Category Archives: Fiction

(Pigeon) seeds of a story

It began with a name, as it so often does for me: The Audacious Birdy Jones. But who she was, what she looked like, what her story was were blurry and inchoate, still lost somewhere in the soup of story … Continue reading

Posted in Blog, creative writing, Fiction, middle grade, Reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Birdy Jones is all alone

Of all the questions I get asked on school visits, there are several perennials: How old are you, Miss? How much do you earn, Miss? Do you know JK Rowling / Jacqueline Wilson / David Walliams / any other much … Continue reading

Posted in creative writing, Fiction, middle grade, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BAFTA, baby!

On Friday, someone asked me how different my life was a decade ago. And other than the Menace being smaller and markedly more menacing, and my home being two roads away, I said it barely was. ten years ago I … Continue reading

Posted in creative writing, Fiction, middle grade, Teen, YA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CBBC’s Joe All Alone and the truth about child poverty

Joe All Alone is a book (and, now, BBC TV series) about friendship. It’s a book about family, and what constitutes that today. It’s a book about bullying. It’s a book about difference and acceptance. But beneath all that, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Fiction, middle grade, Teen, Uncategorized, YA | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A face for radio

Many years ago, when I still thought I’d lead a glamorous life in the meejah, I read radio news for a living. And it’s a medium I adore – the focus on words, the invisibility of it, so that, when … Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Queen of Bloody Everything (including the Indy’s and Red’s Top 10)

I know the rule: don’t read reviews, good or bad. That way you don’t risk heartbreak, or ranting mintily on Twitter. But that way you don’t get the ridiculous overexcitement that comes with this: making both Red magazine’s and the … Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Blog, Fiction, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment