Saturday, 23 May 2009


Those of you who know me will be aware of the chickens I keep at the bottom of my garden. I can't claim to be any great nurturer of flower, fish or fowl but I do like life to surround me.

Since the arrival of Sexy Sam last year, we reckoned that the eggs would probably be fertilized and so we slipped a few under a broody bantam. The process is amazing. for three or four weeks, the hen barely moves, barely eats or drinks. It generates huge amounts of heat for such a small bird. It rolls the eggs around to ensure they keep warm throughout. Inside each egg an embryo grows into a chick.

After three to four weeks, the chick pecks and wriggles and forces its way through the solid shell to the outside world. It's a struggle and there are no guarantees at the end of it.

It's a slow, precarious process. Miraculous and natural.

I think most things worth having take time to grow and come to fruition. As writers we spend so much time waiting for decisions, eager for the chance to move on t the next stage.

Each advance (no pun intended) brings you back to where you started. You finish your manuscript after many months or even years of graft and send it out. If you are lucky you get some constructive criticism back. You revise your work and send it out. You get your agent who suggests some revisions. You revise your work. It gets sent out. You get your book deal. Your editor suggests some revisions before it is published...

But each revision is a tap at the shell. Something cracking the barriers. Something breaking out into the big, wide world.

Keep your dream safe and warm. Nuture it.

Hatch it.

Actually, what I wanted to say was, "Look at these keeeyoot wickle chicky-wickies, aren't they all fluffy and wuverwy?"
but that would have been unseemly for a thoughtful chap like myself.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A weekend and a half!

I've been a rubbish blogger recently. I apologise. But things have been going on!

Last weekend I finally got down to London to meet the lovely Ele Fountain, my editor from Bloomsbury. They fed me pasta and chocolate ice cream, what a joy! Oh and we talked about Mortlock and went back to the office and met some of the team who were lovely too. Being a total mollusc when it comes to personal organisation, I forgot to take my camera! Ho hum.

Then it was on to the launch party for The Devils Kiss. Such a brilliant event, children in fancy dress, crusader re-enactments, sword fights, book signings and booze! It was a great chance to meet up with everyone.

The only pic I managed to get was of Stevyn Colgan and I looking intelligent... hmmm.

Then after that I zoomed up to Pendrell Hall for the SCBWI writer's retreat. Loads done, brilliant but lots more to go.

Time for a blog break methinks...revisions galore!