This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Really enjoyed by Edinburgh Book Festival event yesterday. The Bookwitch wrote about it here, if you're interested. I didn't know if the audience would be mostly teenagers or more adults and I was really pleased to see that it was almost all teenagers and even a bit younger. All of them listened brilliantly and asked some great questions.

The only difficulty was trying to manhandle the microphone while turning the pages of my book when I was reading two short bits, but no one laughed at me, which was a help.

I had some lovely chats in the signing queue afterwards, too. Two people were there because I'd been mentioned on another blog months ago; and one girl had seen me at a school event; another girl said, "I hadn't heard of you but my aunt always picks me a random person." LOVE IT! And, considering that Wasted is about randomness, what better proof could I have in the power of luck, chance and randomness?

I was also really pleased that some South African teachers, who'd brought their keen readers to compete in the Kids Lit Quiz final, came to see me afterwards and we are talking about the possibility of my going over there to do some school talks and inspire reading. I would love that! I've done foreign visits to Switzerland and Paris, but never as far as SA. I really hope we can get this organised.

Meanwhile, if your school would like me to visit, let me know.

PS Weirdly, I had four separate conversations with South African people yesterday. It's a sign.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Started a Facebook author page - an experiment. There's a competition going on there now. Do get lots of friends to join the FB page - the more who join, the more prizes there will be! I'd especially like teenage readers to join.

Facebook page here.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


Scottish schools go back soon - apologies for the reminder... So, now seems like a good time to remind you of the idea for schools that I suggested here.

I've got a number of events booked up for Wasted, in Glasgow, Dundee, Fortrose, Manchester, Derby and elsewhere. Happy to take another booking or two in November and a couple each in January, February and March. See the events page of my author website.

I also have copies of my books to sell so if you fancy a signed copy, let me know. I do not charge postage and packing!

I'll be doing some events at the Edinburgh Book Festival. They're all sold out, I'm afraid, but I'll be around to meet any readers or writers after each one. For details, go to my other blog - Help!I Need a Publisher! - and click on the Edinburgh Book festival meet-ups page.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Monday, 2 August 2010


I am proud and thrilled to tell you that Wasted is on two lovely shortlists for awards. One is a secret for absolutely ages but I will tell you when I can. :((

The other is a complicated one. It's the Manchester Book Award, but it's not going to be like previous years, which is a real shame. Apparently, funding has been withdrawn so there won't now be any voting or winners. That's a shame for readers in Manchester schools, who normally have such fun voting in this prestigious award. On the other hand, it's good because we're all equal and equally pleased! (Also, I believe there will be various ways that Manchester schools can get involved and some of us will probably do school events - if anyone invites us. Hint, hint...)

The reason it's complicated is that we aren't really sure how to describe it. It's not exactly a shortlist, because there's no further voting, and it's longer than a normal shortlist would be. It's sort of a list of recommended books, as far as I can make out. It's lovely, though.

Anyway, huge thanks to whoever liked Wasted enough to choose it. These are awards where publishers don't nominate books, so it's entirely down to the librarians involved. Thank you, librarians!

Another book on the Manchester list is the wonderful When I Was Joe, by Keren David, whose blog I visited on the Wasted blog tour. We've become friends on Twitter, which has been lovely. Hooray for us! (And WIWJ is a very very good book, btw.)