When I was writing both The Mixed Up Summer and The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean I thought a lot about the importance of friendship and about the qualities which are important in a good friend. For Lily, loyalty is crucial. When her best friend Rowan fails to pick her for the hockey team she feels betrayed. As far as Lily’s concerned, Rowan ‘broke the friendship code’. But Rowan has good reasons for her actions, and doesn’t feel she has let Lily down. For Rowan, being able to tell the truth, even when it’s hard, is part of being a good friend.
Up until the end of April I contributed monthly blogs to a fabulous website https://girlsheartbooks.com/. Sadly the website is no longer posting new content, but the blogs, by a host of children’s authors, will be available online for another year. I thought I’d share a couple of my GirlsHeartBooks blogs here. One is about the launch of The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean and the other is about my need for deadlines!
Autumn in Springtime
I have really enjoyed writing blogs for GirlsHeartBooks and feel quite sad that this will be the final one. Luckily I’ve got lots to share as it has been a busy month! My book launch was not a gigantic fail, which was a huge relief to my central nervous system. In fact, I think I’d even go so far as to call the launch a success, as everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, we sold out of books and nobody threw rotten veg at me.
Happy New Year!
Christmas was a lovely relaxing time, enjoying the company of family, friends and dogs. I don’t even own a dog, but they seemed to be everywhere this holiday; Maisie, Dexter, Lily, Millie and now my aunt’s gorgeous new cockapoo puppy Bessie.
And then the holidays were over…
The proof reading is done and The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean is ready to go to print. Caitie-Jane from Floris is helping me to organise a marketing plan and I’m already looking forward to the book launch, which will hopefully take place soon after the book goes into shops on the 16th March.
School started back on the 5th of January and we returned to find the classroom had been visited by a dragon, who asked us if we would help him to rebuild Fairytale Land. The children are very excited at the prospect of castle building. I’m looking forward to introducing them to lots of traditional and alternative fairytales. Reading aloud is my favourite part of the school day! Pinterest is great for design ideas but it’s easy to end up feeling a bit intimidated. Are there enough hours in the day to create this sort of magic??…
Anyway, I shall do my best, with the help of my enthusiastic wee class.
Here’s another blog, written for Girls Heart Books which tells more about The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean. https://girlsheartbooks.com/2017/01/18/when-life-gets-awkward/
And I’ve other exciting book news too, which hopefully I’ll be able to talk about soon!
This autumn has been busy but great fun. In the October break I managed to finish the copy edits for The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean and it feels so good to have sent the completed manuscript off to Floris Books. The cover looks bright, colourful and easily recognisable as the next in the Lily series.
The next step is the proofread, so we are getting very close to going to print! I have dedicated the book to Lesley, my younger, but much wiser and millions of times more practical, sister and I hope she’ll be pleased.
During the October holiday my partner Ian and I went on a short break to Barcelona which was amazing. It’s an incredible city: warm weather, restaurants, shops, a beach and fabulous Gaudi architecture.
This has been a busy writing season too. I have been revising another two middle grade novels, A Pattern of Secrets and The Superpower Switch Off and would love to see both of them in print one day. The third Lily book is well underway and I’m really excited about it too. And I’ve been blogging for GirlsHeartBooks. This is my latest –https://girlsheartbooks.com/2016/11/18/the-best-kind-of-research/
Meanwhile, winter is fast approaching and with it the school Nativity Play. It’s my favourite part of the school year, simultaneously hilarious and very hard work!
My only major disappointment was not getting to the annual SCBWI conference in Winchester. It looks as though it was a brilliant, inspiring weekend and I’ve made myself a promise that I’ll be there next year.