Children's Author

Tag: Usborne (page 1 of 8)


PROUD to say that my little poem is a part of this anthology of HOPE: called THE BOOK OF HOPES. Put together by amazing children’s author Katherine Rundell, it is filled with bite-sized stories poems and pictures of HUMOUR, JOY and HOPE. A digital copy of the book is FREE to read digitally ( from 27.04.20) on the literacy trust’s website. Here–

Read Katherine’s article on how the Book of Hopes came together and sample some fantastic tasters of the content in this weekends Guardian books. Here––

SKYCIRCUS book tour and SCBWICON18

It has been a super-busy autumn of book tour events with Skycircus. I visited lots of schools in Birmingham, Bristol and London, with Usborne and also with Pea Green Boat Books. As well as performing at events like Broughton Hall literary Festival, and doing their school events programme with Caboodle Books and Authors Abroad, I performed at the Beanstalk Literary Festival in London for hundreds of lovely Beanstalk readers and reading helpers.

Looking back I see I have been terrible at taking photographs over the months, but luckily lots of lovely teachers have taken pictures, so here are a few…



Last weekend I was at the SCWBI conference – SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators. It is a fantastic weekend for author and illustrators to hone their craft. I got to see a lot of my favourite writing people and Scbwi members, and I also got to be part of their fancy dress party and mass-book launch party with Skycircus. And I got to see my crit group buddy and ace author, Lorraine Gregory win the prestigious Crystal Kite Award for her fab debut novel ‘Mould and the Poison Plot’ It was such a brilliant weekend and I intend to write some more about it later, but in the meantime, here are a few pics…

In the SCBWI mass book launch
With my SCBWI crit group: Tania, Gail, Meira and CRYSTAL KITE WINNER Lorraine Gregory! No Miriam 🙁
SCWBI Party 2018
Lorraine wins the Crystal Kite
With Gail and Meira from my SCBWI crit group.

An Introduction to Skycircus

It is nearly a month since Skycircus first came out and I have been busily travelling all around the country to tell children about the book on a booktour. But I have just this week had a few calm days at home, so I found the time to make a short video to tell you all a little about the books. And here it is (*warning it does contain a few spoilers about the opening act of the book, so if you hate to know ANYTHING!! about something before you read it, you may not want to watch!)…

In which I explain a little of the plot of #SKYCIRCUS the newest book in the #CogheartAdventures series. Find out what happens to Robert and Lily and Malkin in this spectacular showstopper…

And if you enjoyed that brief introduction to the book, then allow me to read you the prologue…

Secret Staff Meeting Interview…

Two weeks ago I went to do a workshops with A Tale Unfolds as part of a new Readingzone project that will be coming soon to help children create book trailers for their favourite books in classrooms. We had a fantastic time at Copenhagen School in Islington working with the kids to create a trailer for Cogheart 

Afterwards Dom from A Tale Unfolds asked if I would like to do an interview for their ongoing youtube series: The Secret Staff Meeting, which is aimed at introducing authors to teachers. Here are the results. We chatted about how I got my start in writing, my background in film, the books and how I write them, things I think should be taught in schools, and my new book Skycircus. You can check out the interview below…

Skycircus Cover revealed…

On July the third the beautiful cover for the third Cogheart book: Skycircus was revealed by Scott Evans over on his blog:

It was designed by Kath Millichope and illustrated by  and the special circus animation was done by me…

So without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, boy and girls, welcome to the

The book is to be published on the fourth of October 2018.


If you love pinterest, you can take a look at some of the inspiration for the ideas and characters in the book, here…

And below you can see the youtube version of the cover animation with the Circus music that Usborne provided…


Cogheart wins Awesome Book Award 2018

I am delighted to announce that on the third of May (over a month ago now, but I am a woeful blogger) Cogheart won the Awesome Book Award 2018!!





The book was up against some stiff competition in the form of: Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop, Radio Boy by Christian O’Connell, The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange, Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, and so I was walking on air when Cogheart was finally announced the winner!

It was a fabulous event organised by and taking place at Cranleigh Prep, with book sales from Pea Green Boat Books. You can read more about the evening here, on the Awesome Book Awards Website.

But in the meantime here are a few of the pictures taken by the photographer from Cranleigh Prep…

Lily’s School report and a recipe for toasted teacakes

I discovered these the other day- some fabulous pieces of artwork that Usborne created for Cogheart when they were pitching for the book – my favourite is Lily’s school report – from Lady Octavia Scrimshaw’s Young Ladies Academy, where she is holed up at the start of the story. As you can see from her teacher’s notes, she is really no the best of students…

Cogheart Makes the World Book Day Favourites Shortlist


I am delighted to announce that Cogheart is on the shortlist for the 9-12 favourite books selection for World Book Day 2018, along with some fab recent releases and all time classics!

They’ve split the list into 4 different categories, & to kick off they’re asking schools, bookshops, libraries & other booky people to reveal THEIR favourite stories.

Here’s the link to go vote, *hem Hem* you know what to do!

Nakręceni – Cogheart in Polish

Check it out…

You can now get a copy of Nakręceni – which is Cogheart in Polish – from Akapit Press. Moonlocket is coming in 2018…


Życie 13-letniej Lily znalazło się w śmiertelnym niebezpieczeństwie. Jej ojciec zaginął podczas rutynowego lotu samolotem, a w ciemnościach czają się tajemnicze srebrnookie postacie. Skąd się tu wzięły i czego mogą chcieć?

Lily w towarzystwie swoich przyjaciół – Roberta, syna zegarmistrza, oraz Malkina, mechanicznego lisa – przekracza próg innego, mrocznego wymiaru. Wkrótce jednak przekona się, że życie może się zmienić w ułamku sekundy, a ci, którzy wydawali się najdrożsi jej sercu, teraz mogą to serce najboleśniej złamać…

Dreszcz emocji, detektywistyczna intryga i zagadki – to wszystko znajdziesz w tej porywającej wiktoriańskiej przygodzie.


Księżycowy medalion


Nad Lily i Robertem znów gromadzą się czarne chmury, kiedy na scenę wkracza przestępca doskonały – słynny sztukmistrz Jack Door, nazywany Waletem Karo.

Jack, specjalizujący się w spektakularnych ucieczkach, wydostaje się z więzienia w Pentonville i zmierza prosto do Brackenbridge. Zbieg poszukuje tajemniczego Księżycowego Medalionu, ale to nie jedyna rzecz, jakiej pragnie.

Mroczne sekrety z przeszłości Roberta sprowadzają na niego wielkie niebezpieczeństwo. Iluzjonista wciąga go w okrutną rozgrywkę, a czasu jest coraz mniej. Lily i Malkin muszą znaleźć sposób, aby pokrzyżować plany Jacka, zanim w talii na stole pojawi się ostatnia, zabójcza karta…











Cogheart nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal

I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has made the nomination list for the Carnegie Medal in the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK’s oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards, unique in that they are judged solely by librarians. It’s an awards list that authors like to talk about, and I am just really chuffed that my book has made the nominations because it is on there along with some of my favourite contemporary children’s authors and their most amazing books!

Plus the roll-call of past winners include some of my favourite authors of all time: Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Noel Streatfeild, Sally Gardner and Penelope Lively for the Carnegie; and Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes, Janet Ahlberg, Lauren Child and former Children’s Laureates Quentin Blake and Anthony Browne, as well as current Laureate Chris Riddell for the Kate Greenaway accolade.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children’s librarians for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded by children’s librarians for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

The longlist is announced on the 15th of February and the shortlist on the 15th March, then the winner is announced on the 18th of June 2018.

You can see the whole Carnegie nomination list here…

And the nomination list for the Kate Greenaway Award, which is an award for illustrated picture books, here…