I started the year by writing a short story 'Burly & Grum and The Tiger's Tale' for the charity Save Wild Tigers. It was superbly illustrated by the incredibly talented Rob Jones and received a wonderful review from the actress Jenny Seagrove.
Pat Scullion and I attended the 'Tiny Tigers' weekend at St Pancras Station and had, as you can see below, a brilliant time reading to children.
This year I've been out and about visiting a number of schools and bookshops, talking to children about writing. In one particular school I spoke to over 180 students in three groups of 60 and their ages ranged from 5 to 9. It was quite a challenge but absolutely worth it - whether they coloured in pictures or wrote, they all worked incredibly hard, asked very interesting questions and created some wonderful stories. Below are just a few of the children I've met throughout the year - can I just say, you've all been marvellous and thank you for your incredible support!
In September I had the honour of being chosen to be a judge alongside Michaela Strachen and Sally Spedding for the respected children's 'Paws & Claws' writing competition. The competition closes on 31 January 2014, so if your children are bored tell them to start writing and enter their story as soon as possible!
I was incredibly proud when 'Burly & Grum and The Secret City' was nominated for The People's Book Prize 2013/14 (children's section) and even more proud when it became a finalist! I'll have to wait until next year until I find out whether or not I've won and everything is crossed! I was humbled by all the support I received from Burly and Grum fans - thank you all so much for taking the time to vote for me.
November was very special because I became involved in a local event created by the Imagine In-Print team which aimed to to tap into people's artistic talent. A huge 3D mobile was created and hung in High Chelmer Shopping Centre
and everyone was given the opportunity to read out the story or poem they'd written. We had a wonderful time!
PS: I can't leave with telling you that my aim for next year is to look into animation - how cool would it be to animate Burly and Grum? Oh yes,very cool indeed!