The Writer's Map
I was thrilled to be invited to contribute an essay about my love of maps and exploration and the inspiration for Castle Key island to this beautiful book, edited by Huw Lewis-Jones and published in 2018 by Thames and Hudson and University of Chicago Press.
All credit to Leo Hartas, of course, whose gorgeous map of Castle Key for the Adventure Island series was my entry ticket here.
"This is an atlas of the journeys that writers make, encompassing not only the maps that actually appear in their books, but also the many maps that have inspired them and the sketches that they use in writing."It's packed with beautiful maps and fascinating essays by some of my favourite authors."Amidst a cornucopia of images, there are maps of the world as envisaged in medieval times, as well as maps of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, maps from nursery stories, literary classics, collectible comics – a vast range of genres."
Because you're never too young to solve a mystery! These short mysteries for younger readers are part of the Rising Stars Reading Planet reading scheme, published by Hodder & Stoughton, but are also available to buy separately. The first two are set in modern day Scotland, the third in the ancient Mayan world and the fourth in seventeenth century London - but they all have one thing in common - children using their wits, courage and compassion to follow the clues and solve a mystery.
I loved the challenge of packing whole mysteries into a very short stories. All four books are bursting with bright, engaging illustrations by Alan Brown.
Mystery and Mayhem
I'm delighted to have contributed a story to this fantastic anthology of mystery stories, edited by two amazing, best-selling mystery authors, Robin Stevens and Katherine Woodfine.
My story, The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot, is set in 1761, against the backdrop of the mania for growing pineapples. Home-grown pineapples were hugely expensive centre-pieces of fashionable dinner parties - so when one is deliberately sabotaged, the culprit will have a heavy price to pay. But who could have done such a thing? Can our heroes, Quality, Catherine and Sam uncover the truth?
"Twelve mysteries.You can find out more about my story in Mystery and Mayhem in these blog posts.
One challenge: can YOU solve the crimes before the heroes of the stories?
These are twelve brand-new short stories from twelve of the best children's crime writers writing today.
These creepy, hilarious, brain-boggling, heart-pounding mysteries feature daring, brilliant young detectives, and this anthology is a must for fans of crime fiction and detection, especially the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, The Roman Mysteries and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.
The Crime Club are twelve UK-based authors who are mad about crime fiction. Clementine Beauvais, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Robin Stevens, Harriet Whitehorn and Katherine Woodfine can be found anywhere there is a mystery to be solved, a puzzle to be cracked or a bun to be eaten, and they are always ready for the next puzzling case."
Middle Grade Strikes Back
This is a sublime story set in the Georgian era, which shows that Helen Moss can write an expertly researched page turner regardless of length or the historical era it’s set in. It focuses on a seemingly-rich family who are hosting a dinner to impress their elder daughter’s suitor, until he’s poisoned by their prize pineapple! Their servant Quality Fruit and younger daughter Catherine set about investigating. I absolutely adored them as a detective duo, and I thought the mystery was really intriguing. The historical setting was one I’d never seen before, but it felt realistic and the world was well built. The writing style is easy to read and hugely enjoyable; the last line especially made laugh. Finally, I loved the reveal of the culprit as I definitely didn’t expect the story to go in that direction.
Golden Books Girl
Beautifully written. I love Moss’s prose. Her descriptions are so subtle, and often conveyed with action rather than statement. The setting is brought to life through the focus of Lord Catchpole’s obsession with the exotic. As import became wider, new goods arrived in the UK and people became obsessed with the ‘foreign’. Moss shows how what people wanted often wasn’t the real thing, but a very British idea of what another country was.
My very first series was called Superstar High, which I helped to write under the pen-name, Isabella Cass. The series was developed and created by the fabulous Amber Caraveo, whom I was also lucky enough to work with as my editor for the Adventure Island and Secrets of the Tombs series.
Published in 2010 by Random House, the first two titles Nobody's Angels and The Time of Your Life are combined in one volume called Star Friends. The third and fourth installments, Chance to Shine and Keep the Dream Alive were published together in Don't Stop Believing in 2011,
These books are all about fame, fun and friendship for Cat, Belle and Holly as they struggle to make their dreams come true at a super-glamorous international stage school.
A reader’s review...
I have read all three Superstar High books "Nobody's Angels" "The Time of Your Life" but "Don't Stop Believing" is my favourite! Great for girls 9 plus! All my friends have read it and definitely agree ITS AMAZING!!!!! You will love it!!! If you want a career in the performing arts this is your bible. An easy, fun read great for holidays!
Nell aged 11. !!!!SUPERSTAR HIGH FAN!!!!