King Bones makes Helen Fielding laugh

Helen Fielding has been reading King Bones, and yes it's pure LOL . ' A rollicking, hilarious page-turning romp. Beautifully irreverently written with energy, originality fun and style. The characters burst from the page , the gleeful prose glitters, the plot never lets up pace.' (more…)

G and T with Mary Norton author of the Borrowers

What is it about writers? I've known many writers. I grew up among them because my father was a writer—they all had one thing in common: they could and did all drink. The tee total writer  is a rare bird. Perhaps it's the loneliness of the writer's journey, the way you sometimes stare at the blank page, conjuring creatures and places out of air. Mary was a big woman with a warm and gentle voice. She gave me my first real  gin and tonic (more…)

Evil fairies, an interview with Sue Bentley, author of We Other

Sue has been interested in stories about fairies since she was a child— I think she's particularly drawn to a world of dark fairies and magic. A world of tortured souls. Ogden Nash wrote of one of his characters, ' he had only one fault, he was evil.' This could be said of quite a few of Sue's characters too. And some of them combine evil with beauty, a tantalising and deceptive fusion of qualities. For an extract of Sue's writing and an interview, see Jamie Marchant

School visit

Cheadle Hulme High school invited us in to do a day of creative writing with years eight, nine, ten and 12. I find such workshops exciting, they are never the same; each one has its own dynamics as we all come together to write.  I came across some wonderful writing: 'No definite details or fickle features.' 'I turn with instant regret.' 'Questions came trickling through my mind.' 'Dull. Duller than the dimmest light.' Years eight to nine were asked to describe an meeting between a the main character ( who could also be the  narrator) and a mysterious person ( who might be dangerous!) in a strange and creepy place. They could choose anywhere but there should be hardly any action and they must avoid words that might give anything away, like haunted. I find that this works really well as pupils slip into description unawares!

Four star review for We Other in The Sun

We Other is a great page turner—a lively plot and engaging characters. Here's what Natasha Harding wrote in The Sun JESS thought she knew what having a hard time was all about. Living on a tough estate with a drunk of a mum and her nasty boyfriend means she’s had more knocks than most. However, she soon learns there’s truth in the saying “better the devil you know” because her whole existence is a sham. Jess is about to inhabit another world where much darker forces are at work. In fact, they make her mum’s latest conquest look like a walk in the park... ****