Best thing about being a children’s writer? Meeting readers – enthused, informed, very-probably-taller-than-me readers. Second best thing? Meeting fellow writers. (They’re usually taller than me too.) So the Oxford heat of the UK Kids’ Lit Quiz last week was a peachy way to spend an evening. I got to join M.G. Harris, Linda Newbery, Dennis Hamley, Meg Harper, Mark Robson and Rachael Wing (who turns out to still be at school, doing her A2s: blimey, I bet she’s fed up of people mentioning that – but still, blimey!) on the Authors Team, up against 30 local schools. Despite me apparently not knowing my Spiderwicks from my Snickets (oh, the shame), we managed to top the scoreboard. But we did have 2 extra people and a combined age of, er, lots – so props to the true winners from Oxford High, and everyone who took part. You all did scarily well, and I would like to have your brains, please.
I’m whizzing gleefully through a sneaky preview copy of Ice Shock (gosh! ooh! no I’m not telling!), but I confess much of my week has been occupied with the Starksy & Hutch Annual 1979, which may be the best book I’ve ever read. And I’ve read Ulysses. Well, some of it. If only Joyce had thought to brighten Bloomsday with bodgy drawings of men in cardigans, tips on keeping house plants, and the fact that Hutch is an Aries, I’m sure I’d have got all the way to the end.
Lazy writer is lazy. I’m sure all these pictures of Starsky wearing very short shorts will inspire me somehow, though. Beloved British Editor has floated an interesting idea my way, though, which I’m quite excited about. I shall reveal more when there is some actual ‘more’ to reveal…
Returning to my old college for a Women’s Dinner, to gossip with old friends and tutors, and delight in the fact that there are now enough women students to make such a thing possible (think there were 14 of us in my academic year?); cooking fajitas to Joe Cornish’s European Supermarket (cheers, Mr Smith); wishing the iPlayer could watch things for you, so as to save time.