New year, new direction, painting and Guernsey

I’ve been putting off writing this new post because it feels a bit like starting 2019 with a downer, even though I see it as a Positive Decision. Thing is, I’ve given myself permission not to try to write a new children’s novel this year. The past couple of years have been tough going, personally and professionally, and the publishing business can be unkind at times. My books have all done very well, and I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing people, but every new idea has been shot down recently, and I ended 2018 feeling somewhat demotivated.

However! I have decided that 2019 shall be The Year of Trying Things New. I am going to attempt a screenplay of A Library of Lemons. No, I don’t know how to write a screenplay, but then I didn’t know how to write a book before I started, so I reckon it’s a question of Learning As You Go (or flying by the seat of your pants) and I can do that 🙂 Also, I’ve had an idea for an adult novel. I KNOW. This is an extremely odd thing for me to admit. But anyway – we’ll see. It might go somewhere, it might not.

In the meantime, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a foray into painting with acrylics.

I’ve never really been into painting before, but I’ve fallen in love with acrylic paints and canvases. So much so that I now have far too many, and am thinking of selling some on Etsy. Watch this space!

 Now, whilst I may be taking a sabbatical from my children’s books, I am still firmly in the world of events! And recently I spent a whole week on the beautiful island of Guernsey, courtesy of the fantastic Schools’ Library Service there. My goodness, but they’re amazing! They organised five whole days of three schools a day, and provided me with a chauffeur from the library service and a delicious packed lunch every day. I visited a total of 15 schools during the week and also took part in an evening event at the public library to celebrate the school winners of writing and drawing competitions run in conjunction with Book Week.

A collage of all 15 schools I visited!

I wasn’t the only author there. Abie Longstaff and Ross Welford were also out visiting schools. Abie covered KS1, I covered KS2 and Ross did KS3 so although we were sometimes visiting the same schools, we rarely crossed paths until the evening!

Abie, Ross and me at the stunning public library, which has just had a massive revamp of the children’s section and looks AMAZING!

Below is a selection of photographic memories of a truly fab week. Thank you so much to the librarians for making it happen and to the 2,486 children(!) I met for making it so much fun!

I did a lot of pointing during my events…
…and a lot of laughing!
The weather varied from beautiful…
…to windy…
…to downright spooky!
I was very tempted by the outdoor bathing pools with amazing views, but not enough to go in.
I was also introduced to Guernsey’s two surviving menhirs (this is the more intact version!) – this was called Grandmere, and people getting married at this church place garlands of flowers on her head to bring them luck.

I do actually have one very exciting piece of news, but I’m not allowed to share it yet. I will be shouting about it to everyone when I get the green light, because it’s truly EPIC and I’m massively honoured to be a part of it…! (Ha, that’ll really annoy you all now, won’t it?)


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