Spring News

March was a veritable whirlwind of events. Storm Hound has been going down a… well a storm. I’ve been bowled over by everyone’s enthusiasm for my little stormhound. I’d like to thank Literature Wales again for the aid of a writer’s bursary. Also the Welsh Books Council, Shrewsbury Bookfest, all the Waterstones stores and independent bookshops who’ve been such a huge support. The school teachers who put in so much hard work all through the year and especially around World Book Day. And of course, everyone who came to my events or cheered Storm on from afar.

First there was the Abergavenny launch where the staff in Waterstones welcomed Storm with all the grandeur due to a creature of legend. Special thanks to the Family Bookworms for coming along. It was great to see you all. (If you haven’t seen the Bookworms Storm Hound book trailer, you can watch it here.)

The wonderful chalkboards at Abergavenny Waterstones
I’ve never had my name on a banner before!
Storm examines the cakes.

Then, on to Swansea Waterstones (famous for their hugely entertaining twitter feed) to meet the Alderman Davies School from Neath. Here I am, demonstrating my author’s thinking position.

Want to be an author? You need a proper serious thinking position

The next day I was off to Newtown for the World’s Biggest Book Show. Organised by the Welsh Books Council, I shared the stage with four amazingly talented authors. PG Bell, Eloise Williams, Max Low and Lucy Owen. Max is an author-illustrator, published by Graffeg Press and this was his first ever event. He is hilarious and the children loved him. Definitely a name to watch out for.

The Biggest Book Show On Earth 2019 at The Hafren, Newtown
Authors Lucy Owen, P.G.Bell, Claire Fayers, Eloise Williams and Max Low. Photo: Welsh Books Council/Tall & Short Photography

From Newtown it was back down to Abergavenny to visit Deri View and Llanfoist primary schools with Bookish Bookshop. We had great fun playing with props and inventing stories.

Llanfoist Primary get in props


Deri View are awed by the author’s thinking position

Then a quick pop home for the weekend before I caught the train back up to Shrewsbury for the Bookfest, where I covered six classes in five different schools over two days. The welcome was overwhelming. I didn’t manage to get many photos but I’ll never forget walking into a class to see 32 children wearing pirate hats and waving flags. And the Mirror Magic display in Bicton Primary school – fan fiction, drawings of new characters for the book and a display of magical hats each with their own power.

I got back from Shrewsbury in time to make my first ever video call with a conference in the States. After two weeks of Storm Hound and Mirror Magic, it was great fun to go back in time and talk about Voyage to Magical North (and find out that some of the kids knew more about the book than I did!)

A few days later, it was time for the Cardiff launch in the ever-lovely Wellfield Bookshop. We had to compete with the bad weather and the rugby, but it was great to catch up with old friends.

With fellow SCBWI member, Abigail
My old colleagues from the University Health Centre
The wonderful Wellfield booksellers

…And finally. A trip to Chorleywood, a stay in a very nice hotel, and two visits to a pair of fantastic primary schools. No photos of the events, sorry, but I do have a very nice shot of my hotel room door.

I knew this hotel was going to be posh when they told me I was in the Lady Georgiana

April was quieter. I’ve been ill most of the month, but we had a lovely visit from friends just before Easter and I’ve had our new kitten to keep me company. Now I think my latest cold is on it’s way out so it’s back to writing.