The Costa Party!

    Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Costa Book Awards party with my lovely agent, Eve White.  For those of you who dream of being a writer I’d like to say KEEP TRYING, because it really is an awful lot of fun.  It was a great party in many ways (free…

HMR made the Branford Boase Awards longlist

Here’s the blurb: The BBA was set up to reward the most promising new writers and their editors, as well as to reward excellence in writing and in publishing. The Award is made annually to the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first time novelist. Me and Venetia Gosling, my editor…

The Blood List – coming soon…

My new thriller for teens, set amidst the witch persecutions of the 1600s, is out 27th Feb.  Here’s the blurb… The year is 1646 and the country is gripped by wild tales of witches, murder and changelings.  Superstition has haunted Barnaby’s whole life, but when the beautiful Naomi catches his eye, dark rumours take hold…

HMR made the Sussex Longlist!

After losing out on the Costa to that Riddell bloke The Hanged Man Rises has been longlisted for the Sussex ABAs. The ABAs, or to give it its full name, The Sussex Coast Schools Amazing Book Awards, is a book award set up at the start of 2011 by a small group of school librarians from…

A poetic Interlude

It’s been a while since anything of interest has happened so here’s the blog equivalent of the music they play when you’re on hold. In honour of the 2013 city of culture, here is my favourite poem by my favourite poet: The Whitsun Weddings, by Philip Larkin That Whitsun, I was late getting away: Not till…

The Hanged Man Rises – Reviews

The Telegraph’s 100 Best Books for Christmas “Sarah Naughton’s acclaimed novel, set in the Victorian era amidst the crime ridden slums of backstreet London, where no-one is safe, particularly children. This is an absorbing tale of murder – child murder no less – and dark, brooding evil doings and characters aplenty.” Bookbabblers “A chilling and…

Vampire Babies

Here’s me chatting to the year 4 and 5 kids of the Hackney primary school I visited on Wednesday. They were a savvy bunch, and many more of them than usual survived the cull in my Victorian ‘It’s a Knockout’ game.  Several of them even chose the right Victorian career (pure collector*) that meant they…

My ghost

The Figment of my Imagination made another appearance today, while I was putting clothes away (see expert diagram): a small shadow at the edge of my vision. It seems to be becoming bolder. It all started a year or so ago when I began discovering long black hairs in the bathroom: 30 cms at least….

Getting shot of your changeling

I was going to tell you the best methods of getting rid of the fairy usurper in your house, but I decided to let Agnes, formidable nursemaid to The Blood List’s hero, Barnaby Nightingale, fill you in on the gruesome details (including poisoning it with foxglove tea – above).  The baby’s mum, Frances, is not…

10th Anniversary Derbyshire Bookbash

I’d been somewhat nervous about attending the Derbyshire Bookbash.  To the extent that when my son complained he was a bit hot at a fete the previous day I decided it must be heat stroke and I’d be totally irresponsible to leave him. Needless to say I was encouraged to go (the moment I boarded…

So, you think your kid brother’s a changeling

Disaster.  It seems that all your precautions have failed and your darling brother/sister/son/daughter has been exchanged for a changeling.  But how to be sure that the puling, wizened creature in the cradle really is a fairy usurper? Here are some sure-fire 17th century changeling detection methods to set your mind at rest. 1.  Place hops…