I started the week in the Inverclyde area, leading book-making workshops for children aged 5-12 in Port Glasgow, Gourock and Greenock libraries. We had loads of fun and the kids made some really clever and cute books to take home. […]
My talented friend and former art school classmate, Maryann Cocca-Leffler, invited me to share a bit about my writing and illustrating process as part of the ‘Welcome to the Writing Process: An Author/Illustrator Blog Tour’ (thanks, Maryann!). We are also part of a vibrant online community of children’s book illustrators and I’ve been in awe of Maryann’s accomplishments over the years. Not only has she written and illustrated many books, but she’s also created a musical play and now has […]
If you know my stories in the Blackhope Enigma trilogy, you know that I have a thing about mazes and labyrinths.
Because I live in England, there are plenty of ancient and new ones to visit. I like to hunt them down, walk them, figure them out and point people towards them. There’s one particular location that I’ve been salivating over for quite some time and this past weekend I finally […]
Top creative experiences in 2013:
I had all my creative hats on during a variety of ESA Open Studios events over the past four days: artist, illustrator, writer, workshop leader and even ‘advisor’. It all kicked off on Thursday night with the launch party for ‘Cache’, a small exhibition with four other artists curated by Mexico at Union 105, a studio building not far from my own building. I was […]
I spent yesterday introducing three groups of Edinburgh schoolchildren to the wonderful role model, Bessie Coleman, whose story I illustrated years ago. Since I began writing and illustrating my own books, I have spoken less about the picture books I illustrated, so I was really pleased to be asked to talk about Bessie for Black History Month (which is celebrated in October here in the UK).
A rollicking ride around Australia with motorcyclist Jill Maden.
I’ll remember the summer of 2013 as one of the more hectic in my adult life. Not only have I been busy talking about my new book, The Shadow Lantern, to audiences from Inverness to Yorkshire, but I moved to a new home and studio. With so much going on, reading became a fantastic escape from the giant list of things I had to do. If I had to choose my […]
I’m writing this from my new studio in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Yes, Leeds! After many happy years in Scotland, we took the plunge and moved the whole kit and caboodle to lovely Yorkshire, including all these fabulous stones and shells I’ve collected in my travels. It meant saying goodbye to many friends and leaving one of the most stunning landscapes in the world, but we’re settling in another friendly city in […]
I’m really pleased to post the winners of Whitburn Academy’s S1 Art Challenge! In May I spoke to all the first year pupils about The Blackhope Enigma after they had read the first four chapters in class. I was asked to set them an art challenge that day and I proposed an illustration inspired by the book. I was invited back in June to see the work in progress and when all the images were done, I helped choose the […]
Was it only seven weeks ago that we launched The Shadow Lantern? I’ve had a rip-roaring ride around Scottish schools and libraries, from Aberdeen to Perth and Edinburgh, over to West Lothian and East Dunbartonshire, and back to Glasgow. It’s been fabulous seeing the response kids are having to all three books in the trilogy and I’ve had a ball answering some pretty astute questions. One boy even asked me to autograph his forehead (I politely declined).
So what am I […]
It’s official! I have two new websites that are linked under one umbrella – or should I say tree? It’s taken months to get all the materials together for my new author site and to update my illustrator site, but I think it was well worth the effort.
I’m pleased to announce that ace book blogger Serendipity Reviews is the first to reveal The Shadow Lantern‘s cover here. Once again, I’m thrilled with the fine work Tom Sanderson of The Parish has done with the design. I couldn’t have asked for more appropriate and classy covers for all three books!
It’s been a week since I said goodbye to The Shadow Lantern and wished it well on its journey to the printer. The next time I see it, the pile of papers that made up the proof copy will have been transformed into a bound book with another stunning cover. One small part of me feels a bit melancholy about finishing my characters’ stories, but mostly I am excited about the […]
I just found out that The Crimson Shard, the second novel in the Blackhope Enigma trilogy (published in the US by Candlewick Press), has been nominated for the 2013 Teen Choice Book of the Year in the USA! Needless to say, I am totally thrilled to be on the nominations list with so many fantastic authors. The great thing about this award is that YOU can vote! And […]