Posts by Rachel

Different Perspectives

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Different Perspectives

  No two people see the world in the same way, and that’s brilliant. When I was a (rubbish) English teacher, one of the first things I liked to show my students was how rare it is for texts to have only one ‘correct’ interpretation. Just like everything else in life, words and images are far more interesting when examined from different angles. One of my favourite lesson starters was to stand in the middle of the room and tell the kids to draw me, without explaining why. (On reflection, it might have been better to get them to draw an object instead, as some of the pictures were quite...

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Illustrators are Ace

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Illustrators are Ace

  I wanted to write a post celebrating illustrators because, in an increasingly visual world, illustrators rule. I am happy to admit my favourite bits of my own books are the pictures. When I got my first copy of The Case of the Exploding Brains (and The Case of the Exploding Loo before that) I flicked straight to the illustrations and I’ve seen kids do the same thing. I can’t imagine this series without the images. I completely agree with Sarah MacIntyre when she says both writers and illustrators should be referred to as ‘authors’ of creative work –...

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Creativity: Thinking Inside the Pizza Box.

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Creativity: Thinking Inside the Pizza Box.

      People often ask how you can teach children creativity. I may have accidentally discovered the answer .  . . ’by being a slightly useless parent’. It all began with a craft project. Most of my parenting disasters do. Maybe there are families out there who enjoy making to-scale solar systems and erupting volcanoes. Maybe there are families out there who bond together over their papier-mâché space rockets in a craft-induced haze of glitter-covered glee. Not our family. So when I discovered my son’s weekend homework was to ‘build a medieval castle’, I knew where...

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Happily Ever After

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

This week, I’ve been outlining The Case of the Exploding Book 3, so I’ve been thinking a lot about structure. Particularly about beginnings and endings. I’m always suspicious of happy endings.  For a start, they can’t be happy for everyone, can they? Take the original Marvel Avengers movie. It ended brilliantly for the Avengers, but not for (*swoon*) Loki. And it was a disaster for Loki-fangirls like me because it suggested he wouldn’t be in future Avengers outings . What happens after the happy ending? If people aren’t dead (admittedly, there were more than a few corpses on Avengers),...

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There’s an Award in my Handbag

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

There’s an Award in my Handbag

Hello! Have you ever had a week when things went so ridiculously well you started to suspect someone might be playing a trick on you? A week when you were waiting for one of your friends to jump out from behind a bush and tell you it was all a joke? I had one of those weeks just before Christmas. It started with an email from my editor. “Don’t tell anyone, as it hasn’t been formally announced yet, but The Case of the Exploding Loo has been nominated for the Redbridge Children’s Book Award.” Of course I told everyone I knew, and then a few people I didn’t. An award nomination for my first...

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EMIRATES LIT FEST AND COMPETITION

Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

EMIRATES LIT FEST AND COMPETITION

                The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is over for another year and I am feeling nostalgic. I’ve been so institutionalised that I nearly put on my lit fest name tag for breakfast this morning. It was a truly magical week, where writers from across the globe gathered together to celebrate bookish things and have an authorly time.  For non-fans of ‘Where’s Wally’, I’m in red between two lovely ladies – Adele Parks and Lara Matossian It was like being transported to a wonderful new world where...

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A CHAT WITH MY BRILLIANT ILLUSTRATOR

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A CHAT WITH MY BRILLIANT ILLUSTRATOR

I’m a big fan of the ‘kill two birds with one stone’ philosophy. (Only metaphorically, obviously. I’m not suggesting anyone should go out and start murdering birds. That wouldn’t be nice.) So I thought I’d turn this month’s blog post into the second stop on the blog tour for THE CASE OF THE EXPLODING BRAINS, which launched yesterday – cue fireworks and much woot wooting.I also wanted to celebrate illustrators because, in an increasingly visual world, illustrators rule. I am happy to admit my favourite bits of my own books are the pictures. When...

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EXPLODING BRAINS LAUNCH AND BLOG TOUR

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

EXPLODING BRAINS LAUNCH AND BLOG TOUR

        My second book has launched! I can’t quite believe it. In the days running up to the launch I did a visual countdown using the photographs Helen Shippey took when we spent the morning running around Little Explorers:   On launch day itself, the lovely Sarah Naughton (author and generally nice human being) did a book birthday interview with my over on the Author Allsorts site, which you can see if you click here. And the wonderful World of Minifigs created this wonderful Lego visual of The Case of the Exploding brains          ...

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Book Worlds

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Book Worlds

Every author will tell you how incredible it is when readers bring your books to life. I jumped up and down on the sofa when I saw three girls dressed as Noelle from ‘The Case of the Exploding Loo’ for a school book event. Just brilliant!   And there was more sofa-jumping when Harri photographed himself with a chainsaw and my book (which will make sense to those of you who’ve read the book and none at all to those of you who haven’t). Don’t try this at home.   More recently, I had a big excited squeal when I saw the knitted-Louie my friend had had made...

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Great Teachers, Smart Kids and a ‘Write Like Rachel Hamilton’ Competition

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Great Teachers, Smart Kids and a ‘Write Like Rachel Hamilton’ Competition

              I used to be an English teacher. Don’t tell anyone, but I wasn’t a brilliant one. I was particularly bad at telling off the naughty kids because they knew I’d let them get away with anything if they made me laugh. I enjoyed it though, and now that I’m writing full time, I miss talking to young people (okay, yes, especially the naughty-but-funny ones) and hearing their stories. This is why school visits are one of my favourite things about being an author. Photo: Me being a school visitor. (Just to be clear, this is not a naughty boy....

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Love Letter to School Librarians

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Love Letter to School Librarians

    I’ve been re-reading the love letters to libraries people wrote for Book Week Scotland. They’re brilliant, especially Chris Riddell’s illustrated letter here.  As an ex-teacher and ex-prison worker, I was also thrilled Russell Brand used his Reading Agency Lecture to highlight the importance of libraries in prisons and schools.       Since The Case of the Exploding Loo came out last May, I’ve spent a lot of time in school libraries and I’ve seen the impact they can have on students’ (and authors’) lives. So, for this month’s post, I’d like to...

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What Happens After The Book Deal?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

What Happens After The Book Deal?

Hello! I’m Rachel  and I’m a school visit-aholic. My favourite bits are the Q&A sessions at the end because they always make me either laugh or think – two of my favourite activities. Another favourite activity is cake eating, but people might find it weird if I started doing that during school visits. Anyway, on a recent visit I was asked, “What happens after you get a book deal?” So I thought I’d talk about what it was like to hand over control of my book-baby to my publisher. The first thing I should mention is that I was lucky and my agent, Luigi (great...

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Happy Old Year and Some New Year Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Happy Old Year and Some New Year Resolutions

      Now that 2014 has disappeared in a flash of fireworks, I can honestly say it has been the best year ever. Other years have had their share of magic and babies and Jaffa cakes and weddings and waterfalls and Toblerones and beaches and books and movies and giggling and cake. But this year has been the giggliest and the cakeiest of all.   It has been a BOOK-TASTIC smorgasbord of lit fests, launch parties, library events, book signings, talks, videoshoots, interviews, ridiculous research trips that set off security alarms, and spectacular amounts of cake, biscuits and...

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Agent Appreciation Week

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Agent Appreciation Week

      After reading Kate Ormand’s post about Agent Appreciation Week* here, I’ve decided to share five reasons why I think my agent, Luigi Bonomi from LBA Books, is brilliant (over and above the fact my son is convinced I’m being represented by a Nintendo character):     He can scan a manuscript at the speed of light and immediately identify what works and what doesn’t, and then suggest tiny changes that will lead to huge leaps in storytelling. He answers stupid questions about stupid things at stupid times of day and never once calls you stupid. He pretends not to...

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A Letter to my Daughter

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

A Letter to my Daughter

      This post first appeared in September, on the Girls Heart Books site where I do a monthly blog. With my daughter’s permission (that’s her in the picture – and yes, she is ‘erfect’) I uploaded the letter I wrote for her first day of secondary school.       To my favourite daughter, (Yes, I know you’re my only daughter, but you’d still be my favourite even if I had a million daughters. And I can say that because I don’t). I’m sitting here, dripping blood from my fingers as I sew name labels onto a mountain of kit and uniform,...

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