At present I am mostly skulking in my writing cave. Occasionally I’m allowed out, for important stuff, like delivering a child to university, or buying food, but mostly it’s an unrelenting slog of looking at the screen, crying, writing words, deleting them, banging head against brick wall and demanding reassurance from long-suffering friends and family.
Luckily I have to deliver some sort of first draft (brace yourself, patient and wodnerful editor) by early October. But I have also got a lot of other work to do as well. And another book to finish, ideally by the end of October.
Anyway, I will be abandoning my cave at least twice during October to come and meet people and talk and listen and (hopefully) sign some books. I hope to see you at one or both of these events.
First, next weekend, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, I’m taking part in the YA Weekender mini-festival at the South Bank Centre in central London. At 4.45pm Alex Wheatle, Sam Osman and I are going to be talking to Nikesh Shukla about identity, belonging, diversity, migration and community. Or something like that. The afternoon programme sounds fabulous – with authors David Owen, Sarah Benwell, James Dawson, Surella Stevens and Lisa Williamson as well as award-winning bloggers Andrew Hall, Lucy Powrie and Casey Ann. If I wasn’t on deadline to finish a book I’d be going on Saturday as well, to hear the likes of Samantha Shannon, Sarah Govett,Paul Magrs and Julia Bell;
Bridget Minamore, CJ Daugherty, Melinda Salisbury and Holly Bourne; Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison, Barry Cunningham and Siobhan Curham. Details here
Then on WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28 get yourself to Uxbridge for YAShot, a day of events featuring YA and MG writers organised by the very amazing Alexia Casale, with Waterstones Uxbridge and Hillingdon Borough libraries. For months now the UKYA world has watched Alexia toil away, setting up a brilliant programme, getting funding from the Arts Council and working to make this event not just a one off but also a year-long initiative for the borough. More than 70 authors are taking part! I’m on a panel at the Civic Hall at 12.45 talking with Cat Clarke and Emma Haughton on Crime and Punishment: Fictional wrongdoing and human rights Luckily we have Laura Jarratt to chair us/keep us on track/explain what we’re meant to be talking about. Anyway, the whole thing sounds fabulous, I want to go to each and every session, and will be there the whole day. Tickets and details here.
After that, it’s back in my box – I have a musical to work on.