's and YA books,  full of author interviews and reviews -  invited me to come up with a list of five favourite books I loved when I was a kid. I cheated shamelessly by including two complete series and all the Rupert Bear annuals since the beginning of time. Even so, it was torture to whittle my list down to five. I've been thinking of all the fabulous books I left out ever since: The Family from One End Street, Five Children and It, The Worst Witch, Watership Down, The Wool-pack, The Secret Garden, The Borrowers, I Capture the Castle . . . the list goes on and on.

Here's the five that did make it onto my Bookbabblers list and also a Q and A.

What would be in your Top Five?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Let's hear it for funny stuff!

Emily, Scott, Jack and Drift discover something
 beneath the snowy mound
As I reported in my last post I was lucky enough to be invited along the Bedfordshire book of the year voting event last month to give a talk and and announce the winner - which was The Doughnut Diaries by Anthony McGowan. I've read it and it really is a laugh-out-loud funny book! I've read lots of articles recently about how funny books for kids are  the Big Trend at the moment - just look at the Diary of a Wimpy Kid phenomenon.
Hooray, I say!
Alongside books that make us think deep thoughts or have a good old cry or jump out of our skins, we all need a good laugh every now and then - and preferably more now than then!

I try to include funny bits in the Adventure Island books, alongside all the mystery and peril. When I visit schools or events one of my favourite bits to read out loud  is the scene from

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Story Showcase

Read all about it!
The Mystery of the Uninvited Socks
I always love it when readers send me their stories or poems to look at. So I thought it would be fun to share some of them here. I've added a new section on the Young Writers page called Story Showcase.

The first story to appear is by the very talented Eloise Peacock, who sent me her brilliantly funny story, The Mystery of the Uninvited Socks after we met at the Bedfordshire Book of the Year event last month.

If you are thirteen or under and would like your work (short story or poem) to appear on Story Showcase, go to the Young Writers page for details of how to send it in.