Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I WON!!!! Wahoo!

Well, then.  Isn't that crazy.  I won.

I'll repeat that, in case you weren't paying attention: I WON!!!!

The Scottish Children's Book Awards took place on Wednesday 5th March and yours truly (that's right, me!) won the Older Readers 12-16 category!!!!  38,000 pupils across Scotland voted and they decided that they liked Ferryman the most.  Which is absolutely AWESOME as I was up against some seriously tough competition.  Diana Hendry (The Seeing) has got loads of experience and Barry Hutchison (The Book of Doom) had already won twice before.  

The whole day was fantastic.  The ceremony took place at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow (which, to my shame, despite having lived just two miles away, I'd never been to) and we started with some pictures.  There's a great shot of us cross-legged on the floor (so glad I wore my jeans!) with kids jumping up and down behind us.  It was terrifying - I was expecting an eight year old child to come crashing down on my shoulders any second.  But... the picture that I look best in, is this one:

Displaying AP_ScottishChildren'sBookAwards1.JPG

It was taken by Alan Peebles (hee hee, Peebles!!) who is now my new best friend.  I suspect air-brushing may have been involved ;)

After photos I was interviewed by the Daily Mail and Cally Uni radio and then there was a very quick lunch followed by book signing and then the awards ceremony itself.  This time the Older Readers were all by themselves so we had a quiz and announced the winners of the Review and Trailer competitions.  Well done guys!  There was a Peebles High School contingent in attendance and I have it on good authority that the event was a success and good fun.  Then... the moment arrived.  I'd practised my Oscar-face, but let's face it: if I hadn't won there might have been some swearing and chucking things and screaming of "fix!"  ;)

I had to do a speech.  Which I did.  Well, I squealed.  That counts, right?

Afterwards there was another book signing and Waterstones sold out of copies of Ferryman which was a) awesome and b) pooh-pants as some pupils couldn't get a signed copy.  Sorry, folks, although I did scribble my illegible sig on a few bookmarks and scraps of jotter paper.  

So there you are.  It was a very exciting day and I can now say that I am the Scottish Children's Book Awards winner 2013.  Can't say better than that. xxx

Claire x

Thursday, 27 February 2014

It's the final countdown!

EXCITEMENT!  It’s just SIX DAYS until the Scottish Children’s Book Awards winner is announced... and yours truly is a finalist in the Older Readers (12-16) category. 

The ceremony is taking place at the Mitchell Library on Wednesday 5th March – that’s one day before World Book Day.  Hope to see you there.  Cross your fingers for me and Ferryman!

In other VERY EXCITING NEWS!!!!  Bombmaker was released on 1st Feb and the reviews so far have been GREAT!  The link to the Guardian review is here:

And now... you can get Bombmaker on KINDLE too J

Claire x

Sunday, 29 September 2013


So... got cool news this weekend.  "Ferryman" has been long-listed for the UKLA Book Awards 2014.  For those of you not in the know, that the UK Literary Association dahling!  

Yay muchness :)

You can find the full list here:


"Ferryman" is in the 12 - 16+ category.  Apparently this is the only national awards judged entirely by teachers.  I don't know whether that improves my chances or not ;)

Claire x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Scary cool exciting Festival Stuff!

So.... Sunday was the festival.  That's right - the Edinburgh Book Festival.  And I was at it.  Not at it like attending and watching and listening and thinking intelligent thoughts at it; at it like I was stood up in front of people talking and supposed to be HAVING intelligent thoughts at it.

It was cool.

It was frigging terrifying!

To start off with we had to get the bus in because parking is pooh-bum-pants at the best of times in Edinburgh and when the festivals are on it's INSANE. It was Sunday so cue lots of me worrying about Sunday service and traffic jams and impromptu armageddons (yup, plural) that would prevent me getting there on time. Ergo we were there dead early. Chris took me for a bowl of chips because my talk was at dinner time (cue more freaking out: what if everyone just went for dinner and no one came to my talk???). Chips did nothing to calm me.

Post chips, Chris and I met Helen Boyle, my lovely editor from Templar who was looking after me. We went into the yurt and I was momentarily calmed by cake and famous person spotting. Ian Rankin was randomly walking around looking very nonchalant... but then I guess if you're as famous and awesome as Ian Rankin you don't need to get all freaked out by a little thing like performing at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  Me, on the other hand...

Anyway, before my talk I had a radio interview with Charlotte and Calum (one 'l' thank you very much) for East Lothian. They are pupils at Knox Academy in Haddington and I was very impressed with how professional they were. The hardest question was definitely picking the next song on their radio show. I panicked. Something cool, I thought. Something different but undeniably awesome.  I could not think of anything cool or undeniably awesome so I had to go with just something I liked - and the only song I could remember at all (barring Chesney Hawk's 'The One and Only' - which now I think about it might have got me vintage cool points...) was Kings of Leon 'Sex on Fire'. It's still a good song!

After the interview it was back to the yurt to 'chill out'. Ha. I was jiggling in the chair like a five year old who's been told they can't go to the bathroom. Then my techie person came to tell me there was a problem with my PowerPoint (WHAT?!?). Apparently I'd used some strange font they didn't have any EVERYTHING had moved about the page. On every slide. ARGH!!!! Fixed that, then they sent me back to the yurt (which I was beginning to really not like by this time - not the yurt's fault, all mine) to wait to get miked up so I could go down. That was at ten to six. I was still there at six. And five past six. And nine minutes past six.

Suffice to say by this time I was panicking.

Eventually we had to grab someone and I went down not miked to see a queue of slightly annoyed people (my charming brother Kenny being chief amongst them) looking at their watches, and then the closed door, and then the nervous looking person coming too slowly for their liking towards them: me. Oops. To be honest I was just so happy that there WAS a queue that their irritation kind of washed right over me.

Inside the 'Imagination Lab' we found out that the PowerPoint had messed up AGAIN so they were fixing it... again. I didn't actually get going until quarter past but that was okay because I was the last on in the lab that day so they said I could run on a wee bit. So I did.

The talk was fine... I think. I can't really remember anything that I said, but no one fell asleep or left, and they all tittered or smiled in the appropriate places and I managed not to swear. Success, I thought.  Afterwards quite a few people asked questions (none of them too evil) and then we went through to the Children's Book Shop and I did a wee signing where lots of the lovely folks from the talks bought a book.  Yay. 

After that, it was straight to the wine.  Lovely Helen (that is her new name) bought me a yummy gourmet burger and the wine drinking commenced. Unfortunately it couldn't last too long because of stupid Sunday Service so we had to RUN for the last bus and made it by twenty seconds. PHEW. And then I went home and went to bed.

Here endeth my Edinburgh Book Festival adventure.  It was way cool. But mostly terrifying.

The end.

Claire x

Friday, 9 August 2013

Edinburgh Book Festival - Sunday 11th August!

Almost time now...

I'll be in the Imaginarium this Sunday @ 6pm. Hope to see you there

Claire x

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Come and see me!

So... I'm doing an author event at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival!  I'll be in the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab at 6pm on Sunday 11th August. Tickets are a bargain (well, I think so ;)  ) at £4.50 and go on sale on Friday 28th June.  Please, please come along and listen, then stick around to say hello!


Should you be so inclined, you can also VOTE for me in the Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award 2013.  There's a chance to win all 42 of the short-listed books, including Ferryman!  You can do that, here:


Now... to plan what I'm going to say.  Eek!

Claire x

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ferryman's been shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards!!!


I am ridiculously excited!  Went along to a photocall and Glow event today to launch the awards.  I'm in the YA category with two other brill books: "The Seeing" by Diana Hendry and "The Book of Doom" by Barry Hutchison.  

You can find out more about the awards and the books shortlisted in the different categories here:


School children all across Scotland read all three and vote for their favourite.  Last year there were over 30,000 votes.  Wow!  Voting goes right up until February so hopefully I'll be able to get out and about and meet some of the readers and encourage them to VOTE FOR ME!

The winner will be announced at a big awards ceremony on the 5th March - the day before World Book Day.  

Can't believe Ferryman was nominated.  So chuffed :)  A couple of years ago I actually did the SCBA with my class!  We read all the books, voted, and went along to the ceremony.  It was brill.  

Okay... one more time.  SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Claire x