Preparations for Seasonal Festivities are almost done, cleaned the house yesterday and ticked-off the final item on my 'to do'list. What a luxury! A whole day free to write! Okay, so why am I not writing, you ask? Well, had to update this blog first, didn't I? And I've just heard that Michael Caine is on Desert Island Discs, so, as I'm a huge fan, gotta listen to that, right? Then I'll have a bit of lunch. I've a portion of chilli left over from last night. Then I might pop out and take some more photos of the snow before it melts and the sun goes down... Then I'll start writing. Mmm, perhaps I'd better make a New Year's Resolution to nip the 'avoidance activity' in the bud. Season's Greetings, Cool Yule and a very Happy New Year! Cx
Phew! Two days of recovery after an exhausting week! Just as one exciting project reaches the final sprint ten more come over the horizon. Spent the whole of last Friday discussing future plans with three VIPs (agent, editor and a lovely old friend) - new books, new characters, a new website and even a revisit to my glam past life in fashion! SO looking forward to 2010. Bring it on! (from 'Scarlett Dedd')
Been reading, tweaking and totally immersed in the world of 'Scarlett Dedd' today. I SO love these video-mad teens. Strangely, they appear to be much cooler than I remember them. Did they take on a life of their own when I wasn't looking? Ooo... spooky! Can't wait 'til it's finally finished and worthy of my lovely readers and you can immerse yourselves too.
Spent the whole day with Flat-Ember and Maura at Christ's College... and didn't want to leave. Christ's College Rocks! Thanks for making us so welcome. Loads of creative talent - particularly impressed by student who said she didn't think she'd want Superhero abilities as she was happy with the way she was. How completely cool and sorted is that? Awesome!
Confirmation that I'll be doing a WHOLE DAY of workshops on Friday 23rd - as part of the Guildford Book Festival. Can't wait. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to chat with my readers (and future readers?) about their ideas and aspirations, but mostly just to have a bloomin' good laugh! Great way to end the week.
A lovely workshop yesterday at St Catherine's... small group but big imaginations! I really enjoyed our discussion. Well, perhaps it was mostly me talking (as usual) because I have a slightly sore throat today! Very interesting stuff about the ethical dilemma of controlling time and space or having the powers to change yourself or the world. Thought-provoking and very intelligent. Lost of ideas for my next books!
Catch Flamegrrl and Flat-Ember at the Guildford Book Festival, 14th t0 24th Oct. We're doing a workshop on the 19th. http://www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=35
Just got back from a brilliant morning in Dorking. Yay, Ashcome students - you are awesome! I had such a good time and you made us feel so welcome. Flat-Ember was relieved that the rain had stopped so she didn't have to suffocate in a plastic bag on the way home - it's bad enough getting stuffed in the back of my car! Thanks to everyone, especially Annette. I was completely blown-away by all your ideas and particularly liked the beautiful drawings (v cool outfits) and 'Bullet-proof dandruff'! So funny! Hahahahaha!
While writing the 'Ember Fury' animation screenplay, it has occurred to me how exciting it is to work in another medium - moving image - and perhaps even more thrilling, the prospect of a collaboration with others. I've been looking at some incredible showreels this week and re-discovering artists, film-makers and cinematographers I met years ago, most of whom seemed then to have amazing expertise and skills so far removed from my own sphere. I never imagined I might be seeking them out again, or that I'd be approaching them about my own feature project. Though I'm completely open about my role in bringing 'Ember' to the screen, I am feeling more and more comfortable with the title 'writer/director'. If someone now comes along and offers to take her out of my hands, it might be a wrench but hey, beggars can't be choosers! I'm also resigned to the prospect of a long and possibly unsuccessful search for funding. Who knows? At least I ha…
Had a great day with Flat-Ember in Worthing on Saturday. Thanks Charlotte. Awesome to chat with fans and (I hope) future fans of 'Ember Fury', especially Amelia, Jack and Atlanta. Yay Worthing teens! Perhaps you'll invite me back next summer when 'Scarlett Dedd' hits the bookshelves?
I had a sketchbook weekend - doing lots of new stuff and going through the old ones. I have a whole shelf of them in my studio going back more than 10 or even 15 years. I like some of the covers I did a while ago and might use them to inspire the illustrations for 'Scarlett Dedd'. I think a trip to the art shop is on the cards - need white ink, coloured paper and a load more mapping pens.
'Ember Fury' SOLD OUT in 90mins @ Waterstone's Dorking yesterday! Everyone took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer and I went through the stack in no time. I've agreed to go back, sign some more and maybe attend their Christmas Gala too.
Ember and I will be at Waterstone's in Dorking this Saturday (15th) between 12 and 3pm - causing havoc, no doubt! It's been an exciting first week for 'Ember Fury' and now I'm having to get used to promoting book one while finishing book two - quite hard work.
'Ember Fury' is Border's Children's Book of the Month - cool huh? Planning the 'sizzling-hot' launch event at the moment. Come along if you're in the area. Barton's Bookshop, Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 8th August 2009, 11 - 4.30.
Ember just emailed me. She sounded a little jealous, saying that I'm spending too much time on all these other characters when she should be the most important person in my life right now. The mood she's in, I hope she doesn't have access to any matches...
Promotion of 'Ember Fury' is starting to take up more of my time so I'm making the most of these last few weeks before launch to write book 3. 'Dot' and her quiet south coast village are keeping me at my laptop late into the night right now. I'm just reaching the major plot climax, the breath-taking, mind-blowing, devastating event that changes everyone's lives. So thrilling to write! I love these characters and am looking foward so much to resolving their amazing story. Still several surprises and plot twists to come so back to work...
I took a short break from Scarlett Dedd and her friends this weekend, to type the synopsis for a new book. I've had this 2012 idea in my head for a couple of weeks but have only just worked out how to end the story. It's gonna be very dramatic! It's full of surprises and huge plot twists too. I'm writing it as three separate first person narratives and am really enjoying developing their different voices. The characters are in their late teens and I love being able to give them slightly more freedom than I've allowed the characters in previous books. More risk-taking and loads more passion. I'm so excited about writing it that I'm hardly getting any sleep at the moment. There are never enough hours in a day... or days in a week... etc. The only solution is to be more disciplined. I am designing a super-efficient filing system to keep all the characters and plots in order. They have been having a wild party in my head, but now it's over and tim…
Ember just texted me to suggest that she should be the one visiting bookshops and schools this Autumn, as her name is bigger than mine on the cover. AND there's a drawing of her on it too... not me! I guess she's in one of THOSE moods today. Probably had one too many lattés or been listening to Biffy Clyro too loud!
I'm developing the 'Scarlett Dedd' characters this week and finding it hard to draw teens in October coats and scarves while it's 30 degrees outside. Enjoying having a slightly bigger ensemble cast this time, though. Scarlett and her friends make me laugh every day, especially when they're wearing their Halloween costumes or getting spooked by the dead Dedds!
Teaching on a summer course at UCA last week - giving teens a taste of university life. The students were Year 8 - younger than I've taught before - which was brilliant, as they are my perfect target audience. Made some contacts with the schools and English teachers and they were terrific students too - really enthusiastic and creative.
I found the Dedd's house this week - it's a REAL building - well, after a bit of tweaking and with a lot of artistic licence, it has become the the Dedd's haunted house. I added the conservatory and made it narrower, for example. I'd absolutely love to live in it, so if it's yours and you want to sell...
Mmm... Didn't quite keep to my plan. Why did the weather have to be so darn gorgeous?! Did hardly any writing, a bit of half-hearted doodling and alot of pottering in the garden. Oh, and some gazing into space while curled-up in a deckchair! All part of the creative process... honest!