Discovery Day and other stories

This has been a really odd year, so far. David Bowie’s death completely floored me (I’m still prone to bouts of crying and think I will be for some time to come), and my aunt had died (also of cancer) just a few days before. It was a lot to take in all at once. I didn’t even read any books for about a fortnight, which is so out of character for me as to be almost unheard of.

But on the 24th of February, I had a theatre date with my good friend Joanne Harris, so even though I was feeling decidedly rough, I made the trip to London to meet her and to see Adrian Lester in Red Velvet. Adrian and I follow each other on Twitter and when I indicated I’d love to see the play, he made sure I was able to get tickets (thank you, Adrian), as they were selling fast. Continue reading

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Storytime, with Joanne Harris

It’s weird when something happens, some event, that blows your mind so completely that it takes ages to process it enough to write about the experience. That’s part of the reason I’m only writing about this now, something that happened a month ago, an event so special, so magical, that it’s hard to find the right words to describe how it felt at the time. But I’m gonna try. Continue reading

Loki and other tricksters

Let me get one thing straight before I start. Until people started saying on Twitter (and Amazon, and Goodreads, and, and, and…) that Joanne Harris must have capitalised on the popularity of the Marvel films (the implication being that a) she wouldn’t have written The Gospel of Loki at all otherwise and b) it’s only enjoyed the success it has because of Thor), I HAD NEVER HEARD OF TOM HIDDLESTON. I know. Shock, right? Well, no, actually. Not if you know me, anyway. Continue reading

Joanne Harris, Norse myth and a bookshop in Chichester

I was still cat-sitting in Peacehaven when I saw on Twitter that Joanne Harris had included Chichester Waterstone’s in her tour to promote her latest book, The Gospel of Loki. I rang the shop and booked myself a ticket, on the understanding that I would pay for it when I got there. This is what it looked like:

My ticket. Note the single-digit number. I got in there quickly!

My ticket. Note the single-digit number. I got in there quickly!

I usually avoid fantasy. It’s generally ‘not my thing’, though I have read a few good fantasy books that have come as recommendations and, of course, Neil Gaiman can be placed firmly within that category. Continue reading

The highlight of my writerly life – the day I met Joanne Harris

Last weekend, the World Fantasy Convention was in Brighton. I’d known about this since earlier in the year, and I tweeted the friend of Plot Bunnies, first-ever Q&A victim, Joanne Harris, to ask if we could perhaps meet up while she was in town. Yes, she said, that would be lovely. She asked me to email her nearer the time. (We’d been corresponding via Twitter & re Plot Bunnies for a while, by this time.)

Continue reading

Autumn and its inherent changes

Well, autumn has finally arrived. The wealth of blackberries is starting to recede as the bushes prepare for colder weather (but not before I picked a load to make into yummy jam, thank you Mother Nature for the free food) and there’s not as much sunlight as there was, even though it seems there’s more actual sunshine now than there was in supposedly-sunny-but-actually-very-wet August. Continue reading