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…

Amy’s review of my workshop

Here’s a review of my workshop from one of Bruton School for Girls’ very talented writers (and clear connoisseur of author talks).  Thanks, Amy, and keep up the good writing. On the 7th of June 2013, Sarah Naughton came to the school to tell Seniors 1, 2 and 3 about her book, “The Hanged Man Rises”….

Changelings and how to avoid them

In my research for Book 2 (which is now in the final editing stage!) I’ve learned some valuable 17th century tips to prevent your child being exchanged for an enchanted block of wood or a senile fairy, otherwise known as a ‘changeling’. 1.  Lay the father’s clothing over the cradle. 2.  Never let the fire…

Back to school…

Just finished a talk and workshop at my old school, Bruton School for Girls.  They didn’t laugh at my jokes but they did come up with some brilliant plot ideas: like the mad scientist who makes his fortune splicing together different animal species, and then plans to do the same to his nephews, or the…

Writing Character

I hope you’ll find the Hanged Man Rises packed with rich and interesting characters; creepy Mrs Rancer, wild Stitcher, fragile Lily. But the one I had most trouble with was Hannah, the sassy, infuriating, fiercely loyal 12 year old sister of my protagonist, Titus. She didn’t start off that way. This is how she was…