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Cogheart October 2016 Roundup

I was totally going to write this post a week ago but, what with Halloween and Guy Fawkes night, I didn’t get around to it. Anyway, now all that’s over, here it is…

A Cogheart update for October, where I had a whole week crammed full of talks and events, but before that, at the beginning of the month, I even managed to make it to a couple of other people’s events…

The Lost and Found Tour with SCBWI debut writers Sue Wallman, Olivia Levez, Eugene Lambert, Patrice Lawrence, Kathryn Evans – talking about their books and experiences as debuts had me nodding along with agreement. It was so good to hear others talk about the somewhat overwhelming experience of being a debut author, and how they’ve dealt with it. After that I went to my friend Richy K Chandler’s event for the final issue of his Lucy the Octopus comic book, where he and his band performed tracks about Lucy and her band Lammington Fuzz, in a comic book launch that was also a Lucy the Octopus musical!

Then, in the middle of the month, I was at Betram’s Book Fair in Manchester -which is a book fair for independent book shops – talking about Cogheart. I had to get up and give a speech in front of a room full of independent booksellers. There was probably more than 100 people and I had to speak without my powerpoint as a prompt which was something I’ve never done before. It was a little scary, but fun, in the end I just read out most of the speech because I was nervous, but afterwards lots of people came over to the Usborne stand to talk about the book, and get me to sign their personal copies of the book, so it must’ve gone OK.

The next day, with Liz Scott, I went around some Waterstones shops in Manchester and Liverpool to sign lots of Cogheart books and meet booksellers, before heading off home in the afternoon.

After that I had two days of fab Cogheart school events that same week, the first on Wednesday 19th of October with students from Bridlewood Primary at Isambard School Library as part of the Swindon Youth Festival organised by librarian Stella Rogers. Then on Thursday the 20th with the students from Edwards Hall at Southend Festival at Southend Library, organised by librarian Anne Bonham. Both sets of students had some great questions, and created some fabulous robot animations! There was even an article about my visit in the Swindon Advertiser

Finally on Saturday the 22nd I was at #YAShot an amazing YA Festival in Uxbridge organised with aplomb by author Alexia Casale. My event was a conversation with Kiran Millwood Hargrave called The Rescuers – children rescuing adults, and we had a great chat about Kiran’s book The Girl of Ink and Stars and Cogheart, as well as telling a few wacky anecdotes about writing and our childhoods. YAShot is such a fabulous day to go to – I went last year as a punter – because you get to see so many different authors – ya and mg – talking about their own and other people’s work and it’s totally inspiring. As a visitor and an author I have seen it from both sides now and the organisers and volunteers and authors are all so friendly, it really is a brilliant day out. Some of the highlights of the day for me were Mel Salisbury and Julia Gray talking about Gods, Monsters and villains in Ya Fiction, and an amazing panel on historical fiction with Catherine Johnson, Tanya Landman, Katherine Woodfine and Lydia Syson, called a history of violence, but that touched just as much on diverse representations in YA historical fiction…

So that just about sums it up for October, but this month on Saturday the 12th of November (2016) I’m going to be at my first steampunk event:  in Leicester Space Museum. I will be talking all about Cogheart, zoetrope and animations – so if you fancy it come and say hi… 


I had a fantastic time at #YASHOT in Uxbridge over the weekend. Here are some of the brilliant sessions I attended and a few pictures of the events, which took place in Uxbridge Waterstones and the Town hall. I also managed to spot The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean by Lara Williamson in Waterstones Uxbridge… Thanks to Alexia Casale for organising such an amazing event

Surviving Secondary School: The joys of High School and other myths – Chaired by Eve Ainsworth with RJ MorganAlice Oseman and David Owen

Daring Do!: High stakes versus safety nets in MG adventures – Chaired by Sally Nicholls with Emma Trevayne and Kiera O’Brien

Weird and Wonderful: The familiar and the fantastical in MG fiction – Chaired by Abi Elphinstone with Nigel McDowellJason Rohan and Tatum Flynn

Into the Past: Exploring history in MG fiction – Chaired by Emma Carrollwith Katherine Woodfine and Anne Booth

Treasured Land: Nature as a character and concern in YA – Chaired by Piers Torday with Lisa Heathfield and Anna McKerrow

Subverting Stereotypes: Transforming myths, legends and pop culture – Chaired by Lu Hersey with Liz de Jager and Stefan Mohamed