Sunday, 2 November 2008


I'm in a non-writing phase at the moment, I'm just doing some rewrites of next year's novel: Revolver. You can see a brief teaser for it here.

Otherwise I'm enjoying reading some things I should have read a long time ago, and puting my feet up a bit.

Now that I have a 'proper' keyboard again, I want to say a proper thank you to Barry Sayer and everyone at the British School of Brussels, where I had a superb time. It was I think the nicest school I've ever had the pleasure of talking at and all the students and teachers were friendly and welcoming. Thanks for inviting me!

Monday, 13 October 2008


Had a wonderful time in Oxford with the Oxford Children's Book Group, giving a talk on Historical Fiction, with Linda Newbery, Adele Geras, and Marie-Louise Jensen: in case you're ever wondering, I'm told (by Adele herself) that Geras rhymes with terrace. And on the same subject, (Phillip) Ardagh rhymes with harder. Sedgwick rhymes only with hedgepig, and even then, not that well...

It was an interesting morning, if only because I learnt that I am a historical author, which was news to me, but I guess true. Mostly I feel like a hysterical author, ha ha.

In Brussels

The title is in ho,qge to the superb fil,; In Bruges. q classic of the future; no+

I q, noa ariting this blog on q belgiqn keyboqrd in q tozn zhere they qctuqlly speqk Dutch, then Fle,ish; then French, qnd let ,e tell you thqt this is the crqwiest keyboqrd I hqve ever co,e qcross; I hqve decided to give up trying to find the correct letters qnd q, just going to type nor,qlly: pretty fun, no+

thqtùs enough; i:ll hqve to zrite ,ore zhen I get bqck to Blighty!!!

Bath and Ty Newydd

After a spiffing time in Bath, where I did an event with Meg Rosoff, who I can now officially say is superb! Tanks to john McClay for organising it all. I ten made my way to the Lleyn peninsula, to the Ty Newydd creative writing course, run by Celia Rees and Mary Hoffman, where I had q greqt time, whilst giving a talk on the spot where Lloyd George died...

This is the beautiful house: my thanks to Sally and Awen for inviting me...


Well I was going to be good and keep up to date with my mini tour, but sadly technology has let me down, and I haven't been able to post from my phone as I hoped!
But now I've got a bit of free time, so here goes...

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Book tours

The Kiss of Death. It seemed like a fun title for a book, I just hope won't jinx my writing career. I'm about to start the usual round of publicity events for the book, seven events coming up, which will take me from North Wales to Brussels. The normal worries crop up. Will anyone turn up? Will I think of something to say? Will I be funny? Intentionally? If you have the misfortune to attend one of these events (the first in at the Bath Kids Lit Festival on the 25th September), you'll find out, otherwise, I'll report back here.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

An Empty Chair

Posted with LifeCast

Gone Fishing

Well that's a lie. What I mean is, I've done all my homework (ie writing books) and it's time to sit back and do some serious thinking about what comes next....

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Ravens know best

Well, back to work now. But at least it's something I love. I'm switching between 'older', 'tougher' novels and a new younger series I've started, called The Raven Mysteries, a spooky set of adventures set in and around Otherhand Castle, and all narrated by the castle's guardian, the trusty, if flea-bitten, old raven called Edgar.

I've just started number II, and it' a real joy to have something light and loose like this to write, especially after wading through the grimness of Revolver for the last year or so, enjoyable though that was in its own way.

It's also interesting for me, for the first time, to be working with an illustrator on something I've written - Pete Williamson is coming up with wonderful stuff like this, and I can't wait to see the finished books.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

A writer's life for me.

At least for the five minutes when
a) you've just finished writing a new book,
b) you're on holiday, and the view looks like this,
c) the prospect of four rewrites of a) seems a long way off.

Friday, 18 July 2008

A Translation As Promised

I wrote an introduction to what I wanted to say - then crossed it out. Yet, still I wish
that before the darkness closes over me
the last that is seen of me is a clutched fist among the waterlilies
and the last that is heard is a word
of bubbles from the deep.
Gunnar Ekelöf - Among Waterlilies

Posted with LifeCast

Harmony House

Home to the friendliest book festival in the UK. Thanks to Paula and Alistair.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

100 miles North of the Arctic Circle

Doing research for the next book...

Posted by ShoZu

Hello, and goodbye

I can't think of a better way to start a blog than with some gloomy Swedish poetry.

Jag har skrivit en inledning till vad jag skulle ha sagt
men jag har strukit den - Dock önskar jag
att innan mörkret slår samman over mig
det sista som syns av mig
skall vara en knuten näve bland näckrosor
och det sista som hörs ett ord av bubblor
från botten.

I know it requires a translation, but you can get some of the words: inledning; an introduction, mörkret; murk or the darkness,  bubblor; yes, bubbles. It's just wonderful how languages carry the imprint of their ancestors in this way. The poem itself is about yes, you guessed it, death.

Next time I come back here I'll bring the translation, too. That would be less irritating, would it not.