Monday, 26 August 2013

Comino Caves

Over at the Allsorts blog we've discussing our favourite character or place from our books, and I've picked Comino - that tiny rocky island in the Malta archipelago, between mainland Malta and Gozo.

That's me in the pink mask at Comino Caves, feeding the fishes.

Ah - but how does Comino feature in Red Rock - and what is the significance of those caves?

You're just going to have to read it to find out!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Festivals and Story Slams

There are a couple of exciting events coming up this autumn, both of which I’m delighted to say I’ll be participating in.

The first of these is the Yeovil Literary Festival which will be taking place from the 19th – 22nd September this year. The brochure has just been made available and there are some very exciting events in the line-up. I’ve already booked my tickets to see Michael Morpurgo and if you are a budding writer yourself I can strongly recommend Margaret Graham’s writing workshops.

I’ve been booked up for three events. The first is on Friday 20th at 11am where I will be on a panel of past Yeovil Prize winners. We will be reading from our books and talking about how the Yeovil Prize has helped us on our journey to publication. This is particularly timely for me since Red Rock won the Western Gazette Award in 2010 and at the time of the festival will be in its first week as a published book!

The second and third events both take place on Sunday 22nd and will both be events for children. The first will be an interactive workshop at 11am – The First Manned Mission to Mars, when I will be taking the audience on an adventure to the Red Planet, and in the afternoon at 2pm I will be giving a talk on Cli-Fi – (Climate Change in kids fiction) and how my own experiences in the Arctic inspired the world I created in Red Rock.

You can find the brochure online here:

I’m really excited by this – it will be my first Literary Festival as a published author. I can’t wait.

The second event is the Bridport Story Slam, taking place on Wednesday 16th October as part of the Bridport Open Book Festival. I’ve been invited to be one of the judges and I’m really looking forward to meeting other local authors and listening to the contenders stories. It sounds like it’s going to be a great evening of literature. More details and information on how to book a slot are available here:

And in other nail biting news advance copies of Red Rock are now being sent out to reviewers. Danni, Gracie and Isaac are no longer just mine – they belong to everyone. And that is quite an overwhelming thought!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Exciting Books Coming in September!

There are some really exciting looking books coming out next month – Books that I might just have to pre-order through my local  branch of Waterstones!
Two of them share the same launch date as Red Rock. One of them shares the same publisher, and the third one shares a Cli-Fi theme.
But one thing they all have in common – they all look really really good!
Amber by Julie Sykes (Curious Fox 12 September 2013)

How do you live by the rules if you don t know what they are? Amber has lost her memory and the only clues to her identity are a mobile phone in her pocket and a beautiful amber necklace around her neck. This intriguing and surprising novel for teenage girls will have readers gasping with disbelief as the truth about Amber is revealed...

Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgeon (Solaris 12 September 2013)

Fergus's world changes forever the day his car crashes near the remote village of Allingley. Traumatised by his near-death experience, he stays to work at the local stables as he recovers from his injuries. He will discover a gentler pace of life, fall in love and be targeted for human sacrifice. Clare Harvey's life will never be the same either. The young archaeologist's dream find the peat-preserved body of a Saxon warrior is giving her nightmares. She can tell that the warrior was ritually murdered, and that the partial skeleton lying nearby is that of a young woman. And their tragic story is unfolding in her head every time she goes to sleep. Fergus discovers that his crash is linked to the excavation, and that the countryside harbours some dark secrets. As Clare's investigation reveals the full horror of a Dark Age war crime, Fergus and Clare seem destined to share the Saxon couple's bloody fate.

The Elites by Natash Ngan (Hot Key Books 5th September 2013)
'There is a rumour that the Elites don't bleed.' Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures - and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She'd never dream of leaving - but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel's president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly. Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.