I'm Penny and I live in Exeter. I retired last November after a lifetime as a solicitor in child protection and youth justice. Not surprisingly, maybe, my books tend to focus on kids in trouble or difficulty. I was also a ChildLine counsellor till they shut our SW base (grrrr!) Somehow I'm not finding as much time to write as I thought I would and, paradoxically, think this will improve next month when life gets busy again with several new ventures.
What are you working on at the moment?
I've got several things on the go at the moment:
1) Definitely the last rewrite of an 8-12 novel that has done the rounds for a while.
2) 1st revision of a YA novel about gangs.
3) 1st draft of an 8-12 novel set in England after the waters have risen.
Several more things are going round in my head but will have to wait.
I am very interested (having worked with quite a few) in young people whose reading age lags behind their chronological age. I would love to write a series aimed at 9-11 but with reading age more 6-8 and particulalry targeting boys. I've got a set of characters and a basic setting but I need a plausible and exciting hook to hang the series on and that hasn't come to me yet.
If you had to recommend just one children's book you've read in the last year, what would it be?
'Numbers' by Rachel Ward
What is the most important thing you learned about writing or illustrating this year?
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