Tuesday 13 December 2011

Bullet Boys review

This is what the The Bookbag has to say about Bullet Boys


And look at all those copies, waiting to fly out into the world. Good luck my young ones!

Friday 2 December 2011


BULLET BOYS IS COMING!!! official publication date January 5th, (but I bet copies will be about before that)
As there are no offical reviews yet (much biting of fingernails) here are some unofficial ones. Completely unbiased of course.

'It's pacy stuff! I read it until 2 am.That Max is a nut case,' (my mum)
'I loved the soldier bits' (my dad)

We'll be launching BULLET BOYS with a northern tour in January..

Other newish news
Recently 'Quarry' has been shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2012,

The Grampian Children's Book Award 2012 and The Leeds Book Awards 2102
Sparks has recently been shortlisted for the Calderdale Children's Book Award and the Stockport School book Award.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Writer's block?

There are many different sorts of writer's block. These are mine.
This morning, before my allotted 3 and a half hours I have
1) Completely overhauled damp cross struggling 2 year old
2) Fed 6 hungry chickens
3) Supervised 3 enthusiastic advent calendar openings, admiring ice skating rodents, bigging up festive pine cones and justifying lack of chocolate.
4) BRIEFLY checked 'stray' cat's castration area (it was yesterday) and explained to 4yr old and 6 yr old what castration is and why it is done. In a roundabout way.
5) Fed 4 cats (one ruffled)
6) Fed 3 children with no breakages or major mishap.
7) Calmed pre nativity rehersal nerves and listened to Angel song three times.
8) Located essential nativity trousers at bottom of third overflowing wash basket
9) Written meaningful comments in two school reading diaries
10) Broke up two mid-level fights,
11) Found 2 fairly clean school uniforms and supervised dressing/teeth brushing etc
12) Written shopping list for dinner, remembered party invitations and communicated essential morning domestic tasks to husband in non patronsing manner.
13) Put on load of laundry (patting machine affectionately)
14) Emptied dishwasher, cleaned revolting filter and re-filled it whilst singing 'baa baa black sheep' with son.
15) Emptied 2 bins (one of which was breeding)
16) Lit fire
17) Made  second (red) tier of double jelly with helpful two year old.
18) Wrote procrastinating blog

And now, now, I am ready (breathes in) to continue on my writerly journey. The room is quiet, we artists must have utter peace, for our mystical and magic practices to begin.
Like hell.
I assume it is like this for everyone though I have an image in my head of a writer, this time, but not always - a chap, who rises to a cup of steaming coffee from his adoring wife, who, over a considered breakfast, reads a witty email from his youngest daughter who is at University. A morning stroll around his garden to dead head some roses and he is nearly ready to begin. but first, a steaming hot shower, some gentle stretches and his fingers are ready to begin dancing over the keyboard, in his book lined, quiet study, walls annointed with awards and witty pictures. He has the whole day, and all night if he likes (One does not interrupt him when he is working, not ever)
Does this man exist or is everyone like me? What stops you working?

Friday 4 November 2011


YEEEEESSSSS!!! What a week. ahem I am delighted to report that Quarry has made it on the longlist for the medal of medals.  Go Quarry! You dark, creepy thing, you! Lurking out there in the world and getting on longlists. (Pats book on bookhead) Massive congratulations to Marion Lloyd Books who have 4 titles nominated this year...Moira Young  with Blood Red Road, Eva Ibbotson with One Dog and His Boy,
 Kate Saunders with Magicalamity and QUARRY by me!

Here's a link to the whole list....


Well done everyone! Let the whittling and begin.  Happy reading all you shadowy schools...

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Teen panel event at the Free Word Centre

So, here are five authors hanging out at the Free Word Centre last night;  The evening comprised of the wondrous Sophie McKenzie reading from SISTER MISSING, me blithering on about QUARRY, the legendary Graham Marks, laying aside his author hat in order to chair the event, awesome Jenny Downham, reading from YOU AGAINST ME, Gregg Olsen, talking about his fabulous ENVY.  We all chatted about writing teen books and inspiration and answered questions from the audience.

The journey from apple-land to the big smoke usually offers some gifts or other and this time they were.
1) Man with large green parrot on shoulder buying coffee at Taunton Station cafe (His jacket was very worn around shoulders suggesting these were old friends) note: it was not the parrot wearing the jacket or buying the coffee.
2) Plumptious lady on train exhorting her small son not to use her  'bum as a step.'
3) Finding a book at Paddington instructing me how to knit the royal wedding, oh my, the  knitted Arch Bishop of Canterbury is the funniest thing I have seen for a very long time. (the beard! the hair! ) 'KNIT YOUR OWN ROYAL WEDDING' by Fiona Goble. How can anyone live without this book I don't know.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

UKLA Children's Book Award 2012

Yeeharrr! She screams in a ladylike and very serious authorish manner , QUARRY has been longlisted for the UKLA Children's Book Award 2012! Hot Dang! But check out the competition...rats rats rats, it's FIERCE. But in the meantime GO QUARRY!!! (Author speaks to her book... It was serious work writing you and it is lovely lovely you are longlisted!) Thankyou THANKYOU Lovely people at UKLA Longlist 12-16 Hodder Children's Books My Name is Mina David Almond Bodley Head Long Lankin Lindsey Barraclough Walker Books Flip Martyn Bedford Oxford University Press Buried Thunder Tim Bowler
Puffin Books iBoy Kevin Brooks Bloomsbury Tyme's End B.R.Collins Quercus Bracelet of Bones Kevin Crossley-Holland Templar Publishing The 10pm Question Kate De Goldi Andersen Press Annexed Sharon Dogar David Fickling Books You Against Me Jenny Downham Puffin Books Being Billy Phil Earle Marion Lloyd Books Quarry Ally Kennen Andersen Press Everybody Jam Ali Lewis Oxford University Press Pull Out All The Stops Geraldine McCaughrean David Fickling Books Trash Andy Mulligan Walker A Monster Calls Patrick Ness David Fickling Books Half Brother Kenneth Oppel Hodder Children's Books Bruised Siobhán Parkinson Orion Children's Books My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece Annabel Pitcher Bloomsbury The Dead of Winter Chris Priestly Orion Children's Books White Crow Marcus Sedgwick Scholastic Children's Books The Last Summer of the Death Warriors Francisco X. Stork

Saturday 17 September 2011


Ha ha! Well, whilst I've been writing books and rearing young, my uber-geek handsome husband has been whittling away on his mega app  BOOK CREATOR and here  is a video all about it. Basically it's an app to create picture books on your iPAD, or whatever books you like.  You can make very slick books with this, and if you want you can publish it to the iBookstore. And it is EASY-PEASY to use. I know this because I have been commenting on it all the way, and my knowledge of all things tech is archaeological (see my website for example) so it has to be EASY for me with no annoying jargon or cryptic symbols and it has to WORK otherwise I would throw the iPAD to the floor in RAGE.  Anyway, I've been playing with the thing and it's great. I know I would say that, but it is... see for yourself.  I WISH I could draw, then I'd be firing out e-picture books like nobody's business, but sadly all I can draw is a cartoon cow with a steaming cow pat. Anyway it's great for photo books, kids books and all sorts. AWAY YOU GO! And you'll be the first to see my cow e-book when it goes live on iTunes!  for more info see  www.redjumper.net/bookcreator

Book Creator for the iPad from Red Jumper Studio on Vimeo.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Books Update and first lines

I've just finished going through the first proofs of BULLET BOYS, it's always exciting to see the book look more bookish. I've scribbled over it in red pencil which feels efficient. Hopefully at some point there will be a bound proof, (at this time I'll let my mother read it!)
I've done the same with DAYBREAK, my new book for Collins Big Cat school reading series, both are publishing in January 2012.  A fast-paced start to the new year...
On another note,
My six year old is starting to read and is sneaking copies of my books off and trying to read the first few lines, so I've been  going back and checking to see if they are suitable...or not  eeek!
Most of my books are for 11/12+  apart from SPARKS and my Big Cat books
I love reading first lines in bookshops. It's a great way to scramble up one's thoughts! (not that mine need scrambling at the moment)
First sentences of some of my books....

'Here is a list of the ten worst things I have done.'     -  BEAST, Marion Lloyd Books 2006

'It was Devil who had my finger.'     -  BERSERK, Marion Lloyd Books 2007

'Mother says girls shouldn't go out at night.'    - BEDLAM, Marion Lloyd Books 2009

'Rain dribbled down Carla's neck as she slipped and skidded over the muddy river path.' - SPARKS, Marion Lloyd Books  2010

'I thought he was dead this time.'  -  QUARRY, Marion Lloyd Books 2011

and a special preview!

'Alex never killed hares.'  BULLET BOYS  , Marion LLoyd Books, publishing in January 2012

Favourite first lines?


Tuesday 19 July 2011

Bullet Boys News

I'm editing....

Tuesday 12 July 2011

How did you write a book with a newborn baby...?

Teach it to type! ha ha!

Well, the answer to this question is... ON MY KNEES. It can be done, fellow fecund fictionist, but you might suffer a transformation into an old, haggard woman.

Seriously a little while back, with baby 3 and book 5 to deliver at the same time, whilst counting my lucky stars to be in this predicament, I did wonder how the hell I was going to do it.

Here's the Ally Kennen guide to losing your teeth, your muscle tone and your mind. (Forever)

STEP ZERO: Only have babies with a man who can cook, remember to buy toilet roll, put older children to bed and iron his own bloody shirts. If all females insisted on these qualities, sub-functional men would be bred out of the human race very fast.

STEP ONE: At 36 weeks pre-natal ask/beg for an extension (the publisher that is, a sixty week gestation is never going to be pretty) Don't most working women get maternity leave? Can't we?

STEP TWO: Write as much of the book as you can in bed (you can fool any other children that you are playing at potholing under the duvet)

STEP THREE: Give birth by whatever means possible. (I tried to outsource this step but was unsuccessful)

STEP FOUR: Regret Extension as you now have to write a book with a tiny weeny human gurning at you all day and all night and demanding sustenance.

STEP FIVE: Feed baby to sleep, lean over, turn on laptop. Write.

STEP SIX: Repeat step five every two/ three hours in first month, and every bloody four hours in 2nd and 3rd months


STEP SEVEN: Take baby and any other small children for drive. As soon as they fall asleep (it may take hours), pull over, whip out lap top and WRITE. Do this often. Do not kill anyone who knocks on window to ask 'if you are all right' thus waking children...

STEP EIGHT: Buy expensive Breast feeding baby sling, master art of loading dishwasher whilst feeding child, then start typing with chicken elbows with baby in situ. Feel like master of universe.

STEP NINE: Worry that radiation from computer is damaging weeny developing brain. No longer have baby on lap whilst writing

STEP TEN: Place your light sleeper on shoulder, head well away from harmful rays (maybe protected with cardboard hat made from cornflakes packet) and learn to type book with ONE HAND.

STEP ELEVEN: Whilst out walking with buggy, dream of typing machine that fits over handles, you could type with your thumbs whilst strolling in the park/on the school run/ going to buy toilet roll (no man is perfect)

STEP TWELVE: Cease all superfluous activities like: haircuts/cutting nails/answering emails/shopping/baths/lengthy showers (ie more than 3 minutes)/answering the phone/booking dentist appointments/exercise/TV/washing floor going out... .... ...etc etc

STEP TWELVE POINT FIVE. You MUST do online food shopping.

STEP TWELVE POINT SIX: Convince yourself that ceebeebies is really quite good and is teaching your other children vital life skills.

STEP THIRTEEN. Become a creature of the night. When at last everyone is asleep, creep to the nearest window sill as silently as possible, power on laptop, put curtains behind back, and write in darkness for as long as you possibly can. Remember at 1 am when you are so tired your skin is crawling, that everything is always brighter in the morning !

STEP FOURTEEN. Learn to function in the land of the living dead. Be Vague. Shorten sentences you utter before you forget the endings, Survive on pasta, cheese and apples and get used to the funny looks people give you when you try to converse. Don't worry about making sense, being able to count, reverse down narrow country lanes, or contradicting yourself in the same breath.

STEP FIFTEEN: Deliver book....then run around house screaming (holding surprised baby)

There we are girls, easy -peasy huh! Who was it said a pram in the hall was the 'something derogatory' of creativity? Was it herself, Vag Woolf? or someone else? Anyway what nonsense.

With my indispensible guide, any gal can nurse a newborn and pen THAT book.

Good luck!

Sunday 26 June 2011


Well it's Sunday night and some lucky humans are at Glastonbury Festival enjoying themselves, but I am Cinderally and am busy slaving away on my new book, Bullet Boys, which I am going to send to my editor/publisher this week. I've been working on this book since about January. A lot of writers have a 'first reader' - a reader who the writer trusts to make a considered and constructive appraisal of their manuscript. Mine is my husband. He knows I would have him killed if he was too harsh :) but despite this knowledge, I think he likes it! He has suggested I add a few extra passages near the end, which I am doing. After this I will go through the manuscript again and try to neaten my sentences and cut out any words that haven't earned their right to remain...I'll also destroy any mention of ferrets. I'll add bits and double check my facts... then I'll read it again. Then I'll send the whole thing off and anxiously wait for the response from on high...

Back to it!

Bullet Boys, publishing in January 2012.....by Marion Lloyd Books

Monday 13 June 2011


at the cover of my new book BULLET BOYS, which I am, ahem, just finishing (said in trilling tones) Back to it, due to deliver at the end of June, which is not long....

Sunday 12 June 2011


So when I was doing A level history, last century, my buddies and I thought it highly amusing to burst into class, pretending to have bound feet, in the style of long-ago sophisticated chinese ladies. We were studying this at the time, you see, and the practice was so GROSS and unlikely, we could be jovial about it. Ha ha ha. Haven't we women moved on.
Will future swotty lassies be chortling away as they learn that some females in the UK in 21st century injected POISON into their faces to make their muscles stop working, and therefore amass less wrinkles?
Are we completely nuts?
I could write all this off, adult women, free to make their own barmy choices etc etc, BUT for seeing in a lovely high street women's clothing shop, which sells very pretty lil girls clothes HIGH HEELS FOR TWO/THREE YEAR OLDS! size 07...
Arrrghh (mad screams) leave them alone ! We're not talking stilettos here but still a heel big enough to wrench an ankle and alter walking. My daughter (age six) would love these shoes. Lots of small girls like sparkly and grown up, they love the stuff pedalled in the shops. Of course I won't bloomin buy them for her, but she will SEE and WANT and think that this is NORMAL for her to want. And these teeny teeny shoes for fat little pudgy feet, only been walking for eighteen months, already strapping up and making infants toddle are SICK! Dressing up in mum's shoes is one thing, selling heels to infants, still young enough to poo themselves, but not young enough for horrible manipulative marketeers to entice into completely unsuitable shoes, is quite different.
Leave the kids alone! sell them gold glittery wellies if you have to, or pink ribboned trainers, but NOT foot torture for tots. Little girls will think this is what they need to wear... and if they see one of their kind wearing them at a party, they will all want them.
What next, BOTOX after circle time?
Too, too young....little girls should be scribbling and laughing and chucking things about, not lured, treacherously toddling, onto the dark continuum of female vanity... not yet...

Monday 30 May 2011

HAY FESTIVAL 2011 again

What fun was had at HAY over the weekend. I had a great time on Sunday talking with Tim Bowler about his new book BURIED THUNDER, my book QUARRY, and chaired by the excellent Pete Hurley of Pembertons Books.
(here we all are, looking very cheery)
It was great to see you all and thank you everyone to who came along.

I also went to hear David Almond and Patrick Ness talk about their books, 'My Name Is Mina' and Patrick's 'A Monster Calls' both books are shortlisted for the Carnegie medal.
It was an entertaining and thought provoking event, entrancing my dad (a farmer and visionary)
my mum (the most hard working person on the planet) and my six year old (none of the above). Fantastic.
Other Hay highlights for me were:
Riding in a rickshaw powered by an aimiable young man down to the festival
Seeing a big blushing policeman getting his cook book signed by Nigella Lawson
My mum saying very loudly in the green room 'Who on earth is Rob Lowe?'
Watching Allison Pearson's event
Near Riots amongst authors in Green Room as they run out of cake
Finding 'Here Comes The Poo Bus' by Andy Stanton for my 4 yr old....

The festival of course, still has another week to go, but for me the swanning around is over and it's back to the coal face, working on my new teen book BULLET BOYS...

Thursday 26 May 2011


I am going to Hay-on-Wye for the mighty book festival. I am fortunate enough to have an event with the fantastic Tim Bowler on Sunday 29th at 5pm. Hay is a brilliant festival with billions of authors and book lovers and book-loving authors milling around being bookish. Authors get to talk about their books and spy on/*secretly get starry eyed over other authors talking about their books.
Readers and authors meet and everyone eats an ice-cream at some point. This is one of the Laws of Hay. Nobody eats any books but I will report back if I witness this. Another Law of Hay is that if you spot a very-famous-author eating an ice cream you *MUST REMAIN NONCHALANT AND BOOKISH even if they have exceptional sideburns which, in normal circumstances, would require further investigation.
Authors usually spend most of their time sitting alone in bad trousers, muttering at their desks, exaggerating fictional events and laughing at their own jokes. So when they come to an event like Hay they DRESS UP. You will spot the author in the crowd at HAY 1)by the smell of mothballs fuming from their (odd) best clothes and 2) the limp as they walk in uncomfortable new shoes. (usually they wear slippers to work)
3) They will also look shifty as they try not to exaggerate.
Books are sold, signed and celebrated. The town itself is stuffed full of book shops (maybe I'll pick up one or two to add to my meagre collection)
I have been to the Hay festival once before, for about 2 hours, one of which was largely spent changing the baby's nappy and feeding it ice-cream.
This is why I have such vast knowledge on Hay-lore.

Bring it on!

(Note: Apology. pointless Blog waffle increases as NEW BOOK deadline approaches. I'm aiming to deliver my new teen novel BULLET BOYS, to my publisher at the end of June...)

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Kingston Reader's Festival

I'll confess that at six-thirty a.m on Friday the thirteenth, leaving darkest Somerset for Kingston Reader's Festival in Surrey, I did wonder how I would make it through the day without attracting some malign attention of the fates, but I needn't have worried, I was given a very warm welcome at Tolworth Girls' School and had an enjoyable session, talking about books and writing, then lunch with the school reading group. I met lots of sparkling book-crazy girls! Then on to the Holy Cross School in the afternoon. Special thanks to Irene Marillat, fantastic school librarian at Tolworth Girls, for making me feel so welcome and creating a great event and Vanessa Howe for organising everything and shuttling me around!

(I didn't entirely escape bad luck though, as I lost my scarf and my return train ticket. I thought I'd have to hide in the loo (haven't done this since I was 18) but the ticket inspector never came! fortune smiled after all!)

photo by Irene Marillat

Wednesday 4 May 2011


...have taken over everything.

There are books piled here and there...
Books for the jumble, kitchen cooking books, books in the sitting room...
There are library books too.

Books everywhere. Read books, un-read books. Scary books. Stupid books. Clever magic books.

Bloody awful books.

My books.

(Why do I need to write books? There are SO MANY books already!)

Books by the loo.

Books in the bedrooms
The only organised bit is a bookcase full of Enid Blyton. (I designated this book shelf when I was a child and had more ordered habits)

More Books on the stairs,

There are also quite a lot of children's books scattered around on the floor.

Wow, what if all these books were e-books? Would they get read? Would they be lost in cyber space? Or is it MORE likely they would be read. How would I be tempted to pick up Archie's Life of Mehabital? Or The Devil Rides Out? Or David Austin's Rose Guide? Or The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous? Or The Dictionary?

Or maybe I would be freed from the tyranny of books. I could collect something else, like, um nick nacks (ughhh) If I read less, I suppose I could answer the siren call of housework or grimace at the TV. But if I had no books, only a small electronic reading thing, how would I insulate my walls? How would I replicate that virtuous feeling for weeding out three or four for the charity shop? How would I wedge doors open, stabilise chests of drawers or press flowers?
If I got rid of my real books, all that would be left would be vast undusted tracts. And what's the point of a room without a mess of books in it?


Tuesday 5 April 2011


Had a good day on Friday 1st April in Birmingham. I talked to over 300 children (crikey) Congratulations to Pat Walsh with THE CROWFIELD CURSE for winning the award. SPARKS and WARRIOR SHEEP were runners up. Met some very cool kids and some very hard working librarians. Here I am with Christopher and Christine Russell, authors of the fantastic WARRIOR SHEEP series. Now I want a SPARKS T. Shirt!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

UKLA award news BIG entry WITH PICTURES

Hurrah! Sparks has been shortlisted for the UKLA children's book awards, the ceremony will be in July. http://www.ukla.org/news/
This is very good news indeed.

Work on the new teen novel continues. I have been looking at shot guns and rifles,
watching buzzards and pestering the army, oh and writing...

I am in Birmingham on Thursday for The Education Show at the NECC (last time I was there I was on stage in a silver dress and huge boots singing at Gatecrasher, maybe, ahem, about ten years ago now.. my how times change...)
Anyway on Thursday I will not be singing or dancing to 'Progressive Trance' or whatever it was called but reading from my book 'The Hedgehog Mystery' which was written for the fantastic school reading series, Collins Big Cat, and answering questions.


Wednesday 2 March 2011


Go read! Go buy/borrow a book! Dress up as your fav fictional character. Why not?

world book day logoworld book day logoworld book day logo

Here at Kennen Towers am agonising over the title for my new book... which is only half way through the 1st draft. My first drafts are always like having lots of small energetic pixies running howling in all directions. I have a firm suggestion for a title which is fantastic, but it's like naming your children, full of GREAT RESPONSIBILITY and DREAD. What if your Algernon turns out to be more of a Dwayne? Your Jane more of a Chrystal?
Watch this space. I may make a special WORLD BOOK DAY announcement as to the new title tomorrow.

Tuesday 1 March 2011


I'll be at Taunton Waterstone's for World Book Night, March 5th. 6-8pm along with eight other authors.
There will be free books to the first people through the door (not sure what book) wine and book signing and selling and chat.

Had a good visit today to Thornton Heath Library. Hello St Cyprians School! Great to meet you...
If you had any more questions, do ask them here...

Friday 18 February 2011

QUARRY on the radio

I'm being interviewed by young10radio on Saturday about QUARRY, all the interviewers will be 15 and under...

Monday 14 February 2011

QUARRY review in The Guardian


:) :)

jus bought a copy of SPORTING GUN for research for my new book. I'm learning about sorting out the game cart, gun dogs, ferrets and pigeon decoys.

My chapter book 'The Hedgehog Mystery' for school reading series Big Cat is also now out. (8+)

Saturday 5 February 2011


Thank you everyone who turned out and supported this event. Had a great afternoon in the book shop, chatting, signing books and eating more beetles...

Friday 4 February 2011


We had a fantastic afternoon at Wiveliscombe library to launch QUARRY, with brilliant and inspiring questions from Kingsmead School students, a brownie mountain, a 'cockroach hunt' whereby the little 'uns hunted down chocolate cockroaches amongst the book shelves and a great turnout. Thanks to Jenny and Linda for their support. And to Charlotte, my PA for the day who did a great job selling oodles of books and to Dan who wowed the lovely library ladies with his baking... Great that we could have this event here!

Tomorrow I'm at Taunton Waterstone's from 2-4pm and am interviewed on bbc radio somerset at about 8.45 am.

And tomorrow is a national day of action to SAVE OUR FANTASTIC LIBRARIES!!!

Thursday 3 February 2011


QUARRY HAS ARRIVED... read it if you dare! A fantastic day today as I have also just heard that SPARKS has been shortlisted for the Rotherham Children's Book Award, The Bolton Children's Book Award and the Warwick Children's Book Award! yeeharr. Yesterday it was all dead chickens, fog and mouldy cheese, today it's like Christmas!

Launch events:

Friday 4th Feb: Exclusive QUARRY extract on http://10radio.org/at approx 7.45am
Live Interview on 10 radio at approx 9am on breakfast show

3.30-4.45pm QUARRY event at Wiveliscombe Library

Saturday 5th Feb : Live Interview with BBC Radio Somerset
At approx 8.45 am

Waterstone's Taunton. QUARRY event 2-4pm. Signing, books and answering questions in the book shop... beware of the chocolate cockroaches...

Thursday 27 January 2011


I will be launching QUARRY at Wiveliscombe Library, 3.30pm on Friday 4th Feb and Taunton Waterstone's from 2 -4pm on Saturday 5th Feb.

In the run up to these events, there will be 3 minute bites of QUARRY broadcast every morning next week on the breakfast shows on 10 radio http://10radio.org/
I'll also be doing a live interview on Friday 4th, at about 9.15 am. Tune in!

Wednesday 19 January 2011


I will be signing copies of my new book QUARRY at Taunton Waterstones on Saturday Feb 5th from 2 - 4 pm. I'll be answering questions and talking about the book. come along! there will be FREE CHOCOLATE!!!!!

Monday 10 January 2011


Somerset County Council has gone mad! It is proposing to CLOSE twenty libraries, to cut mobile libraries from 6 to 2 and to reduce opening hours at the remainder.

Find out more info below



This is to save cash as the council is vastly in debt. But as a percentage, the money saved from closing libraries is teeny compared to the overall budget, but the effects of library closures will be vast and long reaching.

The libraries will be lost, maybe forever.

What message does the council think this is giving to children about the importance of reading, literacy, education and measured, researched learning?

How dare the council decide for us that our written history; our fiction, research, science, geography, EVERYTHING in fact, is not ours to access? (Especially as we have paid our council tax for this service already!!)

This is an Orwellian-style offensive of cold statistics, that saving pounds, is more important that the right of every citizen to educate themselves, and have access to, and enjoy, a treasure house of information, stories, tapes, CDs, our human heritage, skilled librarians and so on into infinity.

Do these people wish us to become a nation of ignorant ROBOTS? Where is THE JOY??? (And this August council has also decided to cut 100% of Arts Funding)

A few suggestions ;)

ASK THE STAFF HOW THEY COULD SAVE MONEY IN THEIR DEPTS. They'll have a better idea than anyone.

rant over, for now. do get involved and sign the online petition.