A bit of delay in announcing this as I’ve been in hospital, but my new YA book for Ransom was published a couple of weeks ago.
Called ‘Taken’ it is a story about loss, love and growing up.
Four years ago, Kelly’s dad disappeared, apparently having taken his own life. His family are left devastated and are only just beginning to move on. Then one day Kelly thinks she sees him again. It is only a glimpse – and it can’t have been him – but it is enough to bring back all the painful memories.
Why did he kill himself? What was so terrible that he couldn’t go on?
The thoughts won’t leave her alone. Kelly confides in her friend Jack and as they try to find out more about Dad’s past they unearth a confusing mass of inconsistencies and unanswered questions.
Gradually they are sucked into a murky world where nothing is as it seems. They are out of their depth; someone is trying to stop them finding out more and they are in real danger.
Who is following them? Who can they trust? And why does Gran refuse to talk about Dad?
A straightforward mystery, this one, with none of the supernatural elements present in my last two books, ‘Loose Connections’ and ‘The Mark’.
It was all set up. A panel discussion as part of a local literary festival all about – you’ve guessed – children’s books, past and present and why they are so important, why libraries are so important, why getting children to love reading is so important.
There was an enthusiastic take up for the event and, apart from me, the panelists were Isabel Thomas, James Nicol, Helen Moss and the chair was to be Candy Gourlay.
Should have been a great evening but then Storm Doris intervened. Two panelists stuck in London and no trains running, trees all over the road and an electricity blackout so it all had to be cancelled.
Never mind, it will be reconvened and surely lightning (or storm) can’t strike twice – can it?!
A bright interlude at the end of a dreary January was an authors’ lunch held here. Nine of us, all children’s writers and all Cambridge based, got together to discuss all things bookish – and a lot else, too, over a warming curry.
So good to be among like minded friends who understand the ups and downs of the life of a writer. We spend a lot of time on our own so it is good to exchange stories of both success and failure. None of us is immune to failure – it comes with the territory – but we all agree that we are doing something we love and there aren’t so many people out there who can say the same.
But there is no doubt that having a good dose of understanding companionship from time to time really lifts the spirit.