More of Me has been shortlisted for a few regional awards which is absolutely lovely. Even lovelier is that you get invited to award ceremonies that are heaps of fun. This week I was in Redbridge with Teri Terry, Anne Cassidy, Christopher Edge and Peter Bunzl.
We were spoiled rotten with an amazing lunch – I ate all the cake before it could be photographed but you know, if you will serve macaron that perfectly match my hair, I am going to eat them.
There was a quiz in which I answered all the questions about More of Me without any help from Peter Bunzl. I’m such a fibber! How do you forget things from your own book!!? Mind you, I wasn’t alone, cough, cough… Needless to say, the author table did not win the quiz.
We did all enjoy answering the very interesting, beautifully phrased questions, such as:
Do you magpie away ideas?
Yes! We all do. We pick up all the shiny ideas and squirrel them away .
As if we weren’t spoiled enough, we were given flowers and certificates.
It was huge fun and then someone gave Christopher Edge an award and it went completely to his head….
I feel like I should have a little birthday tea. One year ago today, my first book was born. After more than 15 years of trying, I became an actual, real life published author. My debut YA novel More of Me was released by Usborne to U.K. readers.
The birth was celebrated by many of my amazing friends. The tribute below was lead by Candy Gourlay and Amanda Lillywhite, who encouraged enormous numbers of people to do this to their faces and post it all over facebook and twitter.
I was so moved by this, it’s amazing, don’t you think? And then very many of them turned out for my launch parties – the first hosted by Daunt Books, the second, by Waterstones. You can see loads of pictures here but this is one of my favourites, because it sums up all the support, kindness and squidging I’ve had along the way:
I think it’s traditional to talk about the highs and lows of having a first bookbaby- and at some point I will be doing a post on that for SCBWI’s Words and Pictures – I’ll link to it when it comes out. But not here. Here, in the spirit of new motherhood, I’m going to celebrate my book’s first birthday by inviting a few pregnant friends over…I think I may be taking this metaphor a bit too far…Basically, I’m going to celebrate my book’s birthday with the
Joy of New Books!
During this last year, I teamed up with four other SCBWI debut authors, my fellow Lost and Founders, and they all have new books out this year. I’ve read one of them, Olivia Levez, The Circus, and loved it. Sue Wallman’s See How They Lie, Patrice Lawrence’s Indigo Donut and Eugene Lambert’s Into The No Zone, I couldn’t quite get my hands on yet but I will! I will! I’m so happy for them, they give me hope! I’m still writing my book 2 ( slacker).
I also want to mention Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart – this book was Usborne’s lead debut in 2016 and made a huge and deserved splash. It’s middle grade with a strong story, wonderful characters and a gorgeous steampunk feel to it. If you haven’t read it, do – I can’t wait for the follow up, MoonLocket, out in May..need to get working on my dress ups for that event…
Fellow Slushpiler Teri Terry has a new series launching in May this year, Contagion – I’ve not read it yet but she is consistently good, I loved Book of Lies released this year and I can’t wait for this creepy looking series!
I am also desperate to read Candy Gourlay’s new book but I don’t know when that’s going to happen – come on Candy, you have readers waiting!! ( I keep nagging int he hope she’ll give me a sneaky peak…sigh…)
I’ve just realised I could go on forever with this list…especially as I want to give a heads up to some brilliant SCBWI authors who have recently been signed to an agent or publishing house and I know are going to produce amazing books: Em Lynas, Sheila Averbach and Lucy Van Smit get on with it gang, I await new treats!
There are so many more, it’s going to be another exciting year for books and hoorah for that. Now it’s nearly time for cake, but first I must say:
Heaps if you were involved in More of Me winning, being nominated for, or long listed or shortlisted for an award. I am beyond grateful. And a bit stunned to be honest.
A ton if you read and reviewed More of Me, or just read and loved it or read and didn’t like it but didn’t slay me in a review – or if you did slay me in a review you did it for the betterment of book kind.
A gazillion times if you were involved in anyway in spreading More of Me’s wings worldwide, I love seeing all the foreign editions and hearing from readers all over the world.
Mahoosively if you’re a school or library that’s invited me to talk to your children.
Endlessly for encouraging, handholding and being generally fabulous.
Every year I think this year’s conference has been the best ever but this year, it really might have been. Was it just me or did we fill Winchester with enough warmth and creativity to power a small ship? And what about it really blew my mind?
Was it our fantastic, if bonkers, keynote speakers who set the tone for a fabulous weekend? Sarah Macintyre & Philip Reeve, Jonny Duddle and David Fickling were all inspiring and hilarious.
Was it because we had a great break out program which showed me the way to go with my school visits, fixed a HUGE plot problem I was having (Candy Gourlay you GENIUS) and answered many tricky questions under The Cone of Silence?
Was it the fringe critique or the killer 1-2-1 that may have been hard to hear but was absolutely the medicine my younger fiction needed? Thanks David Maybury – honesty was definitely the best policy. I’ve stopped crying now. I’M KIDDING – it’s all good.
With George Kirk (valiant organiser), Steve Hartley (school visit genius), Philippa Francis ( all round good egg)
It may have been the awesome party, celebrating the success of all our new SCBWI books published this year. Or was it just the gathering of the clan? The cementing of of old friendships?
The sparking of new ones?
Robin Stevens, I wish I could post our pictures but what happens in the bar, stays in the bar…
It was all those things because all those things embody SCBWI. The sharing of our craft, our knowledge, our experience, our friendship. And that true symbol of SCBWI, giant pants.