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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 time to go back to business! I plan to do some work on Dot this week too as I want to finish a first draft this summer (as the book is set during the holidays). My other project is more problematic. It features one of my favourite characters from 'Ember Fury' and I need to do alot more research. It's a sort of prequel and the plot is partly about the reasons he ended up at Orchard Farm. Better stop wasting my time typing this then!!


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Another Door Closes...

I completed a two-year MA this week (Illustration and Book Arts at UCA, Farnham). It's been hard work studying part-time while keeping illustration commissions ticking over, but it's been worth the effort. I never truly went away, but now feel I'm 'returning' to my career reinvigorated.

MA Project exploring my grandmother's memoir and photographic archive

I've already re-focussed my brain on a new book, so thoroughly in fact that, when asked at the private view to talk about the my final MA pieces, I actually couldn't remember what I had done! Here is some of it...

From the final project, WHAT IS HIDDEN - a part work inspired by Hitchcock's' Rear Window'
The new book, a graphic novel, is currently just an outline and a sketchbook of ideas. It has a slightly older target audience than my previous work - YA and adult cross-over - and will develop visual themes I've been playing with for the last two years. I can't wait to show it to you.

Laydeez Day

This weekend I'm heading up to London for the Laydeez Do Comics Award event. I'm really excited that 'Who Killed Jo-jo?', my first long-form comic, is on the shortlist. I'm awfully chuffed to have been selected alongside such talented artists and it feels like an enormous stamp of approval for my 30-year plan to become a bona fide graphic novelist! Better late then never, eh?

If you are anywhere near London, do come over to the Free Word Centre tomorrow (24th March) where you will be able to read ALL the submitted comics as zines, and meet loads of amazing comics creators, male and female! It's free but you need to book.

Rubber Stamping

We were only 4, because of the snow, but Saturday's rubber stamping workshop was a huge success. I invited friends to be my guinea pigs so I could test timings and smooth out technical details. The results were great.
Peter made his own logo stamps and printed them on a book bag, while Lisa and Dorothy created wonderful designs which we printed on kraft paper greetings cards.

I'll be running the smoothed-out version of the same workshop during Surrey Artist's Open Studios in June, so check back here for details in a month or two. More workshops are planned for the summer, too, including Cyanotype Printing on Fabric and Making Your Own Folding Hardcover Sketchbook.
Thank you Lisa Boyce for the photographs.