Wednesday, March 28, 2012


A chance to win a signed copy of The Case of the Cambridge Mummy - but only if you move fast! Girls Heart Books are holding a March Madness competition which closes Thursday 29 March at 6 pm - hurry here for details!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Head!

There's a finite amount of room in any brain. Writers are under even more space constraints than most because we've already been invaded by large numbers of vociferous characters, who rarely behave in a seemly or demure fashion, and who NEVER believe that they are of minor importance in the tale at hand. One thing we just CANNOT be having with, is another voice in our heads. Another voice, saying things like ...

"You can't do that - you're a children's writer!"

"You can't do that - you only write for 8-11!"

"You can't do that - a story like that would never sell ... never sell ... never sell ..."

My message to you, Voice, is this. I've got work to do, so just shut up. Or better yet, play the video below and then LEAVE!

Feeling better already!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. Slightly Jones has had some nice press recently - The Case of the London Dragonfish and The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul were reviewed by Penny Dolan on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure and Non Pratt from Catnip blogged about Why I Commissioned The Case of the Cambridge Mummy.

P.P.S. I'm off to Dunoon next week to do Slightly events with St Mun's Primary School and Kirn Primary School - looking forward to it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And the Noisy Side

I talked to just shy of 600 kids this week, and I've got all their faces leaping about on the trampoline of my mind. I think it must have to do with the adrenalin of performing, the way everything is so much more vivid when you're in front of an audience. When you're up there all the fuss and feathers (will the books arrive on time? do I have salad in my teeth?) evaporate and it's just you and them and that hard bright focus between.

And here's what it was all about - the third Slightly Jones Mystery is OUT!

It was a great week. Four days. Short lifetime. I send many thanks to St Faith's in Cambridge, Ely St John's in (not surprisingly) Ely, and Fawcett Primary School in Cambridge for letting me visit. Also the bookshops that got involved: the Fitzwilliam Museum Bookshop and Heffer's in Cambridge, and Burrows and Toppings in Ely. The people at Bounce and Catnip. And last and not least, thank you to Margot and Derek, for looking after me so well and being such good company.

And Happy Birthday, Case of the Cambridge Mummy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Still Side

Got back yesterday after a journey that ended with a 2-hour tussle with Edinburgh/road work traffic, and today I have to admit I am a well-wappit bunny. I will blog tomorrow about the noisy side of my time in the south and how great it all was. But for today, here is a taste of the still side - Ely Cathedral, and the modern sculptures outside the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Medieval, Victorian and modern stone ... for the easement of all fuss and fume!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Tale of 2 Camb's: - ridge and - odia

My mind is split between two Camb's this weekend, because next week I'm going to -ridge, and my son is going to -odia. He's going to teach English and I'm going to talk about Slightly Jones, and both trips are causing me a level of fuss that is really unnecessary. Really. REALLY!


Next week should also see The Case of the Cambridge Mummy well and truly launched - all appendages crossed! See you here next weekend for the celebration!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. I'm blogging about the Joy of Insults over on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on Monday - come on over and have a go! Then on Thursday I'm at Girls Heart Books with the new cover colours, so maybe see you there as well.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

... and the Imp of Inspiration

Instead of "I am a Forest" I would call this video "I am a Work in Progress" - the book I'm trying to write just now is being repeatedly turned on its head by the Imp of Inspiration ...

I am a Forest from Alex Schulz on Vimeo.

And NOW I've got that tune stuck in my mind as well!

Hoping to find my feet soon - cheers, Joan.

P.S. I'm back to the National Museum of Scotland on Monday, to do some writing workshops with the Student Council Conference 2012: Creative Learning. Looking forward to that!