May 20, 2019

Welcome to the Bad Luck Lighthouse

I'm thrilled to welcome you to a brand new adventure The Bad Luck Lighthouse which will be out on July 4 2019.

In spite of the title, I've actually had a great deal of good luck with this book:
  • It has another awesome illustration from the brilliant Matt Saunders. How gorgeous is that cover?
  • It has the same great editorial team at publisher Chicken House that led to so many fabulous reviews for The Last Chance Hotel.
  • Not every author gets to write a sequel with characters they love and I am pleased that this returns to the same world as featured in The Last Chance Hotel. You can join Seth and his cat Nightshade and his magical friend, Angelique, as they get to tackle another case for the magical police MagiCon and help to solve it along with Inspector Pewter.
Over the last few years, I've been excited to share with you my writing and publishing journey - from winning the Times / Chicken House Fiction Prize, to printing of the book, publication, and the complicated, bewildering but always rewarding world of being an author. It has been an amazing journey to where children are reading and enjoying your book - and telling you about it!

Along the way, this has involved wonderful window displays in Waterstonesincredible support from readers, schools and independent booksellerstranslations of Seth and Nightshade into other languages - and even music inspired by the characters themselves.

So enough about me being excited, I hope others will get excited about the next part of Seth and Nightshade's story. Here's a taster of what is to come:

"In uncovering the mystery of The Last Chance Hotel, Seth has discovered a dazzling world of magic and is determined to prove himself.

But he and Nightshade get embroiled in the latest MagiCon case of ghostly goings on at the remote Snakesmouth Lighthouse owned by the eccentric Mina Mintencress.

When Mina is murdered, Seth must work out if the vengeful ghost of Soul Snakesmouth has really returned. Because if this time magic is responsible, it’s a darker and even more disturbing magic that even Seth ever knew existed.

Seth and Nightshade must use all their best detective and magical skills to solve this mystery. Can they unlock the key to the hauntings and unmask a sinister sorcerer . . . before it’s too late?"

The book is published on July 4, and I really want to say a big 'thank you' for having had such a brilliant publishing experience and the chance to write a sequel.

Here's where you can pre-order your copy:

May 10, 2019

A bold and brilliant experiment with teaching english

Back in November last year, I visited the inspiring Joseph Cash Primary School in Coventry. It turned out that they had based an entire term's English language teaching on my book, and when I arrived at the school, I definitely got the rock star author treatment!

The whole school oozed a love and an excitement of reading (they even do read-aloud story sessions with guests called 'Cashanory' - how brilliant is that?)

So how thrilled was I to discover that Joseph Cash has been shortlisted for the TES School Awards for the category of "English Team of the Year"!

Obviously this is nothing to do with my book (!) and everything to do with the passion, enthusiasm and love of literature that led them to do this big, bold experiment in inspiring english teaching. So imaginative and bold to choose to do all of this with a book by a debut author as well.

They are one of the most inspiring schools I’ve had the privilege to visit in their approach to teaching. The team is brilliant, as are their lovely and lucky students!

Thank you so much for involving me in a wonderful journey with your fabulous school. And the very, very best of luck with the award!