Today I have mostly been feeling guilty that I have not updated my website for months. MONTHS! There’s no excuse. I mean, yes, I have been busy, but not SO busy that I couldn’t just tap a few keys to keep in touch with the three people who read this blog (hello, Mum!).
So, I apologise. I promise to get better at this blogging lark, even if it does feel like writing a letter, folding it up into a flimsy paper aeroplane and flying it into the great abyss that is cyberspace. Still. It’s fun to chat about my books so I’ll keep going and hope that somebodddyyy out thereeee is listening.
It’s been a lovely few months for my first novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. Delighted and humbled to say that my little book has been nominated for a few cool prizes:
The Guardian Children’s Book Award (won by Andy Mulligan for Return to Ribblestrop)
The Galaxy Children’s Book of the Year (won by Patrick Ness for A Monster Calls)
The Red House Children’s Book of the Year (won again by Patrick Ness for A Monster Calls)
The Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year
Longlisted for The Branford Boase Award
Longlisted The Carnegie Medal
And nominated for local prizes in Hull, Lancashire, Sheffield, Rotherham and Cornwall
I’ll keep you posted of my progress. I haven’t managed to win anything yet, but it really is wonderful just to be nominated (she types, glancing at the much-used A Monster Calls dartboard hanging in her study). Honestly, though, however trite it might sound, I’m chuffed to bits.
Ketchup Clouds is all finished and excitedly waiting its publication later this year. Orion have done a beautiful job with the cover and I can’t wait to share it with you! Over the next few months, I will start revealing little bits and bobs about the plot and the characters, so do keep checking my website. Michael Morpurgo spoke at The Red House Children’s Book Awards about the process of writing a novel, likening it to pregnancy followed by a difficult labour. You’re telling me! Getting Ketchup Clouds out of my brain and onto the page was like giving birth to awkward, lumpy quads. HOWEVER. It’s finished. And, I might be the book’s mother and therefore a little biased, but I have to say I’m rather proud of it.
Righteo. I have promised myself that I will make the most of the sunshine and go out for a run, so it’s time to don the lycra and trainers. In a fit of new year madness, I signed myself up for a few 10ks, a half marathon and a 26-mile hike between March – May and so far I have done little more than a couple of yoga classes in order to get fit. There are no more excuses. The underwear drawer has been sorted and the cupboards have been cleaned out and the darts… oops, I mean cutlery… has been polished. There is nothing left to do except run.
Ready, steady, GO!