Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hello 2016!

Happy new year people!

So the end of 2015 was mostly taken up with editing my second novel. In case you don't know, it's called Nightwanderers, and is about a girl called Rosie Bloom and her best friend, Titania DeFuria, and the trouble they get themselves into as a result of their love for roaming their seaside town in the middle of the night (hence the title.)

My best friend and I used to do this when we were teenagers, climbing out of my bedroom window and donning my dad's balaclava to run through our fearsome teacher's garden, and I had much fun returning to those foolish and exhilarating times to write Rosie's story.

Nightwanderers is set in a fictionalised version of Falmouth in Cornwall where I lived for eight years, and I loved returning to that beautiful harbour town in my imagination. I hope people will enjoy the story that emerged from blending these elements. More news on the book's progress soon...

My editor, Rachel Mann, has been brilliant in supporting me to get this novel right, and lots of her suggestions have helped to improve the book. More evidence that writing novels can be an extremely collaborative process.

The end of 2015 was also devoted to teaching Creative Writing to undergraduates at Bath Spa, and to visiting schools to talk about Infinite Sky. I had a particularly lovely time at St Bede's Catholic School in Bristol last month, and am delighted to be their Patron of Reading for 2016. Keep an eye out here for posts relating to what I will be doing in my time there...

2015 was a stellar year for UKYA, and my favourite read was Rosie Rowell's Leopold Blue, winner of the year's Branford Boase Award, along with many of the other shortlisted books. Please read them all! Of the not-published-in-2015-nor-necessarily-UK-YA books I read, I loved Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Meg Rosoff's new book for adults, which is hilarious, and everyone must read, and that I can't remember the name of (or find online.)

I delayed posting this after hearing the sad news that David Bowie had died on Monday. A man that truly lived. To celebrate his shining life, here is a video of him singing and dancing and waving bye bye in all his feline glory.

I hope 2016 promises good things for you. Thanks for reading!