Off to Munich Book Fair!

Getting just a little excited at meeting TodHunter Moon and Septimus fans in Germany in a few days time. It's been a while now since I have been to a book event to talk about Sep and Tod (Todi in Germany) and it will be just great to meet readers and Septimus and Todi fans. 

Maximillian Fly is now back with me, having his first edit and it is really good to be back in his world for a little while.

I did have another world cooking, a trilogy that went by the name of The Salamander Crown, but it was aimed a little too old for my publisher (It was a gentle YA) so I'm having a go at something younger at the moment. However, I have not forgotten my older readers and I am still have hopes for The Salamander Crown at some time.

So, it is one of those limbo times at the moment with lots of ideas bubbling but nothing certain. But there is a whole lot of possibilities. And, as I moved house only two months ago, I have an exciting new place in which to think about them. 


Maximillian Fly has flown

A long overdue update! 

Maximillian and those pesky dragons pretty much took over my head since the last post, but apologies for being silent for so very long. The dragons have gone now and so too, very recently, has Maximillian Fly. I'm waiting to hear what my wonderful editor and publisher thinks of him and hoping that he aquits himself well. Maximillian Fly is a stand alone novel that I'm hoping will be out sometime in 2018 although I've not yet got a precise publication date. It will by published by HarperCollins USA. 

And who is Maximillian Fly? He is, he would tell you, Roach. He looks not unlike a 6 foot tall cockroach with a few human-style modifications. But in his heart and soul, Maximillian is as human as you or I.   

So what comes after Max Fly? Well, I have another world cooking and I'm working on the first few chapters to send to my agent to see what she thinks of it. I'm planning a trilogy set in a watery, weird place. Two female protagonists to begin with, I think. So far there are ancient families, strange traditions, danger lurking beneath the water and possibly some shapeshifting too. As I write, I am realising this is really for a YA age group. Even Max Fly is, I think, for slightly older readers - this seems to be the way my writing is heading now. 

And what books do I have coming out this year - in 2017? Er, well actually none, I'm sorry to say. The dragon project is long and involved and won't be out for some time, I think. But I hope Maximillian Fly will make up for the lack next year. No pressure, then, Max...

And I'm reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I am actually reading it for the second time - immediately   I finished it I went back to the beginning and started again. I have never done that before with a book. It is stunning. I'd love to write a sequel ...

Double Trouble


I am writing:

two things. I don’t usually run two books at once, but one seems to have trodden upon the toes of the next. The toe-treading book contains a fair amount of dragons and I guess toe-treading is what dragons are prone to do. This project is a bit of a collaboration, which is new to me and calls for a lot of re-writes and general fiddling about. I’ve learnt a lot of good things doing it, but after being used to being in sole charge of my ideas and story, the process has been, um … interesting at times. But in a good way.

When the second draft of these dragons flew off some weeks ago I got straight onto MAXIMILLIAN FLY, which is my new stand-alone novel for Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins. It’s a little bit sci-fi mixed with run-down old city and I am really enjoying writing it. Maximillian is not entirely human, but he has a human heart, a difficult mother and I have grown very fond of him. And that is all I’ll say about him for now. 

But soon those dragons will be winging their way back for a third draft and Max will be taking a rest for a few weeks. They don’t like to share the same headspace. 

I am reading: 

Mary Beard’s POMPEII. This is such a fascinating insight into life in Pompeii. Before that I re-read Kate Atkinsons’ LIFE AFTER LIFE, which is a wonderful, heart-soaring book. I shall go back to her amazing A GOD IN RUINS next. Ruins seem to be a bit of a theme at the moment …




First one!


I am writing: a whole new world! This does, I admit, sound a little grandiose, but this is the part of writing I enjoy the most. I have a small amount of time until another project comes back from its editors, so until then I am wandering around a strange city that is perched beside a huge marshy expanse of water. I’m getting to know two rather interesting people and beginning to meet others now too. This is the daydream part of writing when all kinds of things are possible. Later on, of course it gets more tricky. But that is for later.

I am reading: The Burning Land, by Bernard Cornwell. This is book 5 of The Last Kingdom series, which is set in Britain in the time of King Alfred. It’s not the usual thing I read, but I am hooked. I love the historical feel, and the characters are great. The lead character is very believable and the female characters, (my spellcheck changed female to falafel, but as yet there are no falafel characters, sadly. I look forward to that) are all, within the constraints of their time, very strong. There is a little too much bloodthirsty fighting for my taste, but it’s right it should be there, you can’t write about Vikings without that kind of stuff. I think there are ten books in the series, so that’s my reading sorted for the next few weeks.