… author of Escape From Furnace, The Fury, The Inventors, and the brand new Devil's Engine series

Fabulous (But Not Quite Fabulous Enough…)

I didn’t win the award, but I got a slice of this awesome cake,
so really I’m the winner!!!!

This week I was honoured to be able to attend the wonderful Wandsworth Fabulous Book Award ceremony for the second year in a row! Last year Furnace Lockdown was shortlisted, and came second (after Rachel Ward’s Numbers), and this year it was Death Sentence’s chance to vie for the coveted award.

It was an absolutely wonderful morning, with pupils from seven local schools taking part – including Ashcroft Academy, my second home in London. Each school did a presentation on their favourite book (or books) from the shortlist, and the highlight of my morning was when the awesome pupils from Graveney did their presentation on Death Sentence. They even acted out the scene where Alex, Zee and Simon make it to the control room and face off with a Blacksuit. It was brilliant! They also held a Furnace quiz, and I won a Mars Bar for getting an answer right (although I kind of felt like I was cheating, since I wrote the books…)!

Some awesome comments about Death Sentence!

After the presentations and some discussion groups the winner was announced. And it wasn’t me!! I wasn’t even in the top three this year!!! But I managed to ignore my urge to grab the award and run away and settled for a lovely bottle of bubbly and a piece of the awesome Fab Award cake. The winner was Alyxandra Harvey for My Love Lies Bleeding, which is a vampire book. I guess you really can’t compete with lovelorn vampires! But she lives in America, and although they are sending her the award I doubt she’ll get a bit of cake, so who’s the real winner? Me!

Anyway, congratulations Alyxandra, and thanks to Susan and everybody at the award for a wonderful day! Maybe I’ll be back next year, and you never know – one of these days I might be the bride instead of the bridesmaid!!

Furnace Epilogue!

This is a message to everybody who has finished reading Furnace 5 – everybody else, look away!!!

Okay, the epilogue that is promised at the end of Furnace 5 has been written, but it hasn’t quite made it online yet. This is one hundred per cent my fault, and I offer a million apologies to those of you who are waiting to find out what happens after the end of the story! The epilogue is now with my publisher, and it should hopefully be available to read sometime next week. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, and let you know as soon as it’s online!

I’m really sorry about that!! It’s worth the wait!!


My Aberdeenshire B&B… Not!

I’m just back from a whirlwind tour in Scotland to celebrate the launch of Furnace 5 this month. I had a fantastic time! I was back in Aberdeenshire, where I was last year for the Grampian Book Awards. It’s absolutely gorgeous up there, with the countryside and the coast and the hills (we don’t have hills where I’m from so it’s always nice to see them)! A trip up north always feels more like a holiday than a tour!

I didn’t get to relax, though, far from it! I did twenty-two shows during the week across Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Newburgh, Turriff and Meldrum, speaking to well over a thousand people. I also did a few creative writing sessions for teachers and probationary teachers, which was great fun! By the end of the week I was exhausted but exhilarated, and I’d just like to say a HUGE thanks to everybody in Aberdeenshire – especially the pupils, the teachers, the librarians and Marion, who organised it all for me – for being so friendly and so welcoming and so enthusiastic about reading and writing. Aberdeenshire is fast becoming my second home, and I’m looking forward to coming back next year!

I was really looking forward to staying on in Aberdeen afterwards to spend some time with my Uncle Frank and cousin Allie, but on the Friday I was feeling really, really ill so decided to head straight home (ten hours of puking on the train, fun!). I had to save my strength because on Tuesday I was straight back into the fray with another return trip, this time to the wonderful Ashcroft Academy in Wandsworth. I was there last year for the Fab Book Awards, and it was great to see everybody again and speak to this year’s Year 8s. Hi everyone, and thanks for making me feel so welcome again! I’m back in London for the Fab Book Awards next week – Death Sentence has been shortlisted. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Until then, though, it’s nice to be back at home for a few days, putting my feet up, writing and trying not to get too addicted to Sims 3… 🙂

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