I’m working on NORTH OF PORTER because I want to make sure it’s the best YA book in the history of YA books, the sort you can’t put down, even when you’re crossing the road. Lawsuits will not work on me, because the judge and the lawyer will be too busy enthralled by the adventures of Porter Minter, the lead character of thsi classic in the making.
Bell Baxter High School
I was in Fife on Tuesday at Bell Baxter High School, which was fabulous. One of the perks of being an author is that I get to travel to wonderfully far flung locations in buses and trains. Honestly, you can’t underestimate the power of a great bus or train. It’s a good thing to be able to relax and sit back….listening to music and seeing the world fly by, green grass into shimmering water.
I wasn’t nominated for the Bell Baxter Book Award (this time) but the standard was really high. The Fault In Our Stars won – a good book. Let me tell you that Bell Baxter High School has one of the best canteens ever, because they do pasta pots. I mean that’s very cutting edge for someone who had to endure damn custard and sponge cake for my high school lunch. In the morning there was a writing workshop, where a contact popped out of my eye. Heck, I’ve swiped at people with my mike stand in the past so a leaping contact is nothing! Then there was a quick performance of my one man show in the fabulous library. It was such a wonderfully modern library, the sort we should be proud to have and the kind we need more of in this country, not less.
I always get so annoyed when I hear about librarians being made redundant. Do you think Buffy could have saved the world from vampires without Giles and the school library?
So it was a wonderful day and I enjoyed making new fans/friends and being the punkiest punk YA author ever.
The Revenge Of Kirkland Ciccone
I don’t talk to my brother anymore but I recently met him on the bus, which wasn’t the great experience, but you can’t travel to lovely places all the time. Sometimes you need to travel locally, past your his house where he waits with his bus pass. Ignoring him in favour of the new Vaselines album, I sat stony faced with my eyes on the window.
Do you know that thing where people bring overloaded shopping bags onto the bus? They struggle and by accident something falls out of the bag and rolls down the bus?
That happened with him.
I was sitting at the front when I heard something rolling towards me. It struck my ankle and I winced slightly, looking down to find…a can of Asda Mixed Fruit! The value stuff that will be your five-a-month when you pour it onto your cake on a Sunday night. Of all the people that tin could hit, it hit me, which meant it had been rolled at me on purpose.
“Weird!” I thought. I think he was trying to get my attention.
I kicked the can down the bus until it dropped down the steps by the door.
This revenge was minor but sometimes a little goes a long way.
Edinburgh International Book Festival Schools Programme Launch!
After Yay! YA+ – which was a huge success thank goodness, but I’ll get to that later – I went into Edinburgh with fellow authors Linda Strachan and Alex Nye. It was so much fun! We were shattered but I think it’s important to go to these things, especially when they happen so irregularly. The launch took place at the ARTSPACE in Edinburgh, and let me tell you…blood orange juice is SO tasty…I was having my Edward Cullen-without-constipation-face moment as I drank it. I met up with some old friends (“Hello Niall!”) and I was namechecked in a speech at the beginning of the launch. I shouldn’t have screamed with joy but I’m so psychotically enthusiastic about these things. It ended with me and Alex being locked outside the venue when we were heading for our taxis. We looked at each other and burst out laughing at the same time.
It was fabulous.
Scotland’s first book festival dedicated to YA fiction happened and I loved every stressful second of it. I raised the money, I put it together, I had a team of amazingly talented people from Cumbernauld Theatre who helped me so much, they’re just the best people in the world, they really did everything. I even organised a bookshop via Scotia Books from Kilsyth. They’re fab too.
Here is how the event went courtesy of several influencial bloggers:
https://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/yay-ya-2/ (Yes, I was noisy but in my defence I had big clumpy boots on!)
And I was on STV News as you can see from the shots above this sentence.
I’m in the Falkirk Herald this week so look out for me!