And it's been fun. But I've come to a point where I feel I ought to hang up my blogging trousers, for a while at least. So to say goodbye for now, I've rather self-indulgently trawled through my back catalogue of ABBA posts and picked out some of my favourites. I hope you'll enjoy revisiting some of them with me.
Five Go To Therapy Together (August 2008) - in which I argue that the Kirrin cousins belong to literature's most dysfunctional family. This was my second post for the blog, and I was rather chuffed to overhear someone discussing it at a Society of Authors conference a couple of months later
Sense and Sensibilities (June 2010) - musings about some of the things publishers will and won't accept these days
What's Wrong With Ed Vaizey? (May 2012) - you knew this one was going to be on the list, didn't you? A song I wrote about the now former and not-at-all-missed Minister for Ignoring the Ongoing Crisis in the Library Service
We Warned You This Would Happen (November 2013) - I got a bit cross in this one. It's about political interference in education
A Confession of my Own (December 2013) - this was my response to one of the most important posts we've ever had on the site, Liz Kessler's Let's Get This Out There from the previous month
The Reasons for Signing (March 2014) - why I think book signings are an essential part of school visits
Why Do We Believe These Things? (April 2014) - over two years later, this one keeps popping up on my Twitter feed, usually because the excellent Let Books Be Books campaign has pointed someone to it. It's about the so-called 'accepted truths' that seem to be handed down through the publishing industry like oral history
The Great OUP Pig Scandal (January 2015) - remember when people got cross about publishers "banning pigs"? This was my take on it
Copyright - It's a Piece of Cake (April 2015) - I'm pretty proud of this one, in which I attempt to explain copyright as simply as possible
And finally, it seems appropriate that I leave you with the song I wrote for what was, as far as we know, the world's first online children's literature festival, held on this site over three days in July 2011 to celebrate our third anniversary.
John's recent books include his first poetry collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies, illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones (Otter-Barry Books), and Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Great Big Story Nickers, which is the latest in his Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face series, illustrated by David Tazzyman and published by OUP.
His first picture-book, There's a Pig Up My Nose, illustrated by Laura Hughes, will be published by Egmont early next year.
First Draft, the author band featuring John, Jo Cotterill and Paul and Helen Stickland, will next be performing at the Bradford Roots Festival in January 2017.