In a week during which I was convinced my friends were about to leap out from behind a tree and tell me it was all a joke, I got nominated for three book awards – the Redbridge Children’s Award, the Leeds Book Award and the Worcestershire Awesomest Book Award. I have no chance of winning because the other books in the lists are brilliant – but being nominated alone was enough to bring on a massive attack of overexcitement!
Redbridge Children’s Award longlist:
Leeds Book Awards shortlist:
Worcestershire Awesomest Book Awards shortlist:
This was the month of doing book signings at Christmas Fayres. It began with one, and then more and more popped up! Some were great, some less so. But all were a lot of fun and all involved me meeting brilliant people. Alexander McNabb made me laugh with this blogpost.
I did my first School Author visits this week, and was lucky enough to be invited to two wonderful schools – Pristine Private School and Repton Dubai. I was a bit nervous but I shouldn’t have been. It was great fun. Pristine’s staff couldn’t have been more welcoming – I arrived to a huge plate of biscuits and left with a beautiful bunch of flowers. And the kids couldn’t have been more fun. I thought some of them would explode they were so keen to ask questions (while I’m sure there’s a better answer to ‘What’s the best thing about being an author?’ than ‘You get to spend the day in your pyjamas’, I couldn’t think of one on the spot). Repton was equally fantastic. I was talking to Year 5s (although some year 4s seemed to have snuck in at the back – hello 4LD!) and they were a lovely bunch with some great ideas. Thank you to all the kids who helped out in both sessions, especially my wonderful readers. You can check out my photo gallery here.
I was invited to be an ‘Author’ at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature along with some wonderful local and international writers – Joanne Harris, Charlie Higson, JoJo Moyes, John Boyne, Liz Fenwick, Jeremy Paxman, Kathy Hoopmann, Paddy Ashdown, Pam Ayres, Lemn Sissay, Rachel Hore, Judy and Richard, Fransesca Simon, Ahmed Bukhatir, Sally Gardner, Eoin Colfer, Sahar Mahfouz, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre to name but a few. I had the time of my life. You can see my photo gallery here and my author interview here
I had a fantastic evening as a ‘Guest Almost-Author’ at the Raffles World Academy Literary Soiree. You can read my blog post about it here.
I gave a speech at the Emirates Festival of Literature Gala Dinner, held to announce the author line up for next year’s festival. It was an strange mixture of fun and terrifying, which left me giggling and failing to eat the great dinner provided.
My first book, ‘The Case of the Exploding Loo’, won a prize in the Montegrappa First Fiction competition at the Emirates Festival of Literature. I got far too excited, as you can tell from my shiny, happy face in the photo. I talked about the prize in a post for the Lit Fest blog