Chocolate, Writing Retreats, Unnerving Moaning and More!

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This weekend started in the best possible way. A friend messaged me on Facebook saying, “You have to get a copy of The Guardian today! There’s a special supplement on the Best New Children’s Books Summer 2017, and The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart is in it!”

And ahhhh! It was true:

I honestly can’t think of any better news to inspire me as I work on my edits for the next book in the series, my MG spies-and-fairies book (in which Aventurine, my fiery dragon-girl, takes a turn as the sidekick while Silke, her fabulously clever best friend, is the heroine of her own story).

Unfortunately, between school holidays, family holidays, and a really unfortunate series of M.E./CFS crashes, I’m not as far ahead in those edits as I’d hoped to be by now. So I’ve taken the radical (for me) step of planning an actual writing retreat next week for the first time in four years. The last time I did this, I booked a lovely bed & breakfast in Ludlow, England, and wrote 7,000 words in 2 days, which is HUGE for me. This time I’m taking a 3-day retreat instead of a 2-day one…and I’m not staying in a B&B after all because all the ones I looked at in Ludlow were booked up.

But! A really generous friend has offered me a place to stay, even though I’ve warned her I will be a terrible houseguest, since I’ll spend the whole time surrounded by spread-out manuscript pages, alternating typing/scribbling and moaning unnervingly through the walls. Luckily, she’s a writer, too, so she gets it. ;)

I will be bringing two VERY large boxes of chocolates along with me – one as a thank-you gift to my hosts, and one to fuel me through the edits. Chocolate will get me through to my deadline! I am determined!

Oh, and: I finally have a firm publication date for my adult romantic fantasy novella, Snowspelled – September 4th! (I’d finished all of the edits on this one a few months ago while I was waiting for my MG spies-and-fairies edits to arrive, but I didn’t have a firm pub date for it until now.) The gorgeous cover (with art by Leesha Hannigan, whose work I love) will be revealed on The Book Smugglers next Thursday (at about the same time that the pre-order links go up online), and in the meantime, you can read the jacket copy, add it on Goodreads – and if you’re a book blogger/reviewer, you can contact me now to get an e-ARC immediately!

Even if you’re not a book blogger/reviewer, if you are a newsletter subscriber, you’ll get the chance to win an early review copy in my July newsletter. Just sign up here.

This week I’ll be working intensely on my edits, petting Pebbles, and, let’s face it, drinking a lot of hot chocolate. Good luck to you guys with all of your own goals! :)


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