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Cogheart Letters and Artwork

Cogheart Letters and Artwork

One of the best things about being an author is when children write to you about your books, or send you drawings of the characters.  The other week I received a whole batch of amazing letters and art from St Mary the Mount RC Primary School telling me how much they enjoyed Cogheart. They had each done some drawings and written a fact sheet about mechanicals for one of their school projects. You can see some of them here, there’s a lovely drawing of Mrs Rust which I think is my favourite! And I even learnt some interesting facts about mechanicals from them… For example, did you know you can apparently cut a mechanical in half and both halves will go on living!! A bit like the Terminator! Also that some mechanicals and mechanimals run away from their owners because they are unhappy, but then they go rusty and run down and stop working. Thanks to all the pupils at St Mary the Mount for your lovely letters and inspirational drawings and thoughts on mechanicals. I hope you got my reply?

Moonlocket interview on Funkids Radio

Moonlocket interview on Funkids Radio

In case you missed it when it went out live a couple of weeks ago, here is a listen again version of the Funkids Radio interview with afternoon Funkids club DJ Bex. We chat about Moonlocket and the greatest bits about being an author, and I answer some of the listener’s burning questions about Cogheart!

Funkids Moonlocket interview…

And here’s the original chat we had last year about Cogheart…

Moonlocket launch week

Moonlocket launch week

It has been just over a week since Moonlocket’s official launch party on Tuesday the 2nd of May at Waterstones Islington.  It was lovely to see so many friends, fellow authors, librarians, family, and folks from Usborne, especially my editor Rebecca and my agent Jo, and MOST especially the kids of friends who loved the first book and all came along to celebrate the launch of the sequel. Here are some pictures from the evening, that lots of kind people who were there have sent me. ( I was far too excited to remember to take pictures as well!)

Then on Thursday I went on a whistlestop signing tour of bookshops round London with Stevie from Usborne. The highlight of the day was visiting Richmonds Indie Children’s Bookshop Alligators Mouth for the first time, such a cool little shop. I wish I lived in Richmond I would be in there all the time!

On Friday I did two talks at Kingham school in Oxfordshire – where all the Year Fours had made an incredible mural of Cogheart and designed their own mechanicals and mechanimals and airships. They had great questions about the book too, which they had been studying with their lovely form teacher Elizabeth Mahooney. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take photos but I hope they send me some because their artwork was absolutely stunning!

On Monday I did a joint event with Kiran Millwood Hargraves talking to Year Nines from Swakeley School at Oak Farm Library in Hillingdon. I managed to get them to do a bit of deportment, which is always fun. Then i got to hear all about how Kiran researches and writes her books for the first time, very interesting.

Win afternoon tea & writing advice from me with Authorfy

Win afternoon tea & writing advice from me with Authorfy

Win afternoon tea & writing advice from me. Over on the authorfy site here:  

The prize also includes 5 signed copies of ‘Moonlocket’ for your school library and 5 signed copies for you and your friends!

Rules of Entry: 
– This competition is open to the public
– The deadline for entries is 31st May 2017
– We will announce the winner on 9th June 2017 and contact via the given email address
– A parent or guardian must enter on a child’s behalf
– The afternoon tea will last approximately 90 minutes – 2 hours, with the chance to discuss what it’s like to be an author with Peter Bunzl, ask questions, and get writing tips and advice.
– Please note, the afternoon tea will take place during the summer holidays, on a mutually convenient date, which will be arranged once the winner has been announced.
– The afternoon tea will take place in a venue in SW London. Travel expenses and accommodation are the responsibility of the parents and will not be covered / reimbursed by Authorfy. We ask that a parent travels to the venue with the winners.
– Two members of the Authorfy team will attend the event with the winner and 4 friends. Both team members hold valid a DBS, First Aid and Safeguarding certificates.
– This competition is only open to UK residents
– Any allergies or dietary requirements will be accommodated
– Please note: no upload is required for this competition

Authorfy is a new platform that aims to developed exciting and original videos in which children’s authors share their unique approach to creative writing and pass on their love for literacy. Their corresponding learning resources have been produced to inspire students to engage with the authors’ style of writing, and through the platform they are giving students the chance to have their work read and reviewed by the authors themselves! 

Authorfy; where creativity comes to life.

Cogheart Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award

Cogheart Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award

I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has been shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, an annual award for the author of an outstanding debut children’s novel.

The award is unique in also honouring the editor of the shortlisted books for identifying and nurturing new talent – which in Cogheart’s case is Usborne’s Fiction Director Rebecca Hill.

The Branford Boase Award is in its 17th year and previous winners include Frances Hardinge and Meg Rosoff.

The winner will be announced on 5th July. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

Cogheart has been shortlisted for nine awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017.

View the full shortlist and find out more

It’s Moonlocket publication day!

I an over the moon today because it’s  publication day!

To celebrate here’s a glimpse of some upcoming tour highlights. I am looking forward to appearing at all of these fabulous festivals & chatting with these awesome author. For more information, please check out the calendar page, which has links and info to book tickets for these various events….

Cogheart Shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

Cogheart Shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has been shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award!

Voting ended yesterday (30.4.17). It’s an honour to be on such a strong and varied shortlist with so many fabulous books – a Carnegie Nominee, a Waterstones Prize Winner, an Edinburgh First Book Award Winner, and a Zoella Book Club pick, are amongst the awards they’ve been nominated for or won. Plus five other lovely authors. I am particularly proud of this nomination since it is voted for by my peers, and because it is an award associated with SCBWI. SCBWI – The Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators – is an organization that has helped me greatly on my journey to become a published children’s writer. Thanks to SCBWI I have made oodles of great new writer friends and through them, and the events and conference they organise, learnt tons about children’s publishing. All of which has helped me become a little less green about that world I have moved into as a published author. So here’s to SCBWI, long may it continue. And fingers crossed for Cogheart winning the Crystal Kite!

 

 

 

Cogheart shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Awards

Cogheart shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Awards

I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has been nominated for the Independent Bookshop Week Awards, Children’s Category. Thank you to all the lovely Indie booksellers who have championed the book over the past eight months. I am massively thrilled to be on this list with so many other fabulous authors!

Moonlocket early release copies were out in the world this week

Moonlocket early release copies were out in the world this week

Moonlocket is out on Monday the 1st of May –– that’s in THREE DAYS!

But already there are early release copies in bookshops. Over the last week I have been OVER THE MOON to see people going out and getting excited to get their hands on them and sharing images. Many of the lovely booksellers have also shared more pics of the books in their stores already. There was even a display case and a recommendation of the book in Foyles Waterloo – thanks to lovely Bookseller Henrike. And another recommendation in Teddington Waterstones – thanks to the fab booksellers there.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve collected over the week. I am really excited for the book to launch properly everywhere on Monday, and for more people to be able to get their hands on it!

Read Out Loud Challenge: reading the prologue of Cogheart

Read Out Loud Challenge: reading the prologue of Cogheart

Here’s my Read Out Loud Challenge video. I am reading the prologue of Cogheart…
For every 75 Read Out Loud Challenge videos uploaded to Facebook or Instagram, the NBS Foundation will set up 1 school library in a community in the Philippines until the goal of 7,500 videos or 100 school libraries is reached!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pick your favorite line from any book.
  2. Take a video of yourself reading it out loud. Upload it on Facebook and / or Instagram.
  3. In the caption, tag @nbsalert, #ReadOutLoudChallenge, and 3 or more friends.