Author Archives: Nicola

AUTUMN BOOK FRENZY

This time of year is always crazily busy. It’s literary festival season and the start of the new school year so children’s authors are dashing about the countryside. At least I had had a bit of a calm before the storm, as I had most of August at home writing two novels for Walker Books, […]

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PERFECT BABIES

Last night I watched an amazing documentary, ‘A World Without Down’s Syndrome?‘on BBC iplayer, made by the actor Sally Phillips. It was about her experience of having her son Ollie, who has Down’s Syndrome. I’d recommend that you watch it, if only to see the opening sequence of Sally (who is the sort of person […]

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Back In The Real World

Last week I was three ways high. High in the Abruzzi mountains of Italy, up in a medieval hill top village looking out on a landscape of hobbit hills and snow streaked peaks. High on the smell and sound of the place – awash with flowers and alive with natural music, nightingales, cuckoos,frogs.     […]

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KEEP DRAWING #3000CHAIRS

            Less than two weeks ago I wrote The Day the War Came, kind of a poem but really intended to be a picture book that will spread its message for years to come. It ends like this, I came to a school. I looked in through the window. They were learning […]

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THE DAY WAR CAME AND 3000 EMPTY CHAIRS

In an ideal world there wouldn’t be children without parents. In an ideal world hospitals wouldn’t be bombed because they looked a bit like something else. In an ideal world everything would be sweet and smooth and we could all afford to be as selfish as we liked and it wouldn’t matter. But it isn’t. […]

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Perfect, the story of a story

I’m no sportswoman. In fact I could be the world’s most uncoordinated writer. So to use a tennis analogy seems a bit of a cheek, but it really is the only one that will do. I’m hopeless at tennis – of course- but my very sweet and long suffering son gave me a tennis lesson […]

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Some of My Year In Random Pictures

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WHALE SINGING

When I was 17 I bought an album that wasn’t anything like the LPs that my friends talked about on the bus to school. Rather than moody, unsmiling, adolescent boys, its cover featured an artwork of a breaching whale. I played it for the first time on my father’s radiogram, at night, lying flat on […]

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The Show Went On:The King of the Sky On Stage

  Generally speaking dreams don’t come true, but, over the last two weeks, one of mine has. It stepped from inside my head and came to vivid, singing life. All thanks to the talent and hard work of an extraordinary director and a group of actors, with the support of a fantastic arts centre, ‘The […]

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Suffolk Love and The Unpredictable

The Unpredicted The goddess Fortune be praised (on her toothed wheel I have been mincemeat these several years) Last night, for a whole night, the unpredictable Lay in my arms, in a tender and unquiet rest – (I perceived the irrelevance of my former fears) Lay, and then departed. I rose and walked the streets […]

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