Australian writers · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · prizes and awards · rereading

Your First Favourite Author

I’ve briefly mentioned Robin Klein on this blog before, but today is her 81st birthday and so I feel she deserves a post of her own. She was the first author I ever wrote to (way back in 1986) and her friendliness and openness made me completely believe that a writing life was possible. There’s… Continue reading Your First Favourite Author

authors · children's books · prizes and awards · rereading

Revisiting ‘Dear Nobody’ by Berlie Doherty

I simply wanted to write a book which would be interesting to teenagers. I never want to write a message or a moral in my books – I don’t think that’s a novelist’s job. If I can write a strong story that moves my readers, then that is as much as I want to do… Continue reading Revisiting ‘Dear Nobody’ by Berlie Doherty

author interview · children's books · Favourite writers · meet the author · prizes and awards

bookbybook 11: Anne Fine

I’m thrilled to kick off this second series of interviews with fabulous authors who have written widely, across different age groups and in different genres, over many years – in short, writers who’ve made a writing life not only work but thrive. And I couldn’t be more thrilled than I am to begin by featuring… Continue reading bookbybook 11: Anne Fine

prizes and awards

What Can We Learn from the Man Booker Prize Shortlist?

Being shortlisted for such an eminent prize as the Man Booker makes its authors leaders in their field – in some people’s eyes! – so we can all learn from them, can’t we? Helpfully, Saturday’s Guardian gave each of them space to talk about the inspiration for each of their novels. What they wrote were… Continue reading What Can We Learn from the Man Booker Prize Shortlist?

children's books · prizes and awards · rereading

Joan Aiken: Many Happy Returns!

‘Indeed, a most remarkable tale,’ the Marquess said silkily. ‘So, on the very night that you were to perform my errand, you will have me believe that by some bizarre coincidence, the curator’s grandson had already made off with the object?’ ‘That’s about it, gaffer. Beats cockfighting, dunnit, how these things comes about? The young… Continue reading Joan Aiken: Many Happy Returns!

authors · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · rereading

Welcome Back to the House …

Dame Penelope Lively has been a spokesperson for Penguin’s latest batch of A Puffin Book titles in which her 1974 novel, The House in Norham Gardens, appears. She is justifiably pleased to see her book reissued for new readers on a list which was the bedrock of children’s reading when her own children (she is… Continue reading Welcome Back to the House …

children's books · classics · Favourite writers · prizes and awards · rereading

Forty Years On

Every book Jan Mark wrote, and everything she said, was a lesson for me. And she was willing to share because she was also a brilliant teacher. Visits to her house were long and full of good wine and food and conversation. I miss her now she’s gone but I still have nearly all her… Continue reading Forty Years On