The past few months haven't been just about blood tests and funerals, though it feels that way. I have been going through the proofs of Mister Creecher ready for its publication later in the year and continuing with my writing of the first draft of The Mask, my new book about a haunting in Amsterdam. And of course, I am looking beyond that to my next books with Bloomsbury.
I have a book coming out with Pearson too. It is a return to historical fiction for me - a book set in Roman Britain - around AD180. It is called Blood Oath and I went to London a couple of weeks ago to do a filmed Q&A session as part of the accompanying teachers resource material. I was filmed in front of a green screen, so heaven only knows what will pop up behind me on the finished thing! I should be getting advance copies soonish - the book is out in June.
I did the FCBG (Federation of Children's Book Groups) Conference with my Bloomsbury stable- (kennel?) mate Jon Mayhew a few weeks ago, down in Sussex at Worth Abbey. The journey gave me a chance to finally finish the excellent Mortlock. I got the train from St Pancras - a really fascinating route right through the centre of London and over the Thames. As we approached Three Bridges station, where I was to get off, the train passed though a steep cutting and headed towards a tunnel. It was precisely the tunnel I had in mind for Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth. It was slightly unnerving. David Almond was the main speaker and we followed on behind, in conversation with Daniel Hahn.
I've never met David Almond - and didn't meet him here, but I know his work obviously. It was interesting to hear him speak, as it is to hear any other authors talk about their work and what journey they took to becoming a writer.
I also did Cambridge's Wordfest this year, the first time I've been asked. It was certainly nice to do an event in the town where I live, although ironically, I had to dash back from the FCBG conference to do my gig at the Central Library. It was a really nice event and nice to be doing it in out wonderful new library when libraries are under such threat in this country.