World Book Day – a plea
This World Book Day (March 1) you can do something different AND help out a child who really needs it. You see, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to World Book Day costumes. Yes, I know parents are busy and that sometimes it might be easier to stick your kid […]
Jings! Have ye seen the new Broons book? It’s awfy!
Quick note: UK readers north of Tyne will know what a “Broons” book is. They’ll probably also be familiar with “Oor Wullie”. Both are comic strips that have been running since 1936 in the Scottish weekly newspaper, The Sunday Post, and republished in annual compilations. The latest one, though, is truly shocking. When I was a boy, […]
My new website!
Well, this is it! It’s a very personal thing, a website, I have discovered. I am almost as nervous about launching this as I am about a new book.
Yay! I won an award!
Oh God, is he boasting about that award? You’d think he’d won the Nobel Prize. No, not the Nobel Prize, but the Awesome Book Award, voted for by children in 46 schools across England’s southeast, and I couldn’t be happier that Time Travelling With A Hamster won. Apart from anything else, it was a fun evening. Each […]
Leo Baxendale, and how I nearly became a cartoonist
When I do school visits, the Q&A often includes the question: “If you had not been a writer, what would you have been” The answer, usually, is “a cartoonist”. (More accurately, I suppose, a cartoonist is what I would have liked to have been, rather than what I would have been.) The inspiration for this is Leo […]
World Book Day and the nicest school I have ever visited
I have now done two World Book Days as an author, and I always think back to the ones when my own two children (now 14) would dress up for school as a favourite book character. We did, among others, Angelina Ballerina (a fairly easy costume, that one, largely achieved with face-paint and a […]
The first copy!
Exactly a year ago, I was eagerly awaiting the appearance of Time Travelling With A Hamster in the shops. If you had asked me if there would be another book in a year’s time, I’d have said, “I hope so,” with little idea of what that would entail. In fact, I knew there would be another: I […]
“Blue Peter” and me
From the age of about six to twelve, one thing marked the passing days as surely as swimming with Dad on Saturday, church on Sunday, scouts on Friday, and that was – every Monday and Thursday on BBC-1 at 5.00pm – Blue Peter. Even the Blue Peter year had its own internal calendar: the lighting of […]
Accent mystery solved!
In my last post, I queried the accent given to the late Duke of Windsor by the actor Alex Jennings in the Netflix series “The Crown.’ A reader, Mr RT of New York, emailed an explanation for the apparent failure of the actor to reproduce faithfully the “received pronunciation” of the time, and to pronounce words […]
“Hamster” and the Geordie accent
No – obviously, hamsters don’t have a Geordie accent. It just made a good headline. But seeing as Time Traveling With A Hamster (note the absent extra “L”) was released in the US last week, I thought it would be helpful for the American readers to get an idea of how they speak in the […]