Friday, 29 May 2009

Carnegie Shortlist continued.

I have just finished Kate Thompson's Creature of the Night. What a wonderful book - I was totally gripped from start to finish and had no idea what was coming next. I found the characters utterly convincing to the extent that I was worrying about Bobby and really hoping that Dennis wouldn't wet the bed and tip his ma over the edge. Four pages before the end I couldn't see how Kate Thompson could end the story and so it was immensely satisfying to close the book a few minutes later shaking my head and smiling with admiration. Fabulous.

So, difficult to follow you might think and I'd agree with you but I've still got four more to read before I've completed the Carnegie shortlist. I went straight into Eoin Colfer's Airman - and got to somewhere around page 50 last night. It is a fasten-your-safety-belt-check-your-parachute-remember-to-breathe adventure and I am loving it. Passing family members pause to stare at me sprawled on sofa or sitting in the garden and mutter, "Are you still reading?"
Yes I am, thank you very much Carnegie judges for a fine shortlist.

Monday, 25 May 2009

The Carnegie Shortlist

I am stunned when I look at Jenny's blog Wondrous Reads - great new look btw Jenny - by how many books Jenny gets through.

It is a struggle to find the time to get everything done and I don't mean the chores - I've had to set The Book Thief aside which is frustrating because I had just got beyond the point of finding Death's explanatory notes distracting and Liesel and Rudi were beginning to consume my interest when it occured to me that I had to get on and read the Carnegie shortlist.

I am not complaining because so far every book has lit me up. I am going to have to get the new Patrick Ness because I HAVE to find out what happens to Todd and Viola in the same way that I eagerly, verging on desperately, waited for Philip Pullman to give me more about Lyra and Will. But I closed The Knife of Never Letting Go and allowed myself a moment or two then went straight into Keith Gray's Ostrich Boys. Literally. Like falling. Loved it.

So no chores, infrequent blogs and not much writing getting done and now you know why - and I'm not complaining!

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Race for the Lost Keystone - Lorabeth Lampton

The other day I received an email asking me about Lorabeth Lampton from a reader called Robbie. Lorabeth Lampton is the villain in my heartstone books.

Unfortunately Robbie I've been unable to reply because my email keeps bouncing back. (I think that maybe the adult whose computer you were on has their inbox protected)

So, I hope you find your way here and thank you for writing. Here's my reply:-

Hi Robbie,
Thank you for taking the trouble to write to me. I'm really happy that you're enjoying The Race for the Lost Keystone.
Ah, Lorabeth Lampton - that mean old nasty piece of work - she's so mean and nasty that she was really good fun to write. I don't know how I came up with her exactly, but its funny how a character starts to become real as the story grows. I'll be thinking about the plot and planning what's going to happen next and as I imagine a scene I just know how Lorabeth is going to react and what she will say. She has a lot of power but she's a bit of a loner. She has people who work for her but the clever ones - the scientists - they might start questioning whether she should be doing what she's doing and that makes her mad. So, then she has Bardolph and Frimley who aren't very smart so they aren't going to ask too many questions but they annoy her because they blunder about and get things wrong.
Happy reading and say Hi to your reading group
Best Wishes

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Breathing Underwater by Julia Green

Breathing Underwater by Julia Green

I looked forward to reading her new book because I know Julia and love her writing and couldn't wait to visit a world that she had created. Because that's what reading one of Julia's books is like - everything is so real that you think about the characters and the events afterwards as if you lived through it rather than merely read it.
A beautiful book.

You can read Sasha's review of Breathing Underwater on Chicklish

Young Writers 3 ET by Emil

Fine work from Emil in his comic series - strong characterisation and good page design well drawn. Only five issues at the moment though hopefully there's more on the way.

Good luck for SATs week to everyone in Year 6!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Young Writers 2: - FIFA Street

Yet more brilliant invention from Year 6 boys. A football comic called Fifa Street that's funny and beautifully drawn by Stanley from an original idea by Jake and featuring a character based on Theo. (Hope I've got that right.)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Blogging and writing...

Although I started this blog a year ago with help from Phil of Graham Hall, I've only been at it regularly for about a month now and in a small way at that. I'm hoping to get quicker at it because if I can't post a blog in ten to fifteen minutes then I'll be using precious time blogging when I should be writing. I'm learning as I go along and I'm discovering other blogs that I want to read and follow - all time gobbling stuff but fascinating.
I did have a bit of a breakthrough with the current one last weekend so if the blog goes quiet it will be good news for the writing!

Out of the Blue at Owl Bookshop, Kentish Town

Thanks to Leslie and Gemma at Owl for their help at the launch of Out of the Blue last Wednesday. I had a great time and it was good to see everyone.
Thanks to Don Church for the photo and last, but not least, I would say a great-big-thank-you-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart thank you to Richard.