Category Archives: books

Led Astray – Longlisted for Write Now! Prize


I’m overjoyed to say that my first book, Led Astray, has been longlisted for Macmillan’s competition to find an unpublished/unagented children’s author.

Progress. Wow. It feels good.

Cool things about this:

1. Macmillan publish three of my all-time favourite children’s authors: Eva Ibbotson (*sob), Frances Hardinge (goddess of magical worlds in my head) and Richmal Crompton (no words needed).

2. Somebody in at Macmillan read my book and liked it. That person also wrote their own description of my book. This amazes me. So this means other people are now sharing in my little cat world of handsome but lazy danglepaws, Eyelight, sky-battles, the clumsy, oafish Bluntpaw humans, wildcat kittens, Ruficul the Demon Cat,  dangerous slavehounds – a world ruled by claws, teeth, fur, scars and cat gods, purrs and hisses.  I loved writing this book. I’m so glad somebody else enjoyed reading it, and had their own interpretation.

3. MY NAME appeared in The Bookseller magazine. In black and white print, on the same page as other author’s names. Look, here is proof:

Write Now

So, along with my fellow-blogging longlisters Lorna Fergusson and Daniel Whelan who have written blurbs of their books on their blogs, here’s a taster of Led Astray:

Feral kitten Hattie is born into poverty in a family ruled by evil tomcat Scarab Razorclaw, destined to fulfil his dream of returning to her wildcat roots by shunning humans.

When Hattie is banished for falling in love with a despised ‘danglepaw’ housecat she struggles to survive, but using knowledge from both the wildcat and danglepaw worlds she eventually becomes queen of a vast colony of stray cats… only for everything to unravel when Hattie realises the truth about the true destiny of her species.

Here’s the first paragraph:

Hundreds of pairs of eyes glowed, unblinking, all directed to their queen. The Daughter’s Eye shone brightly, fully open, her reflection rippling in the waves. The sea was calm tonight, the air hot and still, the sand dry under their paws. Mice scuttled in the shadows, but the cats made no move to catch them. It was a perfect time to hunt, but tonight they would all go hungry.

Thank you for reading! You can find out more about the Write Now! Prize on their website.


Book Review: Stitch Head by Guy Bass


Their description:

In the maze-like dungeons of Castle Grotteskew, the frightfully insane Professor Erasmus conducts his bizarre experiments on living things. His very first creation has been long forgotten – a small, almost-human creature, known only as Stitch Head. Poor Stitch Head has spent years vying for attention amongst a menagerie of freakish monsters. When a travelling circus ringmaster, Fulbert Freakfinder, promises to make him a star, Stitch Head wonders whether there is another life for him. But first he has to catch the professor’s latest creation – a monstrous three-armed creature that’s just smashed its way to freedom . . .

  Stich Head front cover

My thoughts:

I loved this book. The beautiful, creepy, detailed illustrations in the first few pages gave me a very good feeling – then when I was immediately gripped at the first page, and I warmed to lonely Stitch Head straight away, I knew I’d found something special.

The monster characters are fantastic, scary-funny like a Tim Burton film. The story is fast-paced and action-packed, and has depth and a heart, witty language and snappy dialogue.

If you like the sound of mad scientists, magic potions, spooky castles, friendly monsters, circuses and fearless heroines and “curtain-covered carriages trundle-clopping across lamplit cobbles,” then this book is for you.

Aside: I read this at the same time I was reading my mum’s new book ‘Brilliant Psychology,’ so I kept thinking that Stitch Head is suffering from anxious-avoidant attachment issues caused by neglectful parenting.

I will be reading more of Guy Bass’s books!  Am going to his website now to find more…

>In love with a fictional vampire again… FML


>I have lost 3 days of my life.

Friends, food and sleep have all turned into mere inconveniences in the way of my finishing a certain teen vampire series of books you might have heard of, and if you reached your hand in my head at the moment, all that would come out is mushy dribble.

Twilight Movie [Edward & Bella] - Wallpaper

Yesterday, I came across this entry in the popular ‘Millennial‘ social media site Fmylife :

“Today, my girlfriend dumped me proclaiming she wanted someone more like her “Edward”. I asked her who Edward was. She held up a copy her “Twilight” book. She was talking about a fictional vampire. FML”

I was in hysterics imagining this conversation, and I was still giggling as I fell asleep at 2am this morning after finishing ‘Eclipse.’ But the scary thing is, I have turned into that girl. I can entirely see her point.

I wonder how many relationships have fallen by the wayside in the path of Stephanie Meyer’s toxic romance myth-propagating? I think I’ll be ruined from any human romance for a good long while.