Thursday, 29 March 2012

WATERSTONES Children's Book Award

What can I say!...
Jonny Duddle Pirates Next Door-
and winner in TEEN category
Jenny Downham- You Against Me.


I was GENUINELY flabergasted I won my category for the Waterstones Children's Book AwardMark and I took photos but they're mostly a bit blurry and wobbly.

But you can see from the look on my face that I didn't expect it at ALL.
Team Scholastic were fantastic (as ever) and made the whole 
evening really lovely. I met them at the Scholastic office which is full of Hunger Games Ad's and books (I'm looking forward to
seeing the film SO much.)
I was taking a photo of the PINK taxi that picked us up to take us to Waterstones Piccadilly,when the Cabbie took my camera and made me sit inside while he took these pictures of me!

Thank you everyone at WATERSTONES too. I've been asked
to do some drawings to put in the window of the branch in piccadilly for a Tom Gates display which is exciting!

Here are the blurry photos from an AMAZING evening.

On the train at London Bridge...
Looks like Robots have moved in?
The announcement!


Accepting the award.

Catherine Publicity queen.

Me being giddy and laughing a LOT.

Me getting carried away
posing for pictures
The WATERSTONES video they
ran before the announcement.

With very talented Annabel Pitcher who
was at the Red House Book Awards too.
Her book "My Sister Lives on
The Mantelpiece" has been getting fabulous
reviews and doing really well too.

Lovely Andrew Art Director
@ Scholastic.

Beautiful CRITERION restaurant
for dinner afterwards.   
My agent Caroline and editor Clare.

Mark looking SURPRISED with Lisa
(publishing director @ scholastic.)

My arty picture at Piccadilly Circus 

Doesn't it look nice? 

Monday, 26 March 2012


A Great start to the WEEK! Sunshine AND The Brilliant World Of Tom Gates has won the MegaRead MegaBook Award which they announced today. It was voted for by children from lot's of primary schools, which is really lovely to know. I sent them this video. If the neighbours didn't already think I'm nuts....they do now after watching me run round the garden like a mad woman!

Got WATERSTONES Children's Book Award to go to this WEDNESDAY. Which I'm very excited about. (Won't win but bloody marvelous to be considered for sure.) It still really hasn't sunk in how well Tom Gates seems to be going down with children. I've been getting lots of great drawings and fan letters from kids all over the world now too. It's AMAZING.

Oh and before I forget.... I FINALLY joined TWITTER this week which means I have even more distractions. 
(Will try and remember to TWEET on Wednesday from the awards.)

AND another surprise was Tom Gates being LONGLISTED for 
the The Branford Boase Award for authors and their editors. The list of books being considered is fantastic,(pinches herself to check it's all for real). Read more about the award and how it came about it here.

Did the SPORTS RELIEF Mile with Lily and her friends yesterday.
I got carried away and ran three miles. It has made me realize that I will NEVER EVER run a marathon. I needed more than my usual quoter of coffee to recover. I have sore legs this morning which I know is a bit pathetic. 

Lily and Miri dressed
up for Sports Relief

Smiling because it's OVER!

Me on Saturday after a swim (not in the sea
...yet).  We sat on the beach with
coffee and sausage rolls. Perfect.

I think Brighton in the SUN is the best
place to live in the UK.
Last week was also stuffed full of me doing LOTS of writing for Tom Gates Book FOUR going to watch Lily and Ella in various plays and dances. Ella was in THE CRUCIBLE which they did really well, but BOY was I glad to bring a cushion. It was TWO and a HALF hours long. But I often manage to get new ideas from these events. Like yesterday, I watching a small boy ripping his LOUD VELCRO shoe straps on and off and on and off through a very poignant part of a dance. I was trying not to laugh (much).The surprised look on his face when he was told to stop doing it that was priceless.
And it's OFFICIAL (I think). Tom Gates Book four is called...
Just got to write it now!

Lily's dance teacher Jane is a
force of nature (far right.)
Costumes galore, chickens,
chefs, workmen you name it
they were there.

Lots of skipping going on.

Lily in her dance taking a bow.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

My lovely Mothers day... sigh..

Very spoilt day started with pancakes made by Lily in heart shapes. Followed by cakes (made by Ella and Lily) presents of NEW running kit (no hint there
that's really what I wanted!)
A magazine subscription and 
other goodies. I WAS chuffed to
bits...and YES I deserve
everything if I do say so myself.
Went for a run on sea front, then to Brighton Market at the Marina.
Where the girls bought a mirror and vintage jumpers.
I on the other hand got 3 
Camellia plants and a lovely
plate for my cakes.
Had coffee in the sun (the SUN) then FINALLY went to see
The Artist. Which I loved.
APART from the young child who TALKED all the way through the film. I didn't love her or her mother who didn't tell her to hush her mouth at ALL. Then went to see my own Mum for tea who was in very good form. All in all a fabulous day was had...sigh. AND the clocks go back next week which is even better.

What awaited me on mothers day.

GORGEOUS sunny day in Brighton.
I ran to the market in my new gear. There seem to be a
LOT of runners training for marathons out. (NOT me.)

A stuffed bird at the market.

Sharks at the Marina.
Ella shopping for clothes that
she can throw on her bedroom floor.


My new (to me) vintage plate from the market.
I love the colour. Mark says it's nice that
these things make me happy. They do... that weird?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


I love my job...
Just got back from the fantastic GLASGOW AYE WRITE Festival.
I met loads of interesting folk and made a fool of myself
(as usual)by misunderstanding directions when the hotel receptionist had to run after me shouting..
I HAD turned LEFT
... but he meant LIFT.

GLASGOW is the home of the CARAMEL WAFER...lucky me! 
The above is what awaited the authors after their events.

Because I am easily distracted by things like...
caramel wafers.
I Completely forgot to POST pictures of my 
ROALD DAHL museum events in FEBRUARY AND Nick Sharratts book launch for SOCKS. It's been a busy time what with this and that. 
So here they are. If ever get the chance to go to the Roald
Dahl Museum you should. The cakes are really something.
Lily had a hot chocolate that was basically melted malteasers I think. AND I am now the proud owner of a GOLDEN TICKET to the museum because of winning the Roald Dahl Funny Prize back in November. It's a wonderful thing.

Actual artwork from the books in the
Roald Dahl museum.

Lily came with me and so did my
editor Clare who had never
seen one of my events
(no pressure then.)

Check me out with my
NEW Tom Gates STAMP.
Mr Fox from the film.

Constantly amazed at the
drawings the children do.
They're so good!

More monsters that are really imaginative

I drew a LOT of legs that day.

The master in his shed at his desk.
BEST cake ever in the cafe.

Another master at work.
Quentin Blake talks about his work.

His desk is VERY comfy.

Clare and I outside the
Willy Wonker Gates,
heading for cake.
Me talking about Tom.

The real chair that
you can't sit in.

Adam and Zoe with SOCKS
at the Book Nook where
Nick Sharratt had his
book launch.

Adam and Zoes socks...

Delicious socks CAKE.

Adam has illustrated
Francesca Simon's latest book.
We sung "Sockywockdodah" really we did.

Anyone want to buy some socks?

Nicks socks.

Lovely view from the hotel I was
staying in Stevange.It looks over
where Knebworth Festivals are held.

 Children at my event in Freman College came
from schools all around Buntingford.

The monsters they made me draw!
My Tom Gates doodle.

GATWICK AIRPORT... not that I'm looking.
But the NEW Tom Gates EVERYTHING'S
AMAZIN (sort of) is at NUMBER 9!
The AMAZING bathroom at the
I stayed for the Aye Write Festival.
Yes I did wallow and watch telly.

A full mini bar and snacks, sigh.

Margaret who runs Aye Write,
Catherine (Scholastic publicity queen)
 and fellow author Anthony McGowan who writes
the very funny DOUGHNUT DIARIES. 

Author Chae Strathie,
who ordered a fancy Coq au vin.

Anthony uses a banana in his event.
He asked me to draw and write on it.
It's normal to do these things in
the children's book world...honestly.

After my events I collapsed and watched BATMAN. I'd forgotten how funny it was
when they climbed up the buildings.

Mitchell library.

Publicity Queen Catherine. 

Oh yes...

A VERY scary monster. The kids were great at the events.
They kept me on my toes for sure!