A Contest!

Over on my sister page Paws4Puzzles I’m running a contest – please check it out!

Paws 4 Puzzles

As anyone who knows me probably already knows I’m a bit of a Harry Potter trainspotter. But one of thinks that always irked me at Hogwarts was that Harry and his friends had an entirely magical curriculum. 

Where was the math and the literature. What if the students wanted to learn a foreign language (Gobblygook, anyone)? How about art or music?

That’s why when I created my own magical institute in P.A.W.S. I set up that Miri and her friends had to attend “regular” classes in the morning with Professor Ainsworth (an Animagus owl). Of course when you come from a magical background like Ainsworth no class can be entirely unmagical. So here’s where you come in.

In my new book Miri is in a science class filling out a worksheet on the periodic table of elements. All the regular elements are there, but there are also some “ancient magical…

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50 Places Every Literary Fan Should Visit

Well I’ve been to Kafka’s grave in Prague – 49 places to go!


If you’re like us, and you hear that you’re in an area that is home to a place that has any little bit of literary historical significance, you have to go and visit it. Since (statistically speaking) there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll soon be hopping in your car or your friend’s car, or boarding a train, bus, plane, or some other mode of transportation that will bring you to another place that isn’t the city you spend the rest of the year living in, we’ve compiled this list of literary places all over the world that you should visit if you happen to be in the neighborhood. 

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Enjoying the Journey


Last October two weeks before NaNoWriMo the idea for P.A.W.S. came to me in a flash. I clearly saw a young girl, Miri, being passed an amulet of power by her omama, Celia. I saw Celia’s story too. How she used her charm to escape from the Nazis in Austria. But I decided to write Miri’s tale first.

Partly that was because there were secrets in Celia’s past that I didn’t want to reveal too early. Partly it was because I knew I couldn’t do Celia’s story justice without a good deal of research first, and I was anxious to get started, to grab onto Miri’s story before it disappeared.

So that was last November. I wrote P.A.W.S. as if I was on a whistle-stop tour. Eagerly hurrying through each part of my journey, anxious to reach my destination before I ran out of steam.

Writing the sequel now during Camp NaNo is a completely different experience. Rather than rushing forward I’m slowing down, taking time to look at the scenery, which is sometimes stunning. – this month so far I’ve explored the Vienna Woods, the mountains of Snowdonia, and a tiny island off the coast of Ireland. 

I’ve also spend days pondering timelines and characters and tracing back through the pages of P.A.W.S. making sure that everything fits together like the perfect puzzle. It’s lucky that Camp Nano doesn’t require me to complete 50,000 words in a month. I know I won’t have a new novel by August, but I’ve stopped worrying about that. I’m taking my time and enjoying the journey.