I've almost finished updating and re-publishing my late 90s thriller for 9-12 year old girls: TWICE TIMES DANGER. Most of the updating involved technology. Feisty young girls, complex families, greedy, silly adults and Mafiosa-style villains have always been with us, but our ability (and desire) to communicate wherever and whenever does affect both me, and the characters in my stories. I've just finished reading Hilary Mantel's WOLF HALL, with all its political complexities, but no other means of communication apart from the spoken and written word. How profoundly has email, mobiles and social networking changed us, and is changing us as human beings? I really want to explore this.
It's been Monsoon season here in London. Some of my green things are loving it, but some are not. I love the visual drama of rainstorms, the building-up of clouds and that special smell you get when it rains after a long drought (not applicable this time in our strange non-summer).
At the weekend I went to an exhibition of picture book illustrations - amazing stuff, and am tempted to buy one. I've always loved picture books, but I have a special interest in them at present, because my first picture book, ONE COOL MOUSE, will be coming out later next year with Little Tiger Press (the illustrator, so far, has not been chosen). And so many people have said this, but I'll say it again - writing a picture book text that works is challenging, almost on a Haiku level.
And talking pictures, I really enjoyed the recent ABBAlitFest, but was disappointed not to receive a single picture entry for my under-sevens competition (and I'd reserved a special place on my website for the two winners). If the litFest happens next year, I hope that will change.