I have a new book coming out! In two weeks!
If only it wasn’t too hot for me to actually get excited.
The UK is currently in the thrall of Actual Summer TM, aka a hideous sweaty nightmare in which we discover we didn’t want it to be sunny after all. I’m melting. The cat is melting. I’m trying to write about a boy going up a snowy mountain at Christmas, and I have regretful feelings about my creative choices.
We’re all also coping with a challenging time in the news. The Grenfell Tower fire was a horrific and, it seems, preventable tragedy and we have yet to know the number of lives claimed. It can be hard to find positives in the face of such grim devastation. But I’m proud to see the publishing community demonstrating its humanity and compassion once again. The Authors for Grenfell Tower auction is raising money for the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund.
If you’re an aspiring author, or a booklover – or know someone who is – then there are many incredible gifts on offer, from signed books to character names, manuscript critiques to short stories written just for you. The list of author contributors is extraordinary, from Abi Elphinstone to Stephanie Burgis, Sophia Bennett to Becky Albertalli, Matt Haig to Rowan Coleman. The offers from the other side of the industry are just as wonderful; from opportunities to get manuscript advice with leading agents like Molly Ker Hawn and Juliet Mushens, to feedback from Nosy Crow’s Head of Fiction Kirsty Stansfield, or PRH Children’s Editor Anthea Townsend. You can even win Dr Rick Dagless’s coat from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. (Though I regret telling you that, because I want it.)
If you have even a moment’s thought that you might not get what you paid for, I can promise, we’re all good for it. I offered a character name for the Authors for Refugees auction, and in just a few weeks ‘Ariadne Ocean’ will find herself right there on the bookshelves of the high street, and in readers’ homes – as a rather mysterious French-speaking classmate of the Superglue Sisters. And if, like me, you’ve watched news footage of the desperate situation of those left bereaved and homeless, and the remarkable efforts of our firefighters, and wondered, ‘What can I do?’ Well, here’s something.