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Top Ten Joys of Writing Character

Creating and writing character is the breath and blood of good stories. As Will Storr says in The Science of Storytelling, “It’s people, not events,that we’re naturally interested in. The plight of specific, flawed and fascinating individuals that make us cheer, weep and ram our heads into the sofa cushion. The surface events of the […]

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How to Use Objects to Develop Character

Part of my writing process for my new young adult novel Bea’s Witch: A ghostly coming-of-age story involved using objects to shape the plot and develop the book’s main character. In this video, I introduce some of those objects and talk about my process. Let me know if you’ve ever used objects as a writing […]

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Writing Extracts and Tips

Here are a couple of extracts from my books, an extract from one of my students’ anthologies, a creative writing idea and a Neil Gaiman quote. Do you think there are writing ‘rules’ that need to be broken?

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Michael Morpurgo Quote

I read this at a Michael Morpurgo exhibition at Leeds museum. Which books have moved you and made you think? “Michael’s fiction frequently portrays real events through the eyes of children or animals. By encouraging his young readers to engage emotionally with the experiences of his characters, Michael hopes they may develop the skills to […]

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An Extract from the Firebird Chronicles: The Basillica Isles

An extract from the Firebird Chronicles: They made their way along a dirt track that led through the heart of the makeshift encampment. Every so often, through the tarpaulins pulled between the shacks, Scoop caught a glimpse of the cathedral domes. The air was close, heavy with the smell of fried fish, sweet meats and […]

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Rise of the Shadow Stealers Review

“I would highly recommend Rise of the Shadow Stealers to anyone, young or old.Scoop and Fletcher are encouraged by their tutors and villagers to go forth and create their own story. This is a positive message which lends itself perfectly to empowering children to be able to make their own life choices. This book will […]

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An extract from the Firebird Chronicles

Wisdom, however, moved through the everglade like a butterfly tracking the scent of a rare flower. A little bird flitted ahead of her, darting from tree to tree. She ran her hand through a mass of blue buds, then stopped to smell a cup-shaped flower. It looked as if it had been set at a […]

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Gigan Ticks

An army of Gigan Ticks spilled from the Central Chasm. Black legs and bulbous bodies swarmed through the streets. The great arachnids scuttled along the cobbles, spinning sticky webs between the houses, climbing onto their roofs, ready to pounce.#FirebirdChronicles

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Performance Practical Tips & How-Tos

Page to Stage: Adapting a Book into a Play (Part 2)

The first stages of bringing my book, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, to the stage involved discussing the themes, simplifying the complexity of the book, writing, and re-writing. In this blog, I’ll talk about raising funds, planning, finding the team and starting rehearsals. In case you missed the first part of this post, you can read […]

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Performance Practical Tips & How-Tos

Page to Stage: Adapting a Book into a Play (Part 1)

Being an author and theatre director, I spend a lot of my time either writing about fictional worlds or bringing them to life on stage. The perfect combination? Adapting my own book into a play! I’m currently in the process of bringing my first book in The Firebird Chronicles series, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, to the […]