Eleanor Updale Homework Clip

My public appearances are now handled by Authors Aloud.  If you would like to to invite me to take part in an event, or to visit your school, book group or library please contact Naomi Cooper: naomicooper@authorsalouduk.co.uk

BIG NEWS:  A PRIZE, NEW BOOKS and NEW AUDIO

THE LAST MINUTE has won the Sefton Super Reads award. I went to Southport for the ceremony.  What a joy.

And now is is possible to download audio recordings of all five Montmorency books.  The original two (recorded by Stephen Fry back in the days of cassettes) have been joined by brand new, unabridged digital versions read by the great John Sessions. 

Some authors get all the luck, and this time it’s me. 

 

All the audiobooks can be downloaded from Audible.co.uk - as can a lovely recording of my story The Ghost in the Machine, read by Thomas Judd.

At last! MONTMORENCY RETURNS, the fifth book in the MONTMORENCY series, is available as a paperback and as a digital download to read on Kindles, iPads, etc. 

 You can get both from Amazon.

 

 For the paperback, click here  

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Returns-5-Eleanor-Updale/dp/1494220873/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1391075040&sr=8-1

 

 For the ebook, click here:

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Returns-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B00I3CT0QW/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1391075040&sr=8-1

 I want to thank you all for being so patient, and to assure you that the delay in publication has been as annoying for me as it was for you. I hope you will feel that it is has been worth the wait.   

Montmorency Returns picks up where Montmorency’s Revenge finished - indeed it starts with the same words: 

Montmorency was sure there was someone in the room with him.  From the corner of his eye he saw the edge of a black cloak.  Then he felt the pressure of cold metal against the back of his head.  He grasped the arms of his chair, closed his eyes, and tried to feel brave.

In this book, set in 1901/2, Montmorency finds himself battling to keep his friends safe, but he is forced to act in a way that turns them against him.  As usual with my books, you can’t be sure that all will end well for everyone.

All the other Montmorency books are now available in a new edition, to match Montmorency Returns.  They have better paper and better print than ever.  Each of the books can stand alone, but it’s best if you read them in the right order, and for the first time you can work that from the front of the books.  These are the covers too look out for.


Please spread the word, and let me know what you think of the latest in the series, MONTMORENCY RETURNS. Like all the others, this book is suitable for anyone who likes a meaty story, whatever their age.  Montmorency has fans from 9 to 99 and beyond.


 

THE LAST MINUTE is now out in paperback


It’s the story of the final sixty seconds before a big disaster.  There are 60 chapters, each covering only one second of time.  By the end you will have got to know many, many, people.  I’m afraid that rather a lot of them die.  When you get to the end of the book you will be able to find out more about what happened, and why, by coming to this website and clicking on www.eleanorupdale.com/minute  There you will find the official report of the Commission of Inquiry into the catastrophe, radio reports from the day of the disaster, newspaper coverage of the event, and tributes to some of the victims.[

I was interviewed about THE LAST MINUTE by Mariella Frostrup on the BBC Radio 4 OPEN BOOK programme.  You can hear the interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pz59k .  The item on my book starts at 13 minutes and 19 seconds from the start of the programme.

THE LAST MINUTE has been shortlisted for Sefton Super Reads prize and the Dudley Book Awards/  It has had stunning reviews.  Here are some of them:

Philip Ardagh had this to say in The Guardian:

One of the things I love about the children’s author Eleanor Updale  is that she’s impossible to pigeonhole. I first came upon Updale through her Montmorency novels. Set in Victorian Britain and – unusually for children’s fiction – without a child protagonist, they resemble Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart quartet, but with a flavour completely of their own. These rattling-good adventures centre around the life of a Jekyll-and-Hyde thief who uses the sewers as an escape route.

Then came the wonderfully eccentric Johnny Swanson, a standalone title set in 1929 about a boy who makes money from people gullible enough to send postal orders in response to his personal ads. (His "miniature royal portraits", for example, turn out to be postage stamps with the king’s head on them.) Unlike the meticulously plotted and researched Montmorency books, this is much more of a romp: fun is at the heart of it, though Swanson still manages to touch upon the very real horrors of TB.

And now we have The Last Minute, a book utterly unlike its predecessors. It begins at the end, with the unconfirmed reports of an explosion – or explosions – in an ordinary British town. And so the countdown begins. Chapter by chapter, minute by minute, we edge closer to the tragedy, giving us a snapshot of inhabitants going about their daily lives before disaster strikes.

It is, of course, human nature for the reader to wonder which characters will die and which survive, but – as one would expect from Updale – there’s so much more to it than that. Peppered among the everyday incidents are telling moments which, with the knowledge of impending disaster, take on a different hue. Are these clues or red herrings? Who is to be trusted? What are their motives?

At first, The Last Minute may seem reminiscent of a spate of adult horror novels spawned by James Herbert’s The Rats in the 1970s, in which situations are set up and characters introduced purely to be struck down, with the reader wondering when and how; the big difference here is that the explosions don’t occur until the final moment, so Updale has given herself a far more challenging task.

She has to carry the reader through the novel by engaging us with a large cast of believable characters, rather than revelling in the resulting carnage. And slowly but surely, little by little, she ratchets up the tension. The updates become shorter and more urgent until we’re seconds away from disaster.

Updale is careful not to linger on the explosions themselves. There are no grand pyrotechnics. Instead, the deaths are described retrospectively in the transcript of a radio programme discussing the findings of a commission of inquiry.

The book ends with a list of 65 fatalities: their names, ages and professions. It’s chillingly matter of fact, and all the more powerful for that (with echoes of the Enniskillen and Hyde Park bombing, for those old enough to remember them). These are people the reader has come to know.

This is powerful stuff. What on earth will Eleanor Updale come up with next?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/11/the-last-minute-eleanor-updale-review

This is from Sally Morris in The Daily Mail:

At 9.21am, on an ordinary morning just before Christmas, the people of Heathwick are shopping, working and making plans. One minute later, a massive explosion kills 65 of them. How? And why?
Updale recounts the final sixty seconds leading up to the tragedy, and in each short one-second chapter builds layer upon layer of character, backstory and possible clues, depicting a town full of lovers and loners, children on a school trip and pensioners looking forward to spending time with their grandchildren - like Under Milk Wood with a ticking bomb.
Is that a gas leak? Who left those bulky suitcases in the back of a taxi?  Her control of the unfolding story is superb (we know from a live news report at the start that there has been an explosion) and this highly original, absorbing book showcases the skillful versatility of the author of Johnny Swanson and the Montmorency series.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2274425/CHILDRENS-FICTON.html#axzz2KK4wl72w

This next one is from the website: Did You Ever Stop To Think and Forget To Start Again?

By nobodyjones on January 15, 2013

The Last Minute by Eleanor Updale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here’s the pitch: Explosion

That’s The Last Minute, hollywood-y and hooky in its conceit and unbearably tense in its delivery. This is 24 gone macro gone YA: sixty seconds, a cast of a hundred plus, and a town about to face its darkest hour. See, I can’t even precis it with going all movie-voice.

It’s written by Eleanor Updale, classy author of the Montmorency books, and god it’s good. Written back to front as it were, with the resolution of the minute staring you right in the face, it’s impossible to read this book calmly. Even the chapter headings don’t help; each second goes by with a simple Tick, Tock, and it’s just edge of your seat territory. All the way. You start to connect the dots and then, just as you think you do, Updale throws a curveball in your way. I loved this.

Whilst the book itself was a healthy four-almost-five star rating for me (I struggled to keep track of what was happening to whom at points – an issue for me occasionally with novels of a massive cast), what pulls it to a glorious five stars is the accompanying material. Can I tell you how much I love this sort of thing? If you go to this website you can see the official enquiry into the incident and several other pieces of supporting material. This is brilliant – just don’t do it until after you finished the book because spoilers!

http://didyoueverstoptothink.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/the-last-minute-eleanor-updale/

Here’s an extract from Adel Geras, writing on ’An Awfully Big Blog Adventure’:

We meet LOTS of characters. Each of them has something going on. Each of them has something they want/don’t want/are scared of/are longing for/are enduring and we follow them all to the bitter end. And we know the end is bitter because we are told this on the cover and in the blurb. There’s quite a lot we don’t know as well. Who caused the explosion? Why? Who will die? Who will survive? It’s a simply brilliant idea and it’s perfectly executed: humorously, movingly, excitingly and without any surplus detail or description. There is not an ounce of spare prose on this text. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this book is worrying. You are, as a reader, constantly in a fret, wanting to cry out to various people and tell them not to do something they’re doing. The ‘he’s behind you’ impulse is very strong throughout; wanting to warn is a instinct it’s hard to stifle and even though characters in a book can’t hear you, I did find myself mentally yelling at various people as the book went along.

Everyone will have their favourite strands. I liked the joke that starts to be told at the beginning and for whose punch line you have a very long wait. I love the exercise class that’s going on behind a plate-glass window. I especially loved the writer, not getting down to work. Unlike Eleanor Updale, who has been most diligent and careful about hers. It’s a wonderfully exhilarating book and not like anything else. I salute a truly adventurous writer.

You can read the full review at

http://awfullybigreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

  The famous BOOKWITCH  had this to say on her blog:

I defy anyone to put this book down before you’ve got to the end. I really mean that. There are many fantastically good books where you can break off and do other things in the middle of reading. If you have to. With Eleanor Updale’s The Last Minute I had to forget about doing anything I had planned, as well as telling Daughter I couldn’t talk to her on the phone until I was done.

http://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/the-last-minute/

You can read the full text of the review on the BOOKS page of this site, where you can also read two rave reveiws from booksellers.  As you can imagine, they have made me very happy..

 

MONTMORENCY ON STAGE


The dramatisation of Montmorency at the Edinburgh Fringe was a great success. Here are some of the comments from the critics:

 "...an exciting, fast paced production...expertly handled...The actors are superb...I was left longing for more...never a dull moment."  ***** ​ThreeWeeks


“…slick professionalism… quality acting, lively scripting and dynamic blocking…showcases genuine talent.”​  ​EdFringeReview


"Snow’s production is fluent, energetic, and brilliantly staged…It is heartening to see such talent – and on this evidence we’ll be seeing a lot more of them."​  The Scotsman​​

You can read more about the production see photos of the performance, and find out about the company who produced it at http://www.freerangeproductions.co.uk/#!montmorency/c18bd

JOHNNY SWANSON has won the FANTASTIC BOOK AWARD

It was chosen as the winner by readers in schools all over Lancashire.  This comes after long and shortlistings for all sorts of prizes, including:

The CILIP Carnegie Medal
The UKLA Children’s Book Awards
The Redbridge Children’s Book Awards
The Sefton Super Reads

Johnny Swanson is in the shops now, and has been greeted by wonderful reviews.  You can read some of them in full lower down this page, but here are a couple of tasters. Philip Ardagh in The Guardian said:

Updale writes with such obvious relish that fun exudes from the ink on every page. This is real entertainment. Johnny Swanson is just the kind of book for which the term "joyous romp" was invented.

Amanda Craig in The Times said, ’Updale doesn’t put a foot wrong in this marvellous tale’.

Here’s a picture of the (rather unusual) cover. You may already have seen the front of it, but I thought you’d like a look at the whole thing, including the flaps that wrap round the book.

 

 

PICTURES FROM THE LAUNCH PARTY

We had a great time at the launch. 

Because the book is set in 1929, I dressed up in the style of the time. This is me, outside the Kew Bookshop before the party started:

And here I am with Jacqueline Wilson...

...and Francesca Simon

If you want to come and see me talking about Johnny Swanson, I’ll be at  the Edinburgh Book Festival on 15th August, and the Cheltenham Festival on 16th October.

 

JOHNNY SWANSON is very different from my Montmorency books.  It’s set in 1929, more than a decade after the end of World War I, when any glamour associated with the war had well and truly worn off.  The book features advertising, tuberculosis and murder.  The main character is a boy whose efforts to help his mother end up threatening her life - and he is the only person who can save her.  That sounds more grim than the book is.  There’s plenty of humour, too.  I hope you’ll get to love Johnny, Winnie, Hutch and Olwen as much as you love Montmorency and his friends.

REVIEWS

Here is the Text of the Guardian review from May 8 2010.  You can find the original at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/may/08/johnny-swanson-eleanor-updale-review

When researching her first foray into children’s fiction – the marvellous Montmorency novels – Eleanor Updale found herself deep beneath the streets of London in a public sewer. It’s unlikely that any such strenuous preparations were required for Johnny Swanson, save perhaps a trip to the former sanatorium of Craig-y-Nos Castle in Wales, which is today, rather conveniently, a hotel. This latest novel is, I would suggest, pitched at a slightly younger audience than Montmorency (though a thoroughly enjoyable read for this adult), and is in an undeniably lighter vein.

The story has three main strands: the schoolboy Johnny Swanson earning income from the personal ads; the spread of tuberculosis in the 1920s; and the up-to-no-good skulduggery – what other kind is there? – that somehow bridges these first two strands.

Johnny gets into the personal ads business when he sends off a two-shillings-and-sixpenny postal order to find out the SECRET OF INSTANT HEIGHT. (Their capitals.) If you’ve no idea what two shillings and sixpence is, or a postal order come to that, you’ll soon find out. Johnny doesn’t have that much money, so he "borrows" it in the not-actually-asking-but-having-every-intention-of-paying-it-back sense. When buying the postal order from the local post office, he creates a fictional Aunt Ada, pretending that she’s sick and will be spending the two-and-six to buy a train ticket to come and stay with him and his mother. The response (the secret of instant height) when it finally arrives, is not quite what Johnny expected. It is to stand on a box. He feels outraged and more than a little stupid.

Rather than seek revenge, he sees the potential in such a scheme, or rather scam. He soon starts coming up with advertisements of his own. To do this, his fictitious aunt has a new use: as the "adult" placing the ads for whom he is apparently running errands. When Johnny’s mother is taken away and charged with a serious crime, "Aunt Ada" takes on an even more significant role. She’s the nonexistent responsible adult supposedly looking after him, thus freeing him to do the best he can to prove his mother innocent.

At one time, a quarter of all UK deaths were attributed to tuberculosis and, right up until a cure was found in the 1940s, tens of thousands of people were affected every year, many of whom died. In 1929 – when this book is set – a supposed cure, known as Umckaloabo, was advertised in the press; an advertisement even less honest than Johnny’s "official portrait of the king for one shilling". (Anyone who sent off for that one received a postage stamp. Well, there really was a picture of the king’s head on it.)

When Johnny plays detective, don’t expect a story of intricate, multilayered plotting and subtle subterfuge. Johnny Swanson is very much of the plot-exposition-as-dialogue-overheard-by-an-eavesdropper-conveniently-under-the-table-at-the-time school of detective fiction. There’s no real need for the strenuous application of little grey cells here. Events move at a fair lick, and revelation follows revelation. Updale writes with such obvious relish that fun exudes from the ink on every page. This is real entertainment. Johnny Swanson is just the kind of book for which the term "joyous romp" was invented.

Amanda Craig’s review in The Times can be found at http://www.amandacraig.com/pages/journalism_01/journalism_01_item.asp?journalism_01ID=116

Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale

Philip Ardagh revels in an entertaining tale of personal ads, tuberculosis and skulduggery

The Books News, Prizes & Reviews About meContacts & Links

Books

Well, there are more and more of them, in all sorts of guises all over the world.  Further down this page, you an read about The Last Minute (now out in paperback), Johnny Swanson, and other books and stories. But for 2014, the big change is the new edition of all the Montmorency books, including the newly-published fifth episode, Montmorency Returns

These smart new paperbacks and digital downloads are available only on Amazon.  Here’s a brief guide to what each is about:

Buy the paperback here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Eleanor-Updale/dp/148265766X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391182545&sr=1-2&keywords=updale

Buy the ebook here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B00B4WGBKQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1391182545&sr=1-2

 Montmorency is set between 1875 and 1880. This is the story of a small-time crook whose life is transformed after an accident that nearly kills him. An ambitious doctor (Robert Farcett) takes on the task of rebuilding his body, and shows him off at meetings of a scientific society. At those meetings, Montmorency learns about the new underground network of sewers under London. In prison, he plans a new life, stealing things all over London, and getting away through the smelly underground passageways. When he is released, he takes on two identities: Scarper in the Dark underground world, and Montmorency in high society. The book is all about his struggle to prevent each of his identities spoiling everything for the other.

Buy the paperback here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Rocks-Eleanor-Updale/dp/1482657600/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Buy the ebook here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Rocks-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B009XGIV7G/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

Montmorency on the Rockspicks up the story in 1885. At the end of the first book, it seems that Montmorency has decided to settle in the world of riches and goodness -- but five years on, his alter ego, Scarper, is back, leading him into a world of depravity. Yet Montmorency needs all his wits about him to solve two mysteries: Who is bombing London, and why, far away on a Scottish island, has a whole generation of babies died? Lots of characters from the first book come back to help Montmorency find the answers.

Buy the paperback here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Assassins-Eleanor-Updale/dp/1482657694/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Buy the ebook here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Assassins-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B009XGIN10/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Montmorency and the Assassinsstarts much later - in 1898. Montmorency is getting older, and the world is changing with new inventions, faster travel, and sinister  political activists threatening the stability of Europe. What begins as an easy job turns into a life-threatening struggle to track down international terrorists. And this time Scarper seems to have his clutches on someone else: Frank, the young nephew of Montmorency’s dearest friend Lord George Fox-Selwyn. We are back in London and Scotland, but also in Italy and America. Once again, everything might go disastrously wrong...

Buy the paperback here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorencys-Revenge-Eleanor-Updale/dp/1482657627/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1391183400&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=9781482657623

Buy the ebook here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorencys-Revenge-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B009XGJ3NC/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2

Montmorency’s Revenge starts a few months after the end of Montmorency and the Assassins.  What does he want revenge for?  I won’t tell you in case I spoil the previous book.  But I can say that the plot takes in the death of Queen Victoria and bloody events in America, France and Italy.  Throughout the story Montmorency has to balance his personal obsessions against his public duties.  As before, real and fictional events and people are mixed together in the plot.  One character who really existed is Leopoldo Fregoli, who was an international superstar in his day.  He was a mime artist and mimic, who was so good at imitating other people that his name was given to a psychiatric disorder involving identity.  As you’d expect, this book has questions of identity at its heart.

Buy the paperback here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Returns-5-Eleanor-Updale/dp/1494220873/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391183528&sr=1-1&keywords=updale+returnsc

Buy the ebook here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Montmorency-Returns-Eleanor-Updale-ebook/dp/B00I3CT0QW/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1391183685&sr=1-1

Montmorency Returns picks up from the cliff-hanger at the end of the previous book, and flings Montmorency into his most dangerous adventure yet.  Everyone around him is in danger, and to save them he must behave in a way that turns them against him.  Will he sacrifice his life for theirs?  Is this the end?  Set in America, Canada and London,this book takes place in 1901/2.

----

 

As you will see in the ’News’ section,

THE LAST MINUTE is now out in paperback

 

buy it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-Minute-Eleanor-Updale/dp/0552560367/ref=tmm_pap_title_popover

The hardback and ebook are still available.

The Last Minute has sixty chapters, each of which covers just one second in the life of a small town where a series of explosions are about to take place.

It’s not just a book -- There’s more

WHEN YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK, you can go ONLINE to find out much more about the Heathwick disaster,  Click here: www.eleanorupdale.com/minute

You will find the official Commission of Inquiry report on what happened, Press and Radio reports from the day of the disaster and the weeks that followed, and tributes to the victims.  There are also clues to the identity of the unidentified body in the rubble.

As in the real world, these sources sometimes conflict.  It is for you to decide where the truth lies.

REVIEWS:

Extracts from some early reviews of THE LAST MINUTE are on the NEWS page of this site.  So far, everyone has been really enthusiastic.

And here is the full text of the rave review from the BOOKWITCH:

I defy anyone to put this book down before you’ve got to the end. I really mean that. There are many fantastically good books where you can break off and do other things in the middle of reading. If you have to. With Eleanor Updale’s The Last Minute I had to forget about doing anything I had planned, as well as telling Daughter I couldn’t talk to her on the phone until I was done.

It’s a most unusual concept, featuring the last sixty seconds in the lives of the people on the High Street in a small town. Just before Christmas, just after nine in the morning, there are lots of people out doing what people do. Shopping. Having coffee. Getting buried. Picking up dog poo. Delivering the post. Chugging. Going on a school trip.

Feeling happy, worried, tired or excited. Procrastinating, painting, having a bath, running, bidding on eBay. Sitting on a plane about to land at the nearby airport. Repairing the gas mains.

A minute later there will be an explosion, killing many of the people you’ve just met and got to know so well, in their everyday worries and concerns.

The prologue ‘helpfully’ shows the reader what has just happened, leaving no illusions as to the possibility of a happier outcome.

The Last Minute shows a realistic cross-section of life in Britain today, and most of us will recognise ourselves in one or two of these people. I won’t call them characters. They were always people.

A little reminiscent of Under Milk Wood in the way the story darts between all of them, except faster. It’s amazing the number of actions and thoughts we can cram into sixty seconds.

Just writing about it has my heart rate going all over the place.

(It won’t be in the shops until early January, I’m afraid. But you needed to be told now.)

http://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/the-last-minute/

There have already been two advance reviews from Booksellers

‘Eleanor Updale’s THE LAST MINUTE starts at the “end” of the story after a huge explosion rocks an ordinary high street. Getting to the bottom of how it all happened is down to the reader’s powers of deduction and observation as Updale fills in the minutiae of everyone’s activities just before the event. This is a very clever and compelling piece of writing.’

 

‘In THE LAST MINUTE Eleanor Updale has written in an unusual form, describing the characters in one town; a snapshot of their lives as the seconds tick towards a devastating series of explosions. It is a real achievement to make the reader care about so many characters that one spends relatively little time with, and to capture the absolute normality that precedes such life-changing incidents. You both wonder who will be affected by the disasters and also spot clues along the way that may or may not be relevant to the story. I found this so compelling that I read this book in one sitting.’

Children’s Bookseller Choice 26 October 2012


You can still get JOHNNY SWANSON.  It’s set in 1929, when the First World War had been over for a decade, but the scars still showed.  Johnny is a boy who tries to do his best, but accidentally plunges into a world of deceit and murder that threatens everything - even his mother’s life.

See the NEWS page of this website for the wonderful reviews it has received.

Johnny Swanson is published by David Fickling Books (which is part of Random House).  It is also available as a download for some e-readers, though not yet as an audiobook.

 

Buy from Amazon



SAVED

Saved is published by the award-winning company, Barrington Stoke.

It’s the story of a boy who has to decide whether to challenge his parents, who are members of an extreme religious cult.  They don’t believe in modern medicine.  But then Luke’s sister is almost killed in a car crash.  What should he do?  And how did the accident happen?

Buy from Amazon


Other Work

I love writing short stories, and am proud to have been involved with a wonderful anthology of work by writers and illustrators which was published to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales, and to raise money for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts. The Birthday Book, which would be a fabulous present for anyone, was edited by Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake, who are great supporters of the charity.  My story, Bobby Bailey’s Brown Bread Birthday, has been illustrated by the wonderful Posy Simmonds. 

Buy from Amazon

 

Another of my short stories can be found in a book called THIRTEEN (edited by John McLay and published by Orchard Books). It’s a collection of 13 stories, by 13 writers, about being 13.

The other writers in the book are Eoin Colfer, Mary Hooper, Kevin Brooks, Paul Bailey, Jean Ure, Marcus Sedgwick, Kay Woodward, Helen Oyeyemi, John McLay, Margaret Mahy, Bali Rai and Karen McCombie.

I’m thrilled to be in such good company.

My story is called DOUBLE THIRTEEN. It’s about a girl whose thirteenth birthday is on Friday 13 th.

Buy from Amazon

 

I’ve also got a story in a collection called WAR: STORIES ABOUT CONFLICT, edited by Michael Morpurgo. The other writers in that book include: Joan Aiken, Eva Ibbotson, Jamila Gavin, Elizabeth Laird, George Layton, Geraldine McCaughrean, Margaret Mahy, Michelle Magorian, Michael Morpurgo, and Celia Rees.

My story is called Not a Scratch. It’s about the invisible victims of war: the people who don’t feature in the casualty figures, but whose families are nevertheless transformed for generations. .

Buy from Amazon

 

 

 

A short story by me is included in a book called MIDNIGHT FEAST. Other contributors include Eoin Colfer, Darren Shan and Jamie Oliver.  My story, called Sir Kilfay and the Nano-Spies,is about spies and headlice (you’ll have to read it to find out why).  The collection is  published by HarperCollins in support of the charity, Warchild.   

Buy from Amazon

 

 

 

I seem to have a bit of a thing about head lice.  I’m on about them again in the book WOW! 366, to which lots of authors contributed stories, each using just 366 words.  It was done to mark the Year of Reading (2008 was a leap year, hence 366) and to raise money for the charity, Childline.  My contribution ’The New Masters of the Universe’, is in verse.



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THE TRUTH IS DEAD  is a collection of short stories, edited by Marcus Sedgwick, each of them picturing what might have happened if a real historical event had turned out differently.  My story is about the Millennium Bug, and imagines what Britain could have been like if all computers had ceased to work at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999.

 

 

I also have a story in the collection, Haunted.  My story - The Ghost in the Machine - is about a very modern ghost who haunts someone though his computer.

 

 

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