Category: Blog

Dear Diary

I know I’m not the only writer out there that has a notebook beside their bed. I use mine to write down the character ideas and plot points that float around in my grey matter desperate to be noticed, which normally coincides with when I’m just about to close my eyes and wait for sleep to arrive. Yet, sometimes a notebook isn’t quite enough? What about everything else that’s going on? To-do lists, bills to pay, is the car MOT due soon or is that next month, where do I find X, Y or Z without breaking the bank, are

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The Mystery of History

I found my old school report cards. There was a lot of ‘she must try harder’ and ‘if she spent more time studying than looking out the window she might get on a bit better’. Reader, it’s fair to say my procrastination skills are still just as bad but I like to think I’m definitely trying harder. I remember being taught about the Highland Clearances, Bonnie Prince Charlie and all the other historic school curriculum topics our teachers repeated on their pupils year after year. I was bored. Through no fault of the teachers or the books provided, it just

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Chicken Legs & Shortlists

There’s something quite magical about seeing a book you love appearing on shortlists within the literary world. When The House With Chicken Legs appeared on the shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, I was absolutely delighted for Sophie Anderson. I have always had an interest in folklore and fairy tales, so I asked Sophie if she would like to share some of her thoughts on the research and writing process for her amazing debut and beyond… ยท  The House with Chicken Legs has stormed into our hearts, have you always wanted to write your take on this particular Russian tale? What

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Can You Hear It?

When I begin to write a new story, regardless of what age range I am aiming for, there’s a voice I hear as I jot down the words. Sometimes the voice is loud and clear and other times it whispers before disappearing from my mind until I work my way through each chapter. When the voice stays with me for long periods of time I know I’ve finally found what I’m looking for. My main character has arrived. They have found their place within the lines on my page and they are asserting their authority with dialect and humour and

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The Great Imposter

My imposter syndrome thoughts started a while ago, when I first put pen to paper and considered myself a writer. Back when I was changing nappies in between drafts and using snail mail because on-line forms and e-mails weren’t used much at the time. Fast forward fourteen years and here I am. I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in The Hook. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s an event held every year at the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators annual conference. For those of a nervous disposition, look away now. The Hook is where

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Don’t Darken my Eye Back Door Again

I met you by chance. Your mass of brown cells sat quietly behind my optical nerve before the light picked you up and made you visible. Were you just waiting for your special moment to pounce or are you quite happy with your lot, sitting in the dark, silently evolving without a care in the world? You may think you’re unassuming with your blob-like structure, but I’ve met your kind before. One minute you’re all ‘yay, look at how cute I am’ then with a flick of your cell structure you force us to wait to hear all about you

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