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Demystifying Mysteries

I have always enjoyed mystery stories. My first published book in 2007 was about a detective (The Dragon Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Cats). I went on to write three more books in the series. Over the past twelve years, I have written a number of mysteries, involving a fair few detectives investigating […]

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The Fictional Detective – Blue Peter

I am excited and delighted to announce that Blue Peter have asked me to host this year’s online mystery, kicking off on Thursday 28th February and culminating on Thursday 7th March, World Book Day. Last year this was hosted by Murder Most Ladylike author, Robin Stevens and involved BP presenter Radzi having his wrestling costume […]

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Words and Pictures

My son is in Year 4 and currently has one of those teachers you remember for the rest of your life. Ms. Knight is clever, kind and inspiring. My wife and I have been especially impressed with how she has generated a real buzz about reading. She has a small selection of her own books, […]

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Books, Brands & Celebrities

I would like to thank everyone who has contacted me in support of this piece but, in truth, I did not enjoy writing it. I like writing children’s fiction. That’s my job. However, many children’s authors now find themselves in a peculiar situation of feeling like our jobs are being stolen by a small selection of rich & famous people. […]

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Joke Book, Real Shops

I have just completed a mini #JokeBookShopTour to publicise The Daily Joker (co-written with Rachel Delahaye & illustrated by Nigel Parkinson). The tour, which I set up myself, took in three excellent Children’s Bookshops. There really is something glorious about Children’s Bookshops. There are so many books in the world and yet, if you look at any supermarket book section (or, indeed, a good […]

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Let’s talk about death, baby…

I have a school visit coming up in a couple of weeks and I have been informed that some of the parents have concerns over the content of The Thornthwaite series and The Considine Curse. (Weirdly, Death or Ice Cream? has not been mentioned.) The teacher has asked that I send a brief sentence or two outlining […]

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On Blackheath

Last weekend I stood on a stage with my friend (and illustrator of my picture books, Garry Parsons.) Garry drew amazing pictures while I messed about with my new loop pedal & played my trumpet. It was part of On Blackheath, which is super little festival and highly recommended. Below is a tiny glimpse of how it sounded.  

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KidZania Alien Event

This is a selection of some of my favourite aliens created as part of my alien making workshop in the library of KidZania. It was a really fun afternoon so thank you to everyone who came along and thanks to KidZania for having me, to Leilah for organising and to Debbie the librarian for rounding […]

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Summer of Fun, Thanks Everyone!

This summer’s appearances have included Latitude Festival, Hertfordshire LitFest, RHS Malvern Festival, Wychwood Festival, Blythe Hill Festival,  Camp Bestival and Greenman Festival. These have been a mix of solo performances and ensemble shows, exploiting the multitudinous talents of Steve May (illustrator),  Gemma Hastilow (illustrator), James McGowen (bass), Matthew Downing, (guitar & melodica), Daniel & Oliver Downing (acting & falling off the stage), Rob Alder (angelic singing & rock guitar), Kezia Burrows (demonic over-acting & singing), […]

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Greenman 2018

This is clip from this year’s performance at Greenman Festival in the Little Folk area, in the Sea Dragon tent. The challenge was to write the story: The Steampunk Pirates & The Lost City of Atlantis. Two kids had walked in with scary masks they had just made in another area. They were instantly recruited as performers. […]

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