Category Archives: Blog

Joe in the post

In the run-up to Christmas, opening the post is always accompanied by a little frisson of anticipation, invariably dampened when I find it is only catalogues or credit statements or a card from someone I have never met addressed to … Continue reading

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The Carnegie Feeling

I have never been one of life’s winners when it comes to sport, barely even scraping third in the 1979 St Mary’s Primary sports day yoghurt-pot-and-umbrella race (actual race, involving running wildly around the field with an empty Ski pot … Continue reading

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First lines and first chapters

Find out how writers from David Almond to Frank Cottrell Boyce to Sue Townsend have grabbed their readers from the off, and kept them turning pages long into the night. And have a go at writing your own first page … Continue reading

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Stay gold, Ponyboy

There’s something almost alchemical about the moment a hard copy of your book is finally pressed into your hot hands. A strange kind of magic that has turned the base material – people and plot and places – that has … Continue reading

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The making of a mixtape…

Rob has it right in High Fidelity: “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then … Continue reading

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Everybody Hurts – a story of love (and ping pong)

It began, as so many great love stories do, with an argument. This time, however, there was no prom, or even eyes meeting across a bar; rather boy (Anthony McGowan) met girl (me) on Meg Rosoff’s blog, shouting about Jane … Continue reading

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Joe All Alone on CBBC

About three years ago, before Joe was even published, I got a phonecall from a TV producer who had got hold of the manuscript, read it in one sitting, and was determined to persuade CBBC to make it into a … Continue reading

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