Sunday, 29 July 2012

Summer Reading Challenge

The summer months have always been a great time for reading. What could be better than a few hours in the sun (or shade!) with a mug of tea and a good book? 

An important part of getting ready to go on holiday as a teenager was choosing the books to take with me. Looking back now, the details I remember are often linked to the books I was reading: having my copy of The Two Towers stolen on a ferry or spooking myself with Robert Westall's The Scarecrows in a rainy, wind-blasted cottage in the Lake District. My copy of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not still bears the greasy stains of Ambre Solaire and the odd grain of Dorset sand stuck between the pages. Over the past two days I've been scanning the blue summer sky for aircraft trails while reading Elizabeth Wein's Codename Verity.

I'm a little too old to join in the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge to read six books before the schools go back in September, but thought I'd have a go anyway. Here are my six summer reads (plus the one I've already started!)

Leave me a comment and tell me which books you'll be relaxing with this summer.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Visit to Simon Balle School, Hertford with Books@Hoddesdon

On Wednesday I visited Simon Balle School in Hertford with Elaine from Books@Hoddesdon, to talk to a group of Year Nine boys about 15 Days Without a Head and my route to becoming an author. We had a great time. Here are a few pics …

Caught posing with my book again!

Talking to Year Nine boys about Undiscovered Voices and how to get published

Getting the pose right as The Human Comic Book!
Signing books and postcards with Daniel and Nick.

Thanks to Elaine for arranging the event (and taking the photos!) and to everyone at Simon Balle School for making me so welcome, especially Janet and all the staff who came along to the library, and the boys in Year Nine for being such a great audience.

Visit the Books@Hoddesdon website or find them on Facebook.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Langley Grammar School – Thank You!

In March I visited Langley Grammar School in Slough to talk to students from Year Seven, Eight and Nine about 15 Days Without a Head and my journey to becoming an author. 

A few weeks later an enormous envelope of cards, drawings, poems and cartoons arrived in the post. To say it made my day would be an understatement! I was so bowled over and impressed by the creativity on display I had to share it.

Huge thanks to all the staff at students at the school for making me so welcome on the day, and for taking the time to send me these …