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Showing posts from 2010


Counting down to 2011 (less than ten hours to go) so I thought it was about time I made some Resolutions. 1. Do more exercise (20mins on rowing machine every day)... 2. Eat less chocolate... 3. Stop swearing so much(!)... 4. Floss every day... 5. Vacuum floors more often... 6. Finish third book...
Hey! Wait a minute! Forget numbers 1-5. Finishing my next book is the only thing that matters, right? After all, a little chocolate doesn't hurt and swearing can be awfully funny and does hardly any real harm (especially as I mostly do it when I'm home alone or digging in the garden). The more exercise thing will remain on my list as I've grown disgusting spongy flabby bits over the Crimbo hols (50kg of chocolate perhaps?). But 2011 is the year of my newest character. I know you are going to love her. She's got a wicked streak but is just the sort of girl you'd want as your BFF. And her adventures... OMG! SO glamorous, so exciting and incredibly scary! Anyway, t…

Waterstone's and the Big Draw/Thaw!

Thank goodness the snow decided to melt today. It meant I was able to get to Dorking Waterstone's for a day of sketching, chatting and signing books. Thanks to everyone who posed for my drawings - I'm sure some of you will turn up in the next book - and special thanks to Adam for your excellent ideas about where you'd go if you could travel back in time! Genius! My sketches are on the 'sketchbook' page.

Dear Hove Park School...

Dear Hove Park School,
So, I've now failed to make it to your school TWICE - once because of a bug and then the snow - and I'm totally gutted! I was really looking forward to spending the day with you, doing a fun workshop and introducing you to all my characters, so let's hope my rescheduled visit... no, I won't jinx it! Whatever happens (floods, giant meteorites, alien invasion!), I WILL get to you as soon as I can - maybe not before Christmas, but sometime in the New Year. In the meantime, please visit Scarlett's and Ember's Facebook pages and Scarlett's blog ( for some Festive fun.
Best wishes,

Dorking Waterstone's Christmas Book Event

I'll be sketching and teen-chatting atDorking Waterstone's next Saturday 4th December.
Come along and meet
Ember& Scarlett
and get a sneak preview of my exciting 2011 book. We'll have videos, drawings and lots of fun giveaways (so come early). See you there!

Return Visit

I spent my lunch break in a sunny school library today, chatting with students about my new book and signing my previous publications - author heaven! Thank you to Mrs Skene at Guildford High School for inviting me back. Here are some pics (thanks again to Mrs Skene) of the last time I was there, before the half term break - a brilliant day!

YoungMinds Book Award

I attended my first ever award event last night and it was awesome! Our Em was shortlisted for The YoungMinds Book Award so my agent Penny, editor Hannah and I put on our matching heels and chic black outfits (fluke not planned!) and set off for the Unicorn Theatre. We didn't win (huge congratulations to Siobahn Curham) but if that's losing then winning must be phenomenal! It was so much fun chatting to my fellow authors, assorted editors and judges, and best of all a sprinkling of teen readers. Marvelous!

Moody New Book

I've been designing pages for my new book and having fun with a moody, film noir style - Venetian blinds, deep shadows and dark streets.


Mad about zombies today after watching awesome first episode of The Walking Dead. Bit violent and gory in parts for younger viewers but looks stunning. Every frame is comicbook perfect, as is the casting of Andrew Lincoln. This is defo the most exciting telly since Lost. Hope it doesn't go silly or tedious like Lost tho. Can't wait for next week.


Phew! Back at my 'desk' after two months of mega Scarlett Dedd touring and a few days of feeling poorly. I'm now gearing-up for an end of year creative splurge! I've moved my studio to my dining room, which is brilliant. Don't know why I didn't do this years ago as it's a much nicer place to work and I always end up here when it's just me and my laptop. I can spread out on the dining room table, watch the birds from the window, have my printer, scanner and art materials at arms length and I'm only a few steps away from the kitchen. Perfect! I've already done three illustration jobs in my new nest and am about to do some layout sketches for my new book and begin designs for a Christmas card. Excellent!

Maximum LOL!

OMG! I'm exhausted! Just got back from a full-on signing, sketching and spookin' afternoon at Waterstone's Crawley. Thanks to everyone who posed for my character sketches ESPECIALLY Vicky and Nicky!!! You girls are... words fail me! Safe to say, you are going STRAIGHT INTO MY NEXT BOOK! I haven't laughed so much in years and your hilarious (Haribo-fueled?) chat is still making me chuckle! I was certain that at any moment the Waterstone's staff were going to call security and have you removed from the building... just like when the same thing happened to Nicky yesterday, and they had to peel her off Tom from The Wanted at Tescos!! (Apparently!) Now THERE'S a story! He he he... see, still chuckling! Oh, BTW, N and V, make sure you go back to collect your books... with some money! Meh!


I've been drawing like a lunatic this week, having been inspired by so many very cool people on the streets. Suddenly, everyone is dressing like goths and rock stars in leather jackets, high-heeled boots and lashings of black eyeliner! Well, not everyone. I guess I've not seen many little old grannies wearing black eyeliner, but teenagers are looking amazing - very dark and moody. I expect I'll have enough characters for my next book in no time if I keep scribbling like this.

Things that make you shiver, jump or scream...

Here are some of the things that scare students at Redbridge School, Southampton. I wish I had space to post them all, but I've chosen my faves. Great drawing and very chilling imaginations!!

World Premiere Countdown

Visit Scarlett Dedd's blog next week and you'll be able to watch an exclusive world premiere of her 'rents' extraordinary animation series, 'Sunshine Street'.


I know it's more than a week away, but I'm starting my Halloween themed workshops this week. Wooooooo! I have some really scary creative tasks for everyone and a 'true' ghost story to share! Check out YA blogger Book Chick City for my Halloween guest post and a cool review of 'Scarlett Dedd'.

Goths, Bubble Gum and Chips!

I had a lovely morning at Guildford High School today. Thanks to everyone, especially Mrs Skene. The girls were so inventive and creative, some showing an enormous talent for writing (very impressive) and drawing (I've scanned some of my faves and included them here). We seemed to have a bit of a Goth obsession (probably my fault) but the character ideas were great - bubble gum force fields being a particular highlight. Oh, and the fish and chips I had at lunch were delicious!

No pink?

Astonishingly, my wardrobe is lacking something (I thought it was far too vast and extensive). What, you ask, do I NOT have squashed into cupboards, drawers and suitcases under the bed (where you'll find 9 coats, 7 denim jackets, 12 pairs of black trousers, 37 tops, 12 dresses, 9 cardigans, 10 skirts, 70 pairs of shoes, pashminas, scarves, t-shirts and so on...)? The answer, as you may have guessed, is anything pink. Nothing. Nil. Nowt. Plenty of blue, grey, black and a bit of green and beige, but absolutely no pink. I don't even have pink accessories. And why is this the subject of my blog? Well, I'm visiting a school on Friday where all the students will be wearing this particular colour and I've been invited to join them. Hmm... might have to go shopping and build another extension on my wardrobe.

Thanks Emma!

I just spent most of the afternoon with fellow writer friend, Emma, swapping thoughts on our current book projects. She gave me pages and pages of insightful and intelligent criticism of my 3rd teen novel (all spot on), for which I am SO grateful. Thanks Emma! Her own project is fantastic - inspired storytelling - and deserves to be snapped-up by a publisher... immediately! So do the sequels (brilliant) and all her other amazing ideas for further books. How does she ever find the time to be a mum and work too?

Time Travel, Poison Spit and Suffragettes!

I've just had a brilliant morning at The Ashcombe School. Thanks so much to everyone (especially Mrs Page). I had a wonderful time and didn't want to leave. Not only were the characters developed in workshop simply amazing (shape-shifters, lethal saliva and a megalomaniac who wanted total God powers!) but I got chatting with a group of cool girls about one of my fave subjects - Suffragettes! When I left, they were searching online for the shocking film footage from Epsom Race Course (which is just a few miles away) in 1913, when a Suffragette, Emily Davison, leapt in front of the King's horse. Her dramatic, and fatal, protest is probably one of the earliest examples of the type of newsreel footage that is now very familiar. It's grainy and black and white but no less dramatic, powerful, upsetting and, ultimately, opinion-changing.

The girls have inspired me to get out my 'suffragette' book manuscript again. Perhaps I'll include a Suffragette character…

Rain, rain, more rain...

Rain, rain, more rain... Well, at least those shrubs I planted last week have had the perfect weather. I, on the other hand, have been wickedly increasing my carbon footprint by keeping my lights and heating switched on for a large part of the day. Ooo, that's weird! As I write, the sun has come out and is pouring down on my desk. Just a sec while I turn the lights off and take off my cardi...

That's better.

I've had a familiar problem this week - too many small jobs to do - which always makes me rather confused and indecisive. Am I in a serious paperwork mood or a fun drawing mood? Do I want to get the domestic jobs done that I've been putting off all summer? Shall I update my digital portfolio or design a new promotional flyer? Or should I get really creative and throw myself, head first, into a new book idea? Mmm... I've just remembered it's Sunday afternoon, that I finished my accounts and tax return yesterday, and that I should reward …

Phoenix Writers' Circle

There were yet more new members at the Writers' Group meeting last night and what a dynamic fascinating group we now are! Talented too! I always come away from those two and a half hours of literary chat every month with my head brimming with plots for new books and ideas for TV mini-series. Today, I am finding it almost impossible to get to work on my real commissions - the ones that are going to pay my bills - because I want to revisit an old picture-book idea (Pete the poet's fault!) and start writing the six part historical drama I started to plot last year. I wish I could clone myself and do all of it! In fact, whenever this suggestion comes up in my 'Superhero Powers' workshops (and it always does) I chuckle and imagine how cool it would be to be able to work on twenty projects at once. I've decided to go to the Mole Valley Scriptwriters meeting in a couple of weeks too. Argh! Am I making a huge mistake? How many clones will I need after that?!

Life Imitates Art

Life is imitating art this week as the world prepares for Halloween (more than a month early, as usual) and scenes from Scarlett Dedd appear in front of my eyes with increasing frequency. I found the perfect mini-Scarlett outfit at my local supermarket and sobbed (well almost) when I found it was not made in my size. Then my nieces pointed out the real fairy ring (they believe, so I'm going along with it) in their garden. Apparently this variety is pretty poisonous (or pretty and poisonous, if you prefer!)

Woking High

Spent another wonderful day at Woking High School yesterday. Thank you to everyone, especially Miss Watson (awesome-est teacher!). I had a hilarious time and went home with aching ribs from all the giggles! Most students wanted to keep their inventive and creative work and finish it in their own time (excellent!) but I managed to convince Jocelyn to give me her amazing drawing, which I've scanned and posted here (with her permission). I think it's fabulous!


I just found these pics on my phone and remembered the glorious day I spent in London at the beginning of the month, meeting friends and researching my next book. This beach was on the South Bank of the Thames!! Cool huh?

Chicken Curry!

Here are some of the characters created yesterday morning... brilliant! Have to say my fave is probably Turbin Terry (sic) who got his powers falling in to a chicken curry!! But I also love the levitating teddy bear.

Weird and Wonderful Worthing!

An awesome Monday - the morning in the company of students at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Worthing and a brilliant 'Scarlett Dedd' review waiting for me when I got home! Excellent! The morning BTW was amazing fun - hilarious, creative and gave me LOADS of ideas for new characters! I will try to scan and post some of the results as soon as I have time. Thanks to Mrs Waton (librarian extraordinary) and to Emma from Waterstone's. (And to the boys on the 'comedy table' for making me laugh!! Checkout their website Genius!)
As it's our village Harvest Festival next week, I though I'd update you on my garden produce. Sadly, I have no pictures of the amazing 23 sweet, juicy peaches I ate at the beginning of the month (thanks to that week of sunshine), but here are the freaky, alien corn cobs I had for tea last night and the raspberries I am sprinkling on my muesli every morning at the moment. Delish!

'definitely has boy appeal'

I read a great review of Scarlett Dedd today (The Book Zone [for boys] that I wanted to share with you, mainly because it confirmed my hunch that Scar & Co. would appeal to boys. Prior to publishing, when I discussed the plot and characters in 'Scarlett' with students in my school workshops, I got the most fantastic feedback, but particularly from the boys. They liked the humour but mostly, I think, they loved the comedy gore-fest!! Not having any knowledge of what it's like to be a teenage boy, I sometimes worry about seeing the world only through girl's eyes, but I have learned from my students, that boys and girls are not so different and there are some things we ALL enjoy and appreciate. Boys don't mind a little bit of romance and are not instantly switched off by 'feelings' (though they'll never admit it). And girls enjoy thrilling adventures and a bit of gore too!!
Complete sell-out event at Waterstone's Dorking today! Thanks to Pete and the team for a lovely day. I got to chat and sketch with all my fave fans (and some teachers and parents too!) Thanks to June, Ellie, Oliver, Evie, Emily, Niamh, Amber, George, Ellie, Lucy, Sebastian, Isabella, Lois, Alfie and Lily for posing for me. And Laurence, did you get the bus home ok? I'll scan and post all the sketches on the 'sketchbook' page this weekend. P.S. I've totally lost my voice now. Guess I'd better not talk for a while and just stick to blogging.

Fan-blooming-tastic 'Scarlett Dedd'Funeral Party yesterday! A big thank you to Peter and everyone at Barton's Bookshop for letting us take over and fill the place with black balloons and crepe paper. The cakes were delish! It was particularly cool to see so many friends, fans, teachers, and people I've sketched at past Barton's events (amazed that you came back!!) I'm looking forward to the next event during Arts Alive on 16th October, when I'll be lurking with my sketchbook again - I have a new book to fill with characters and need some inspiration! (Cool pics above taken by Sam Eades from Headline - I was cheeky and grabbed them from Flicker - Thanks Sam)
Had a very cool chat with Pete @ my local Waterstone's today about life, the universe and writing stuff. Then I got home and discovered his hilarious website which is simply comedy awesome-ness! Made me giggle and chuckle all afternoon. Genius! Click on the link to brighten your day.
Scarlett Dedd is published today! Woohoo! Just off on a whole day of celebrations with my mates in London - lunch, shopping, then a night out with the girls on the South Bank. I will, no doubt, end up going in to every bookshop on my travels around the city to check if Scarlett has a prime spot on the shelves.
I have just written 'THE END' on the first draft of my new book. Hurrah! It's a bit longer than expected - nearly 50k words - so now all I have to do is re-write and dump all the cringe-worthy badly written bits (about a quarter?!!) and it will probably be the right length!! Then I have to pluck up the courage to send it to my sister (most honest critic) and members of my writing group, for comment. Scary! Then I'll probably keep changing it and re-writing until I'm tearing at the walls... and finally, finally - in several frenzied weeks time - decide it's good enough to send to my publisher. Super-scary! But also wonderful. Much as I find this whole process a supreme challenge and very, very hard work, I LOVE IT! Writing is the best job in the world.
Scarlett came to tea today. Here she is in my living room. Actually, it's Scarlett's cardboard cutout! Cool, huh? She's already asked if she can watch some of my horror movie DVDs and has requested pizza for supper (no mushroom).
Lot's of Scarlett Dedd events are looming over the horizon. How exciting! The first will be publishing day (2nd Sept - pre-order your copy now), the next is a visit to our friends at Waterstone's Epsom on Saturday 4th. Then the biggie - Scarlett's Party... I mean FUNERAL (above) at Barton's Bookshop, Leatherhead (after school at 3.30pm on 9th September). Visit to sign up to the guestlist and get more info. Then we're at Waterstone's Dorking on 11th September - Yay! Click on the Events tab above for more...
Friday 13th and I KNEW today would be awesome and spesh! Just finished the third video for Scarlett Dedd (still intend to do at least another 2) and you should be able to watch the first (a trailer) next week. Also coming soon to a screen near you: 'Cuddly Bunny Meets the Hair Salon Slasher', 'Zombie Saturday Checkout Girl' and 'Video Evidence of the Existence of Ghosts' by Rip, Taz, JP, Psycho and Scarlett. Plus 'Sunshine Street' by Wolf and Mandy. Exciting!
Woo hoo! Look what my lovely postman just delivered! I opened it to read the first page and was still standing in my dining room 45 mins later. Must be good as I've read it about 1,000,000 time before!