Monthly Archives: July 2015

Histeria meeting

Yesterday we had a happy afternoon meeting of Histeria (historical fiction writers group) at the Society of Authors in London. Present were Sue Reid, Anna Bowles, Mary Green, Pauline Francis, Julia Newsome, Penny Speller and myself and we discussed, among much else, the history curriculum, coming to the conclusion that it was now so wide ranging that we needed to find a friendly teacher to come and speak to us and tell us what’s actually happening at the coalface – what, specifically, is being studied so we can attempt to fit in with the curriculum when we write historical fiction.
It was also, co-incidentally, the publication day of my new book ‘The Mark’ (not historical fiction this time) so we had cake to celebrate.
First photo taken by Anna (in focus). The other one by me (out of focus).



New Book Out Today!

My new book ‘The Mark’ – gritty teenage stuff with a touch of fantasy – is published today by Troika Books.  It looks great and I’m thrilled to bits; thanks Troika for doing such a lovely job.

Am just off to celebrate with friends at the Society of Authors in London where, in the time honoured tradition of children’s writers, there will be cake!  Watch this space.



This and That

It’s been a busy summer so far, with a lot of visitors to entertain, a wedding to attend and a feast of music to enjoy.  Of particular note was a concert by the choir of Jesus College in Cambridge – superb singing by a wonderfully talented young choir, followed by an excellent candlelit dinner when the choir sang to us again.  Then at Thaxted Festival where we heard the group Tenebrae singing a cappella; again, a fabulous sound.  On a different level, my own choir, in Cambridge, sang Vivaldi pieces to a packed audience at the West Road Concert Hall and we had a magical evening in London at the musical ‘Gypsy’ – a great production and with a hugely energetic cast led by Imelda Staunton.

On the book front, it’s all go.  Covers are in for the new gypsy books to be published at the end of August – and they look great!



Historical Fiction; is it coming in from the cold?

Now that Tanya Landman’s ‘Buffalo Soldier’ has won the Carnegie Medal – hurrah! – perhaps more publishers will add historical fiction for children to their lists.  I loved the genre as a child and can’t believe that modern young readers wouldn’t engage in exciting, fast moving stories from the past.  And, of course, historical fiction can bring a period to life in the way that other study can’t, getting children to relate to characters, understand the privations of daily life, the social attitudes, etc etc.  Wonderful stuff.  Let’s see more of it!