Last Wednesday I was invited to lunch at the Savile Club in Mayfair for the announcement of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2017. You can imagine how I was feeling. For starters, the Savile Club is not the kind of establishment I usually frequent. It was founded in 1868 by a group of distinguished… Continue reading And the winner is…
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!
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!
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!
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
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!)
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
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 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
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