I’ve made it to the shortlist!

When I started writing Minnie and Bogle at the end of September last year, I had no idea that in 7 months’ time I would be saying the words, “I’ve made it to the shortlist!” Back then, I thought it would be a miracle if I managed to finish the novel and enter the competition, let alone… Continue reading I’ve made it to the shortlist!


My novel has been longlisted!

I have some unbelievable news: my novel has been longlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition!! (Can you believe it?! Nope, me neither.) Here’s what happened… I was at home last Tuesday, when the phone rang. ‘Another blooming sales call,’ I thought to myself. I sniffed dismissively and ignored the message the caller left,… Continue reading My novel has been longlisted!


I did it. I finally wrote my first novel!

This is the story of how I wrote my first novel… Last summer I spotted a Facebook post announcing The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2016. The prize was a £10,000 publishing deal. “Nice,” I said to myself, “but I don’t think I’m ready.” Three months later, I saw the same post and I thought… Continue reading I did it. I finally wrote my first novel!


The rejection letter that made me happy

In my last post I said I was waiting to hear back from a literary agent about my fifth picture book. Well, I can now reveal… that they sent me a standard rejection letter three weeks ago! [Loud raspberry noise.] Whenever I receive a rejection letter (I’ve had a few), my heart normally sinks for a… Continue reading The rejection letter that made me happy


Writing news (another book!)

Cripes, I’ve just realised I haven’t blogged since June! In case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, here’s a quick newsflash (actually, there’s four of them): NEWSFLASH 1: In July I was commissioned to write another book. This time it was a pocket wellbeing/self-help book. I’m never sure whether I’m allowed to reveal… Continue reading Writing news (another book!)


A big fat creative lesson

I learnt a big fat creative lesson recently. As you know, I have been doing a doodle a day for the past few weeks. So far I have drawn frogs, dogs, bees and spiders. A few weeks ago, I decided to go off-piste and make something up. So I drew this: Er, except… I almost didn’t.… Continue reading A big fat creative lesson

Creativity · Illustrations

An update on taking ridiculously small creative steps

Five weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled How to kickstart your creativity without having a meltdown. This turned out to be one of my most popular posts, so I thought I’d give you a quick update on how things are going. If you recall, I was taking ridiculously small steps towards writing and illustrating.… Continue reading An update on taking ridiculously small creative steps


The crossroads of SHOULD and MUST

The image above is by Elle Luna, author of The Crossroads of Should and Must. She says that every day we arrive at a crossroads. There are two options: the path of SHOULD and the path of MUST. SHOULD is all the expectations we, and others, put on ourselves. MUST is who we deeply are.… Continue reading The crossroads of SHOULD and MUST

Famous writers

The bestselling novel that almost didn’t get written

I love this story: I’ve just finished reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd whose first novel was the mega bestseller The Secret Life of Bees. She almost didn’t write her debut novel. The fact that the book was written is down to one tiny bee (a real life one). Sue Monk Kidd was… Continue reading The bestselling novel that almost didn’t get written

Creativity · Illustrations

Follow your own star

The illustration above is very pertinent right now as 4 weeks ago, I lost my job. There was no warning. I walked into work and was told that there was no more work in the pipeline. These things happen when you freelance. (I have been freelancing for the last 2 years, writing wellbeing books for a… Continue reading Follow your own star