Tis the season to be jolly…

Rachel 1 new smaller… fa la la la laa etc etc. And normally I am the first one up with the Christmas tree (fake – I have hoovering OCD) and tinsel, and the first one to overdose on Quality Street, cry at the Brave Little Toaster (why is that always on at Christmas? Since when are toasters festive?), and sneakily poke at the presents under the tree to check whether anyone has bought me a box of Matchmakers (traditional Christmas gift in the Nadin household, since 1975, though we are still struggling to forgive them for making them longer and the box square). But this year, it’s not Christmas I’m waiting for, but the New Year. Partly because I am as keen to take the tree down as I am to get it up (nothing like a nice tidy front room). But also because the New Year brings shiny new books. Or in my case, shiny new books, and shiny new versions of old ones. Not only are there three new Penny Dreadful volumes out starting in March (complete with an attempt at a world record, which I’ll tell you about later) but the whole of the Rachel Riley series has been updated and is being reissued, starting with My So-Called Life on January 1st. Obviously Rachel’s life is still tragically normal, and she’s still desperate for something, anything to happen. But she’s doing it all with fancy new covers, and an end in sight, as the seventh (and final, at least for now) book of the series is also heading your way (though that’s a story for New Year 2014). So, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, from me, Rachel, Sad Ed, Scarlet, and the Dog, if he isn’t locked in the shed for eating the Matchmakers again.

About Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature. I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name. I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
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