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

Friday, 7 June 2013

Interview in Armadillo Magazine

I was interviewed just before "Ferryman" came out by the lovely Louise Ellis-Barrett at Armadillo Magazine.  It was one of my first interviews and I was really nervous... but according to the lovely things Louise says I must have made some sense!

We seem to have got our wires crossed a little at one point, though! My writing name is in honour of my dad - not in memory of him.  He's not quite kicked the bucket yet!  Sorry Dad! ;)

You can read the interview here:

(cue head scratching whilst I try to work out how to add a link...)

Ahah! Managed it :)

Claire x

Friday, 17 May 2013

Redraft Time!

I'm a bad blogger.  I have thoughts.  Ideas.  I come up with REALLY funny blogs.  But do I write them?  Um... no.  I don't know what happens.  Apparently good intentions do not a thriving blog make.

But my New ... eh... Spring Resolution is to be better.  Starting right now.

I blog therefore I am.  Or something like that.  ;)

Yesterday was a very exciting day.  "Bombmaker" edits have arrived.  Eek!  My lovely editor Helen told me not to panic, there weren't many, but I'm pretty sure she told me that last time and then when they came in I almost had a heart attack! This time though, really not many.

Which is scary.

With "Ferryman", I think I got my hand held.  Fix this, do that, change this bit.  So I did.  This time?  Suggestions.  Cue panic from me.  What if I do it wrong?  What if I make it worse?  What if my mind comes up with a big fat BLANK?  

I need chocolate.  

Aside from editing, I've been very very busy trying to find out how much action a Kindle Fire can handle before it dies from sheer exhaustion.  So far, so good.  Aside from my Kristen Ashley obsession (She's only for big girls and boys!) I've been discovering some awesome YA fiction.  I am ashamed to admit that I've only just discovered "Divergent"  by Veronica Roth... and I only found out about it through movie posters.  Oops.  You'd think being an English teacher I'd be up on this kind of thing.  Apparently not.  Next on my list is "City of Bones" and then... I need some hints.  I'm planning to sneak up on my pupils during library time and see what they're into.  Or maybe I'll just read "Harry Potter" one to seven for the... hmmm... twenty-fourth time.  It's been a while since Harry and I were reacquainted, and I haven't had the chance to play with my Hermione wand since I got back from the studio tour...

Claire x

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Three, two, one... LIFT OFF!

Well, that’s it.  Ferryman is out there.  Available to buy, be read and then... reviewed.


I have become an internet junkie (even more than before) and have discovered some cool new tricky things to do on Google search.  And I’ve Googled myself WAY more than is healthy. 

I can’t help it.  I’m addicted.

It’s like:  I spent months and months writing Ferryman, then an AGE getting an agent and a published.  Then hours and hours (and hours) editing it; then MONTHS waiting for it to come out.  It’s all come down to this, and there’s one, terrifying question to be asked.

Will anybody like it?

So I just can’t stop review hunting.  I check Goodreads like five times a day.  Did you know you can Google yourself then just ask for results in the last 24 hrs... the last hour?  You can.  I do it.  EVERY DAY.  Obsessed.

But what’s totally AWESOME is how positive all the reviews I’ve had so far have been.  It’s like a shot of happy juice right into my veins every time I read something nice and complimentary.  Awesome awesome awesome (that’s one of my favourite words by the way) happy juice J

No wonder I’m addicted!

Claire x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Books! My books are here!

So... I got a fantastic little present in the post yesterday:  free copies of Ferryman!  The release date is now less than two weeks away (eek!) and I’m starting to get uber excited.  Oh yet, that... and terrified! 
I’ve been very busy recently doing lots of exciting (and yes, slightly scary!) author things.  Just the other weekend I swooped down to London (well, the pilot did, I just held onto the arm rests and tried not to look nervous) for a bloggers even with Templar and Hot Key books.  It was fab – got to meet loads of very cool bloggers (who have my deepest respect... it is TOUGH to blog!) and some lovely authors.  Best bit – aside from yummy lunch ;) – was that I got to sign some books which was WAY COOL!  I probably should have been a bit more chilled and pretended that I did cool author-stuff like that all the time, but hey – I’m not cool and everyone who’s met me for more than five minutes knows it... so instead I was just me: goofy and probably far too excited.  Oh well, maybe I can develop cool.  And grace.  And elegance. 
Hmm.  Maybe not. 
Anyway – next on the agenda = a fun day with the Scottish Books Trust in two schools at Edinburgh.  Watch this pace for more details.

To finish... a picture of my fabby, fabby ultra lovely books.  SHINY!

Claire x