Vardø, coming 2020 from Picador

Here’s some news I’ve had to keep very quiet about…I’ve written a book for grown ups. Two weeks ago, it went out to publishers, and thirteen of them offered on it. Last week, I went to meet five of them, and ultimately decided to sign with Picador. The official announcement is here, and the Bookseller also ran a piece of the front page of the London Book Fair Daily:

Vardø has found a perfect home at Picador, and I can’t wait to get editing!

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018

On the 22nd of March, Waterstones Piccadilly transformed into even more of a bookish wonderland, filled with balloons and children’s authors, all gathered to celebrate the shortlist and announcement of the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

My husband Tom, with my publisher Barry Cunningham, and fellow Chicken House author and WCBP18 shortlistee, Maz Evans.

It was a wonderful night, and in some ways even funner than the year before when I attended as a very nervous shortlistee, and later a very shocked winner! I did have one nerve-wracking duty – to give my speech as last year’s winner.

But at least this time I knew it was coming and so didn’t completely embarrass myself. The winner was announced as Angie Thomas for her astonishing book, The Hate U Give, which has already been a sensation this past year ad I sure will continue to be for generations to come.

Angie Thomas and me

Haringey Children’s Book Award 2018

A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to attend the Haringey Children’s Book Awards at Heartlands School. We got to meet lovely readers and run workshops, and I worked with my group on maps that would form the basis for stories. We also gave short presentations on our books.

Awards ceremonies are always fun, because you get to meet your readers as well as other authors. Here I am talking with SF Said, author of the amazing Phoenix, and Varjak’s Paw:

The Island at the End of Everything was on an brilliant shortlist with Maz Evans’ Who Let The Gods Out? , Christopher Edge’s The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, and Sita Bramachari’s Tender Earth, so you can imagine my shock when Island… was announced the winner!

This is the first school award I’ve won and I’m overjoyed that kids liked the book enough to vote for it. It was a really wonderfully organised event and I had a lovely time catching up with author friends new and old.

With Maz and Sita

This is an award I will treasure forever, and I’m so grateful to all the kids that voted.