It's been a busy month and a bit. Since 2016 started, I've done a little bit of everything that my life as an author involves.
- I delivered the second draft of my latest book, Cuckoo to my editor (she liked it, hurray!), discussed the draft cover (I liked it, hurray!) and talked about publicity for when it is launched in August.
- While my editor was working on Cuckoo, I went back to my historical novel, the one I've been working on for three years in between other books. I'm up to chapter 8 of what I hope will be the final redraft.
- I also worked on the script for what I hope will be the final redraft of the musical version of my book Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery.
- I'm a Visiting Lecturer at City University, working on the Creative Writing and Publishing MA. I've been setting up mentoring sessions with students and reading early versions of their major projects.
- YA writer Sophia Bennett and I are teaching an evening class in Writing for Teens at City Lit. I've taught two sessions so far, on characterisation and voice.
- As Patron of Reading at Highgate Wood School, I talked to our wonderful local bookshop, Pickled Pepper books last year and persuaded them to let the students design and make a window for the first ever Highgate Wood Book Award. Librarian Kate Ereira put it all into action, and I went to the school to look at the amazing designs, and then along to the shop to see the window created. Every time I go past I feel incredibly proud, of the school and the students and of being part of the Patron of reading scheme.
- My book Salvage was up for two awards, which meant two ceremonies - the Red Book Award in Falkirk and the Southern Schools Book Award in Brighton. It didn't win either, but I had a great time at both events - and at the SSBA, Chris Riddell drew me, and Aidan from Salvage.
- I spoke at Nottingham High School and signed lots of books.
- Juno Dawson and I did an event for LGBT History month at a day for schools and families organised by Sue Sanders at the Museum of London. We talked about our books This is Not a Love Story and All of the Above, and writing diversity from inside and outside.
- I filed my tax return.
When I was first published, in January 2010, I had no idea that my life would expand to include all of this. I had no idea that an author's life would be so varied, involve meeting so many people, and travelling as well.
The battle, as always, is to make all this work pay. The bonus is that I enjoy all of it. Except the taxes.
I do wonder though - is it unusual to have so many things going on, all at once? Do other writers stick to one project at a time? And could this be why I feel exhausted all the time?
|Creating the window at Pickled Pepper Books.|