The Hairy Faerie – Cover Reveal and More!

It’s already a year and half since my daughter and I wrote The Hairy Faerie.

Since then I’ve read it for Year 1 & 2 children to rapturous appreciation. It turns out that children are the best audiences I’ve ever had!

This year, I was invited to do a story-writing workshop for World Book Day. I enjoyed working with Year 2 children so much that I’m now taking my workshops into other schools. I wanted to take The Hairy Faerie with me, not as a manuscript but as a real book.

After the usual slew of rejections, I decided, after fifteen years of avoiding it, that this was the tine to self-publish.

With the help of my agent, Meg Davis at Ki, we’ve now arrived at the moment when we’re poised to hit ‘print’.

The final cover art arrived at 5 a.m. this morning from the extraordinarily talented John Allen of Induna Art & Design Inc.

Fancy a butcher’s?

Continue reading

An unusual announcement…

It may come as a surprise to some that the gentleman you think of as a twisted horror sickling also writes children’s fiction of an altogether fluffier nature.

It may surprise others even more to hear that my first ever submissions to editors were of illustrated nonsense verse – that was 17 years ago. My illustrator and I were rejected by every children’s publisher in the UK.

That was something I got used to as the years passed!

So, my news today is not that I have a new Horror or Dark Fantasy novel coming soon but that my six year old daughter and I are about to launch our first collaborative work – a little book called The Hairy Faerie.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Mary Moffett is a lovely faerie in every respect – and she bakes a mean mushroom and nettle crumble.

But one day something happens, something horrible. Something…hairy! Can Mary find out where the hair came from, how it got there and why? More importantly, will she be able to get rid of it?

Join Mary Moffett and her best friend Deetle McBeetle as they search for answers and overcome dastardly magic in The Hairy Faerie.

The book is for 5-8 year olds and is the first in a series of tales recounting the surprising adventures Mary Moffett. There are strange beasts, nasty witches and a lot of laughs. Oh, and there’s quite a bit of baking, if that’s your bag.

We hope to publish the second tale, Invasion of the Pastry Snatchers later this year but the next thing I post here will be the cover – hopefully tomorrow!

See you then…

I’m supposed to be working

Ibn Battuta (minus the scooter...)

Ibn Battuta (minus the scooter…)

My daughter came home from school yesterday, talking about Ibn Battuta – arguably one of the most travelled individuals in history. Had I heard of him? Had I binglepots.

So, I looked him up. His name and the places he’d been became the inspiration for some nonsense verse, something I used to love writing.

This was the result – not sure her teachers will approve!

The World’s Greatest Traveller

There once was a Berber named Ibn Battuta
Who travelled the East on a wind-powered scooter Continue reading

Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren

Walking The TreeThere is so much to love about this novel. The premise alone was enough to hook me:

A tribe lives in the shadow of a giant tree. After training for a series of trials and tests, a group of young women are chosen to circumnavigate the base of the tree. It’s a huge responsibility because they’ll be taking the tribal children with them and the journey back to where they set out from takes five years. Everything learned along the way will form the children’s education.

Ace idea, right? Who or what will they encounter along the way? Will they all make it home?

The story buzzes with mystery right from the outset and all the way through I was wracking my brain to try and work out the book’s secrets before I reached the end. All I can tell you is that I didn’t manage it and I was glad not to. I read the book on holiday; first book I’ve been able to read ‘properly’ for many, many months. The fantasy and wonder Warren conjures contributed to making my time away an absolute joy.

I’m a sucker for trees and the human relationship with nature, so Walking the Tree was right up my street. A lot of Fantasy, a little SF and an ocean possibility; a truly delightful book.

Cometh the Crowman, people…

It comes as no surprise to me that images of the Crowman have begun to appear around the world, scrawled hastily on walls and in alleyways in furtive acts of prophecy.

Just to get his dark form out of the mind and onto a ‘canvas’ – whether it be cracked brickwork or a warped timber fence – must be a tremendous relief. I know from long, crushing experience what a burden the Crowman is to carry.

These are the latest pictures. Continue reading

Sad days as I wait for the end of winter

shut happensMy literary representative, Brie Burkeman, who’s effect on my career and profile has been tremendous, is closing her agency for family reasons.

You can see the full story here.

Brie has looked after me with great care for two and a half years, streamlining my productivity and securing a number of rights deals I could never have manifested on my own.

She made it possible for me to get on with writing while she handled everything else. In addition, Brie taught me a lot more about the publishing business and, by example alone, how a ‘good’ agent should behave. She’s been the perfect combination of rock and Rottweiler: always there when I needed support and utterly uncompromising if anyone stepped out of line contractually.

When Brie emailed me a couple of weeks ago, attaching the letter which outlined her plans to shut up shop, I completely understood her reasoning and her decision. Nevertheless, I was floored.

That sensation of solid ground liquescing beneath my feet – a feeling I’ve come to know well in what has always been an uncertain career – returned with knobs on. I’d hoped such uncertainty was forever behind me but perhaps that’s unrealistic, especially given the state of utter flux that publishing as a whole is in right now.

As with all Good News/Bad News stories, though, there is a positive aspect; a new chapter, no less. I’ve been taken on by Meg Davis at Ki. I met her for the first time a few days ago and was very impressed – not to mention relieved – by how focused and experienced she is. She was also surprisingly open to all my hair-brained ideas.

So, the journey is far from over.

After fifteen years or so of turbulence, I’ve finally bought myself a gravity belt and strapped myself in. Wherever the ride takes me next, I’m ready.