Month: August 2014
There are so many reasons why you should visit Edinburgh, especially in August. Firstly, Edinburgh is a stunning city. It’s built on seven hills, near lots of water, and has steep craggy cliffs and cobblestoned streets, so geographically, it’s beautiful. It also has a long and fascinating history and contains some of the spookiest architecture you’ve ever seen, so it’s worth seeing at any time of the year. It’s known for being cold, wet, windy and having porridge-skies, so summer is a better time to go, but it’s also like that in summer so be prepared.
Then, in August, its population doubles. For almost a month, the fringe festival takes place, with thousands of short acts featuring music, comedy, cabaret, theatre and lots more, all in a small (very hilly) area so you can get around easily and as they’re all quite cheap to see, the hardest decision you have to make is what to see and when. There’s an app to help – finding good Internet access though, well, that’s a different story. You can fits lots of shows in to a day and then there’s all the other stuff to see, like museums, graveyards, bars with over 200 whiskies on the menu (over 18s only, of course) and the nature and blusteriness on the outskirts of the city, not to mention the rest of beautiful Scotland.
Then there’s the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is great. It was my first time appearing at the Book Fest and I loved it. My event was with Jane Elson, who wrote ‘A Room Full of Chocolate’. We spoke for an hour about our books and did short readings, in a small tent with the rain lashing on the roof. Some lovely children and adults came to see and hear us talking about our books and some of their similar themes, and they asked us very good questions. Here we are, holding our books.
We signed books afterwards and got to meet some lovely readers and budding writers. It was utterly amazing and I had so much fun, I hope to go to Edinburgh again for a whole week next year.
If you’re around, or even if you aren’t but like the sound of it, come along. It’s fantastic. But there are no guarantees the sun will shine. Bring a warm jacket, comfortable shoes and a strong umbrella. It’s summer in the UK after all.
Oops. It’s been far too long since I last posted and so much is going on. So many that I don’t know where to start. Maybe I should start with the big things first…
1) I’ve finished my next book – YAY! – and have submitted it to the publishers. It’s a whole new story, not the sequel to Amber, although I’ve written that too. This is about a girl called Maly Palmer who wants to be an actor. The publishers are happy, which of course makes me happy, and I start working on it with Rachel, my amazing editor, very soon. It’ll be published in 2015.
2) I’m flying to Edinburgh for the book festival next weekend: my event is on Sunday 17 August at 6pm. It’s with Jane Elson, who I met recently, and liked so much. I’m glad to be going and glad to be appearing with Jane. We’ll be discussing her book, A Roomful of Chocolate, my book, Dream on Amber, and dreams of escape. I’m happy to be escaping myself – Edinburgh in August is kicking. I can’t wait!
3) I’m doing a very different type of event at the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival on 14th September. I’ll be talking about story writing and cake baking and looking at recipes. Come along! I’d love to meet you. You won’t be getting any cake though, so don’t get too excited.
4) I’ve had lovely letters and emails, the most recent (and my current favourite) is from Elizabeth in Melbourne (Hi Elizabeth). It’s heart-warming to receive feedback and hear what you think of Amber so don’t be shy – get in touch via the ‘Contact me’ tab if you want to say hi.
5) I did two school visits in July, just before schools broke up for the summer. I visited Frithwood School in Northwood and West Lodge in Pinner, where I talked about Dream on, Amber and variety of other things, like where I get my ideas from, what I did before I was an author, what being an author is like and how to create stories. I also answered lots of intelligent questions even though it was SO HOT and everyone was melting, including me. I love doing school visits and hope to do lots more in the coming year. If you’d like me to come to your school, ask your parents or teachers to look at the ‘School Visits’ tab. I’d be happy to visit your school. If you live in Australia I’d love to come even more but it’s unlikely unless my publisher arranges a book tour. You could always ask. You never know. I live in hope.
It’s coming out in Germany at the end of September with a very different cover. There it’s called ‘Amber Katastrophal Genial’, which means ‘Amber Catastrophe Genius’. I love that my name is inside a bubble gum bubble.
That’s it for now. I’ll be in touch after Edinburgh. Wish me luck!