I am two months late with this newsletter... apologies for that. We are now nicely settled into our new house and loving living in Cambridge. I had never believed all that stuff about the rain in Manchester but it is true that the high East Anglian skies are very different from what I've been used to and the Sahara-type dryness of the area, which is causing distress to farmers and gardeners, is a bit of a novelty. I have to water things in our garden and the grass is looking very dry and yellow but the sunshine and brightness are wonderful. The spring was spectacularly beautiful and the summer is looking to be pretty good too. We're getting to know the area, we're making contact with old friends and meeting new ones and enjoying every new experience. We know our way around the bus network and the trains and the shops and are delighted with our move, especially because we can see our children and grandchildren much more frequently.
I've started working again. A picture book called DO YOU FEEL SLEEPY? (a book of lullabies) will be published by Piccadilly Press. This will be illustrated by Sophy Williams and I'm very pleased about that as she's someone I admire greatly. She is just the right artist for this book.
I am hours away from typing THE END on another story too. This one is for slightly older children and I hope to write more about that (I am not even sure what it's going to be called!) in the next newsletter. Then, when that's done, I will turn my mind to an adult novel that I've been working on for rather too long. Watch this space!
I ought perhaps to say here that on the front page of this website is a link to books of mine which are available on Kindle for those of you who would like to download them. There are quite a few of them, I'm glad to say.
I visited the Cambridge International School in February. It's a lovely place, more like a large private house than a school and I talked to the children about my work. They were also very interested to talk about other writers and especially pleased to hear about Henrietta Branford, with whom I corresponded for a while before her very sad death. They'd been reading her books and loving them, and I was happy to see that. Here are some photographs of the event. [Click on the photos to see larger versions]
Thanks to Harriet Sturdy, the Head Teacher and to Ruth Parsons and Thespina Coombe who looked after me while I was there.
In April, Heffer's Children's Bookshop in Cambridge invited me to read my new picture book MY BALLET DREAM on a Saturday afternoon. That was a super occasion and I'm most grateful to Kate and the others in the shop for making this such a pleasant occasion. We had pink cakes and pink balloons and everyone who came bought a book or sometimes two and I was thrilled to have such a good launch for this title. [Click on the photo to see a larger version]
In the last newsletter, I mentioned the Lancashire Book of the Year award. The judging has now taken place and a book I reviewed last time (Keren David's WHEN I WAS JOE) won the prize. The Year 9 pupils on the judging panel were lively, intelligent and articulate and Keren's book was a very popular winner. In June, I'll be travelling up to Preston again for the prize giving ceremony in the Council Chamber and celebratory dinner at UCLAN and that will be good fun, I know. Lots of the shortlisted writers will be attending and it'll be great to meet them.
A future event now: on Saturday June 18th, as part of the Women's Word Festival at Lucy Cavendish College, I'm doing a creative writing workshop for anyone keen to write books which appeal to teenagers. Tickets are £25.00. The following weekend (June 24/26th) is full of marvellous events and brilliant writers so do check out the website. Ticket prices for most talks are about £7.00 and you can also go to a Literary Dinner with Sandi Toksvig and a Buffet Supper with Wendy Cope. It's well worth seeking out this Festival if you're anywhere near Cambridge. My only regret is that I'll be up in Preston, see above, and therefore won't be able to go to nearly as many things as I'd like to, but hope to be able to listen to some writers on Sunday.
Enjoy barbecues, sandcastles and picnics as well as all the books you can get through on your sunlounger! And do email me on adele @ adelegeras.com