Doing a joint event at Hay festival on the 2nd of June with Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of Girl of Ink and Stars was definitely one of the highlights of my year. The night I arrive, I went out for cocktails with Kiran and her husband and we talk about books. The next day we discover our event has sold out, and we have been moved to a bigger venue; the starlight tent with a star-studded ceiling! It seems appropriate for Kiran’s book and a little for mine.
Afterwards I get to hang out at the festival. I saw some inspirational talks, bumped into loads of lovely MG and YA writers I know, Jo Cotterill, Abi Longstaff, Sarah Crossan, Lisa Heathfield and Juno Dawson, and witnessed Patrice Lawrence winning the YA bookprize for the awesome Orangeboy. Then, the next day I wandered round the intriguing bookshops in town – there are at least 30, goodness knows how they all keep going – and I bought far too many books! It was a fabulous couple of days.
Here we are at the HAY30 sign before our event:
Hanging out in the green room with Jo Cotterill and Patrice with her award:
With Kiran and Jo Cotterill – a riot of book themed patterns!
Patrice Lawrence after winning the YA book prize for Orangeboy
The main event, Girl of Ink and Stars and Cogheart:
I an over the moon today because it’s #Moonlocket 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….
Hanging out with Patrice Lawrence and previous winner Lisa Williamson
Fiona Noble’s Moonlocket review in the Bookseller
Beautiful cog cufflinks from Usborne
Me with the finished copy of Moonlocket, alongside Cogheart
Finished copy of Moonlocket, alongside Cogheart
The ceremony for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize took place on the 30th of March, last week. I had a fantastic time, and managed to meet a few of the other nominated authors, though not all of them, because I was a bit too tense and nervous to chat. Thanks to Florentyna and all the lovely Waterstones staff and booksellers who helped organize the event and who have supported Cogheart over the last eight months.
Big Congratulations to the winners @kiran_mh and The Girl of Ink and Stars which won the children’s category and the over all prize, and to @lawrencepatrice and Orangeboy which one the YA prize and Lizzy Stewart and There’s a Tiger in the Garden, which won the picture book prize. Brilliant books. Brilliant speeches. Well deserved. And congrats to all the other nominees too.
I was disappointed #Cogheart didn’t clinch it, but @usborne_books bought me a lovely pair of cufflinks and they brought me a gorgeous looking finished copy of Moonlocket in final book form. Designed, as before, by the uber-talented Kath Millichoppe, with beautiful cover illustrations by Becca Stadtlander! Plus this week there was also a preview of the book in The Bookseller by Fiona Nobel.
When I got home I learned that Cogheart had won the Sefton Super Reads Award in Liverpool – which was a lovely surprise, I wish I had been able to attend their event on that same day, but it was a little too far to get back in time!
Check out this beautiful little trailer Waterstones has made for the Waterstones Book Prize 2017 nominees in the children’s category. If you go to their instagram account you can see a trailer for each category of the prize — they are all brilliant. I am really looking forward to attending the awards ceremony this Thursday evening at Waterstones Piccadilly and meeting the other nominated authors and some of the fantastic Waterstones staff. Keep your fingers crossed for Cogheart, and I will let you know how it goes!
I had a wonderful day at Dormston School, in Sedgley, where I got to meet three of the other shortlisted writers Ally Sherrick (Black Powder), Jane Elson (Swimming to the moon), and Stewart Foster (Bubble Boy). Each of us had the chance to talk to the invited audience of nearly 400 children from the 12 local schools who had read the shortlisted books and voted for the award, and then answer some questions about our books. There was a video message from US nominees Ann Martin (How to look for a lost dog) and Laura Martin (Edge of Extinction), and then the winner was announced…
I was elated that Cogheart won, especially against such amazing competition, and I got up to accept the award – a star shaped medal! – and even managed to muster up a short acceptance speech.
Afterwards there was time to meet some of the students and sign books, some of them showed me their fantastic colouring in of Becca and Kath’s beautiful cover. And a few others even requested group selfies.
Thanks so much to the staff and students – especially the amazing Bailey – of Dormston High School for looking after us during the event. and to Donna and Belle and everyone from Dudley Library Service for organising such a fantastic day. And congratulations to all the other nominated authors, it was so much fun to meet you and hear all about your books.
You can read Ally Sherrick’s take on it all, over on her author website here…
I’m delighted to announce that Cogheart has been nominated for the Waterstones Book Prize 2017 in the Children’s book prize category. It’s such an honour to be on the shortlist, along with these five other fabulous books. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk, Beetle Boy by MG Leonard, Time Travelling With a Hamster by Ross Welford, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Captain Pug by Laura James. I’m especially pleased to be on the list with my author-buddies M G Leonard and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. The awards ceremony takes place on the 30th of March, really looking forward to it and the chance to meet the rest of the nominees.