My Blog

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Exeter is a lovely city – though I’ll admit, I’m biased, because I live here. For those of you who have never visited, it’s a mish-mash of old and new; quaint cobbled alleyways and modern high streets, elegant Tudor buildings standing alongside contemporary housing. 

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I was really chuffed to be asked to be one of this year’s judges for the Amazon Christmas children’s writing competition. As part of it all, I’ll be heading into London this Friday to do some radio interviews alongside Ian Beck – who is an awesomely talented illustrator (and also illustrating the winner of the competition!).

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When you’re starting out as a writer, your focus is likely to be on getting the darned thing written. Writing a full-length book is hard work by anyone’s standards – and it’s a great achievement to finally make it to the end.

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What do you think of when someone says the word ‘witch’? For most, it’s the common image of a hook-nosed old hag in a pointy hat, cackling loudly while riding around on a broomstick – which believe it or not, is largely due to Durer’s paintings in the 15th century, which depicted old, hideous women with (you guessed it), enormously large noses.

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It was Stephen King’s 70th birthday yesterday. I’m aware he’s a writer that divides opinion (and I’ve had fierce debates about him with several friends over the years). However, love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s had huge influence over thousands of writers who have come after him… including myself.