I’m excited to announce I’ll be on a panel at this year’s Hay Festival, chaired by Emily Drabble. Come by to hear me, Emma Carroll and Kiran Millwood Hargrave discuss how we built our imaginary worlds.
Posts Categorized: Misc
I had another great afternoon at St. James COE Primary School last week. We talked about a crucial element of stories: goals and obstacles.
A cool thing about stories is that big, cosmic goals can often hinge on small actions. “A few friends have to destroy some jewelry” doesn’t sound like the plot of an epic — but if that jewelry happens to be Sauron’s One Ring, you’ve got the plot of Lord of the Rings.
This term, I’m Patron of Reading for St. James Church of England Primary School. So far, I’ve done two workshops with the kids, and I’ve been having a blast.
Yesterday’s workshop was on characters. The kids came up with a bunch of Inside Traits (kindness, bravery) and Outside Traits (wearing a blue dress, having two tails.) Then we combined them and made up stories about the resulting characters.
Hyacinth And The Stone Thief — the second book in the Hyacinth series — comes out on May 15, 2018. But you don’t have to wait until then to see the amazing cover, by artist Petur Antonsson. You can pre-order Hyacinth & The Stone Thief here.
Some of the locations in Hyacinth & The Secrets Beneath (AKA The City of Secret Rivers) are inaccessible, like the sewers of London. And some are fictional, like the secret underground postoffice staffed by mud monsters. But a lot of them are real-life places that you can visit. To help you find them, I’ve made a map of the real-life locations that inspired the book. Have fun visiting them!
If you’re a librarian or teacher, you can win one of 22 copies of Hyacinth and the Secrets Beneath.
Plus, Curious City has created a game based on the book, perfect for story times at libraries and bookstores. It turns out that your bookshelves are actually magical sewers in disguise, just waiting for a group of kids brave enough to face their enchanted dangers. Download the complete event kit for free at Curious City’s website.
Not sure if you’ll like Hyacinth And The Secrets Beneath? Have a free sample! Here are the opening pages, read by the great Jessica Almasy.
There’s nothing more terrifying for an author than being reviewed (except possibly being reviewed by a shark while parachuting out of an exploding airplane.) Fortunately, Hyacinth And The Secrets Beneath has gotten some great and entirely shark-free reviews.
Kirkus says it’s “a rollicking adventure with a lulu of an ending that comes with the promise of a sequel. Middle graders will adore clever Hyacinth and enjoy the other humorous characters, the puns (Oaroboarus, indeed), and the suspenseful narrative.”
I started this website in 2004, under the name Yankeefog.Com, to share my observations as an American living in London. As the years went by, I posted here less often. That was partly because the speed and brevity of Twitter made it much easier than blogging. But it was also because I was channeling my observations about the strangeness of London life into fiction, in the form of a novel for children called The City of Secret Rivers.