Thursday 30 May 2013

The Supernova Is Coming...

Exciting update on my new book Phoenix!  It's now just two months until publication, and we sent the final files to the printers this week – so I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to post the front cover here!

Hasn't Dave McKean done an incredible job?!  Just wait till you see the interior art!  I'll be posting some in the not-too-distant future, along with more updates, sneak previews, and announcements about events... In the meantime, please share this image (there are buttons below for facebook, twitter etc), and help to spread the word!

Thursday 23 May 2013

School Visit: Hillsgrove Primary

I just wanted to say big thank you to the Year 3's of Hillsgrove Primary School, who I was very honoured to visit this week!

It was amazing to meet so many Varjak Paw fans, and to see all the great work you've been doing.  Thank you so much for your warm welcome and your brilliant questions; I really enjoyed the visit!

It was especially amazing to hear how much some people were looking forward to Phoenix!  I hope you'll enjoy it too... let me know what you think when it comes out!

Monday 20 May 2013

Lovely comment!

hi sf said I love your books!!! they're amazing!!! Especially Varjak Paw. We have been reading it at school and it is really interesting. We just wanted to say hi!!! :D

Hi Nadine!  Thanks so much for your lovely comment, you've totally made my day!  I hope you'll enjoy reading The Outlaw Varjak Paw as well - here's one of my favourite images from it:

In fact, that's one of my all-time favourite pictures by Dave McKean – along with the unbelievably brilliant work he's done for my new book, Phoenix!  Publication is less than 3 months away now, so I'll be posting some of those new pictures soon...  hope you like them too!  And please let everyone at your school know that there is a new book on the way!!!

Tuesday 14 May 2013

School Visit: Summerhill Academy

I went to Bristol today to visit Summerhill Academy, and I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the Year 4's for their fantastic welcome!

It was great to meet you all, and to hear your thoughts about Varjak Paw.  It's an amazing thing for a writer to see readers who are enjoying their books; it really makes all that hard work worthwhile!

I know some people had questions that we didn't have time to answer - but if you still want to ask them, or if you want to say anything else about the visit or the books, this is the place to do it!

Friday 3 May 2013

Recommended: May 2013

As a regular feature on this site, I'm recommending some of my favourite books every month.  This month's featured author is Ursula K Le Guin!

The first book of hers I read was A Wizard Of Earthsea.  It's the first volume in what was then a trilogy, and is now an amazing six-book cycle.  It tells the story of Ged, a shepherd boy who grows into the greatest wizard of his age.  It was originally published as a children's book, but has attracted readers of all ages.  It remains one of my favourite novels; whenever I re-read it, which I do often, it only ever gets better. This was one of the stories that made me want to write children's books: it showed me how brilliant, ambitious and beautifully-written a children's book could be.

But Le Guin doesn't just write fantasy for younger readers.  She's also produced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking adult science fiction.  The Dispossessed is another one of my all-time favourite books.  It imagines an anarchist society that Le Guin describes as 'an ambiguous utopia'.  If you're at all interested in the big questions of human society, this one is for you.  Whenever I read it, I feel excited at the possibilities of science fiction, and depressed at the thought I will never produce anything half as good!

Finally, Always Coming Home is perhaps her most experimental work; it's an anthropological report on an imagined future society, complete with songs, recipes, stories within the story...  It's not always easy reading, but it creates a whole world of incredible richness and depth, and once you've experienced it, you can't ever forget it.

Here she is talking about her work on YouTube.  She's still producing a steady stream of dependably brilliant books, reviews, blogs; at the age of 83, she remains a total inspiration.  If you want to know more, her website is full of great information, and really worth a visit...