"Thanks Molly. I'm just girding my loins to send out some queries so it's very timely. I wondered, though, if you've got anything else to say about the 'all about me' section in the query letter:what would indicate to you…"
"That was spooky! Me and Maureen were looking at your profile, and she said 'why are you not on Louise's friends list'. Then ping, your message arrived!
We are up to all sorts, it's hard to fit the day job in. The cover for the…"
For years I worked as an academic, measuring how long it takes to read words and finding out exactly where our eyes look when we are reading them (honestly, you can get paid to do that). Then I decided I'd have more fun creating stories for people to read than spying on people when they are doing the reading!
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently working on:
- A teen historical novel: Against the horrifying backdrop of pestilence and bigotry a young girl fights against her reputation as the plague-bearing Pest Maiden.
- An eco-crusader spy adventure series for 9-12 year olds.
- A second world war set story which was supposed to be for 9-12s but is refusing to stay that way - will have to wait and see how it evolves.
If you had to recommend just one children's book you've read in the last year, what would it be?
David by Mary Hoffman. It's the kind of book that gives you plot envy - it's the fictionalised story of the boy who was the model for Michaelangelo's statue 'David' - and is a masterclass in how to make historical novels accessible and exciting for teens, and how to do sexual attraction in a way that's realistic for teens but keeps the gate-keepers happy.
What is the most important thing you learned about writing or illustrating this year?
1. Just keep going. Write, write, edit, rewrite, write and write again (which i guess isn't such good advice for illustrators) and..
2. The other writers in scooby are really lovely! (which does apply to illustrators too!). They keep me going.
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That was spooky! Me and Maureen were looking at your profile, and she said 'why are you not on Louise's friends list'. Then ping, your message arrived!
We are up to all sorts, it's hard to fit the day job in. The cover for the first Florence and the Meanies book is nearly ready, so will be up on the Ning soon :)
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