I'm thrilled to announce that two new picture book texts of mine have been accepted for publication.
No dates for release as yet - and one of them has a fair amount of work still to be done - but watch this space!
What a lovely surprise I had this morning - Bossy Jonathan Fossy has been chosen as one of the picture books to be included on SCBWI's first ever official Summer Reading List, which will be made available to libraries, bookstores, parents, caregivers and readers worldwide!
He is chuffed!
The latest laugh-out-loud character from the over-the-top town of Hamilton Shady has his work cut out to keep the pirates’ quarters shipshape in this gorgeous new rhyming extravaganza in the addictive Ever So series. Julie Fulton and Elina Ellis’ magical mix of bright, bold pictures, entertaining rhymes and hilarious antics will have kids laughing from first page to last as Jonathan learns that lending a hand is far better than handing out orders!
It's a lovely story, written in rhyme, which fairly zips along as you wonder at Jonathan's dreadful behaviour and then savour his suffering, on board, of all places, a pirate ship with some people who have a very long list of jobs which have to be done immediately, if not sooner. No Jonathans are harmed in the making of this story, but please do try to remain dignified as you giggle at his discomfiture: the tears running down the face is so not a good look.
The illustrations by Elina Ellis perfectly complement Julie Fulton's story. At the beginning Jonathan has the sort of face which could easily drive you to violence, but there's a quite remarkable transformation when he realises quite how unpleasant he's been. Children enjoy stories about other kids behaving badly and the message that this sort of behaviour really isn't acceptable is subtle but consistent. It's a great, fun book which kids are going to enjoy and which is no problem to read again, and
He's out and about bossing all the book shop staff!! Bossy Jonathan Fossy has arrived.
(Please click on the picture if you'd like to buy a copy.)
Daniel has had some great feedback from the lovely mums and their children at BizzieBaby.
They only went and awarded him a Bronze Award!
'As soon as he saw it (my son) wanted me to read it to him.'
'Really enjoyable, rhyming story.'
I was interviewed recently for an article in Focus magazine. The lovely Sue Newgas came and chatted with me about my work, background, hobbies - everything really! - and went away to produce this great write-up about the Ever So series and me. Typically, Mrs MacCready seems to be stealing all the limelight (and space on the page). Thank you Sue and Focus.
Today I received some lovely photos of two new fans of Miss Dorothy-Jane...
And a lovely quote accompanied the photos -
ALERT--"Miss Dorothy Jane was ever so vain" may have a paradoxical effect on very young children- the message for my two was that one must immediately don hats and have a handbag slung over one's wrist whilst flapping said wrist in a silly and completely pretentious manner......a great read.
Best feed back ever!
Apparently Dad was late to work because of the Miss Dorothy-Jane drama. Oops... I'm really sorry!
Thank you so much for sending me the comments and pictures. They're wonderful.
Last week I ventured in to London for an evening at Stationer's Hall where the awards ceremony for The People's Book Prize was being held. What a beautiful place. Here's a photo of the dining hall before we all descended on it!
We were asked to arrive in plenty of time so that photos could be taken and interviews conducted. I did well with all questions but one - when asked to say what my book was about my brain seized up!
Whilst waiting to go in for dinner I met and chatted with lots of lovely people, all passionate about books and reading.
Christina Gabbitas is the author of children's book series 'Felicity Fly' and is also a publisher. She gave me several tips on marketing! I loved her books, especially the Book of Children's Poems, which was an initiative of hers to inspire the nation's children to write their own poems with the chance to see their work in print. It's hoped that this will encourage all primary age children to read and write.
Carol E Wyer is a writer whose book, 'How Not To Murder Your Grumpy', was a finalist in the non-fiction section of the awards. Another enthusiastic and supportive author - with a great sense of humour!
Then there was Danny Bent, who sat next to me at dinner. His book, 'You've Gone Too Far This Time, Sir', relates his adventures when he cycled 15.000 miles from the UK to India to raise money for ActionAid. An amazing man so full of energy!
There were publishers present too - I had a great chat with Neil Jeffries and Dustin Brooks of Digital Leaf publishing.
I could mention so many more. Everyone was so friendly. I sat opposite three people from www.storkpress.co.uk who had a book in the non-fiction section of the awards. By Polish writer Tadeusz Rozewicz, 'Mother Departs' is a mix of prose and poetry that explores the joy of life and the agony of loss. I know, because they were kind enough to give me a copy! Sadly, Tadeusz passed away just a few weeks before the ceremony. He was 93.
Then came the announcement of the winners.
I didn't win.....but would like to thank all of you who voted for Tabitha Posy. I really do appreciate it. The competition was fierce. The winner in the children's section had sold 40,000 copies of his book. Some of us can only dream of that. Mind you, with the title 'I Think I Murdered Miss', Billy Bob Buttons was always on to a winner. I want a copy!
The winner of the fiction section was RJJ Hall with 'Theatres of War', a story about the 'forgotten' Italian campaign of WW2.
The winner of the non-fiction section was.....Danny Bent. Known as 'The Hugging Adventurer', I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised when, during his acceptance speech, he got us all to turn to our neighbour and give them a hug!
There were two special awards - The Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author, won by Margaret Skea for 'Turn of the Tide' and The Best Achievement Award, won by Helen J Bate for 'Proverbs & Sayings in Pictures'. This is a book designed to be suitable for people with mid to late stage dementia. Lovely idea.
And so, after a delicious meal and all the excitement of the announcements, the time came to leave. The winners all thoroughly deserved their awards -
and everyone left richer for the evening. New friends and connections had been made and a strong sense of motivation and desire to keep writing created.
It's a night that will stick in my memory for many years to some, I'm sure, so a big thank you to Tatiana von Saxe Wilson for creating the awards in the first place and making the evening so special.
Those lovely mums at Monster Mummies' Reviews have read and reviewed 'Miss Dorothy-Jane Was Ever So Vain' - along with their adorable children.
Seems like we got a thumbs up!
I'm not ashamed to say I was moved to tears by a surprise 'present' from a writing colleague today - mainly from laughter, but I was very touched too. Perhaps you have to be me to find it all that funny. Or maybe you had to be present when I was having my crisis of confidence about ever completing another Ever So book.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Fingers crossed that fiction can turn in to fact and the last two verses come true!
'My young friend Julie was worried unduly
and her face bore some quite anxious looks.
She thought she would never complete her endeavour
and finish the fourth of her books.
Each adventurous lady from Hamilton Shady
had brought her some well earned acclaim,
but she now had a feeling her brain was congealing
and the fourth one would just be a name.
She was feeling a traitor to her illustrator
and worried she was letting her down,
while children were waiting and anticipating
the tale of someone else in the town.
Would it be Billy who was ever so silly?
Who would fall over into the lake?
Would there be inventions, with the best of intentions,
and would he make a foolish mistake?
Would it be Maisie who drove everyone crazy
by singing loud songs all the time?
Or would it be Diana, who played the piana?
Ooh, Maverick would not allow that rhyme.
Would it be Abby who was always crabby
and argued with all of her mates?
Would it be Rosie who was ever so dozy
and never shut doors or farm gates?
Would it be Peter, who tested her metre
and whose stanzas were measured in clicks?
Would it be Harry, or Charlie or Gary?
Any one of them could get in a fix.
Julie sat there and sighed, 'I think my brain has just died.
I just can't write anything, it's gone.'
Then the light bulb went on, into dim places shone
and the fourth book just flowed on and on (and on and on...).
And in a dark corner, like little Jack Horner,
who pulled out a plum long ago,
the germ of the next, the fifth Ever So text,
then started to sprout and to grow.'
A big thank you to Gwen Zanzottera for creating this - a talented writer. I love it!
An amazing gift arrived from my fantastic illustrator Jona Jung last week. She's only gone and sent me six original drawings - two from each Ever So book to date - for me to take in to schools when I visit. Along with a couple of copies of early sketches and my first scribblings, it means the children can see part of the process that goes in to producing a completed story. Huge thanks, Jona!
On Friday 27th September Maverick Arts Publishing launched two new picture books - 'Miss Dorothy-Jane Was Ever So Vain' and Alice Hemming's 'The Black & White Club'.
Above are Kimara Nye of Maverick, me, Alice and her illustrator Kimberley Scott. A great time was had by all!
Tammy kindly had me back on her show today to chat about Bewdley Book Week and my part in it.
If you'd like to find out more about the Book Week please visit -
As always I managed to include the great work Booktrust do to get children (and adults) reading for pleasure -
We even managed to cover what's happening in the Ever So series....and then there was the small matter of 'The Day Tammy Gooding Ate Far Too Much Pudding'.
Have a listen to hear all about it!
Mrs MacCready was spotted in Cardiff today, supporting the staff at Soho Coffee Co stores around the country who are raising money for the leukaemia charity LINC.
This lovely letter was passed on to me today. It's great to hear about young children enjoying books and stories - hopefully a love that will continue on into their adulthood.
Thank you Isabella - and her Mum!
I was lucky enough to be invited back on to BBC Hereford & Worcester today to chat with Tammy about my new picture book 'Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy'.
She's a great interviewer, really put me at my ease, and we had a fantastic talk about books and writing in general.
You will hear that Tammy also allowed me to talk about a charity I'm pleased to support, and have blogged about before, BOOKTRUST and their programme for pre-school children, BOOKSTART.
BOOKTRUST are currently running an online scheme for schools with year 5/6 pupils called 'Read For My School', where children are encouraged to read for pleasure. This is such an invaluable thing to do. Long term studies have shown that children who read for pleasure are significantly more likely as adults to :
remain in continuous employment
own their own home
be IT literate
trust other people in their community
To find out more about BOOKTRUST and their fantastic work go to :
Journalist Jeremy Craddock had interviewed me about my work and books. Makes for interesting reading!
Find out the crazy way Jona (my illustrator) and I communicate!
There's a great interview on The Write Routine about how I write picture books and my path to publication. It's not the usual route!
Thank you to Marcie Colleen for inviting me to contribute to her blog :
I received a lovely present in the post today. What a great way for Ravenshead School's Year 4 children to say 'thank you'.
The book is full of little thank you notes from all of Class 2LU. Isn't the art work brilliant?! And there are even more fantastic limericks the children have written!
On a rather typical grey November day this cheered me up no end. Thank you Class 2LU and Miss Urban.
Last night I attended the SCBWI's conference party evening in Winchester. It was a fantastic night, spent mingling with fellow writers, agents and other industry professionals. Somehow I seemed to have entered another world!
It was lovely to put faces to the names I see regularly popping up on my computer as I browse our group e-mails. I hope to maybe attend the whole conference next year - seasonal concerts and other such commitments allowing!
The actual presentation of those of us celebrating the launch of a book this year was great fun : a never-to-be-forgotten experience led by Andersen Press founder Klaus Flugge. That's going to stay in my memory for a while!
I had a great time - thank you to Liz and Michaela for 'looking after me'.
I was sent another lovely picture of someone enjoying reading Mrs MacCready's tale.
Apparently it's great! Thank you very much.
Thank you to one fan who sent me this photo - it's great to know who's reading and enjoying my stories.
I'd love to hear from more of you.