Around the end of 2008, I made an unusual decision: to take a break from nearly all publicity while I concentrated on writing the next two books and my English Literature studies at university. I felt that this was an opportunity which I had fought very hard for and which I would not receive again if I let it pass - a chance to study the craft intensively alongside my own work and see where the process would take me. I think this paid off, as I know that most fans of The Last Descendants were pleased with the direction the series took in Voices in the Dark - undoubtedly helped by that period of focused attention. More recently, now that time allows, I have also been taking part in some great interviews and discussions about writing, and have travelled to Canada to promote the books.
Over the last five years, I have received a steady stream of letters and messages from people who have read and valued the books and who have kindly taken the time to tell me so. I have of course replied to them all, and over the years have found these connections to be the most important part of what I do - your loyalty and commitment to the books are what inspires me. But recently, I have realised that there is very little up-to-date information out there for people who would like to find out more about the books, stay in contact about the publication schedule for The Heart at War - or even know a bit about who I actually am, beyond a name on a book cover!
So, first of all, there is information on this new website about the books and the writing process, which I will update regularly - let me know if there is something you would like to see included. As for The Heart at War, it will be released towards the end of this year, and I will be posting regular updates about the publication process, so keep checking to see details and hints about the story, cover designs and anything else I'm allowed to show you before publication!
As for what I have been up to over the last four and a half years... As well as writing, I have studied English Literature, qualified as a teacher, and taught English and writing part-time in schools. I have got engaged and moved from my hometown of Cambridge to Durham in the North-East of England, a beautiful place whose castle on a rock may have been the inspiration for the city in The Last Descendants (I used to pass through the city on the train as a young teenager, on the way to visit my father in Edinburgh!).
Please comment or write me an email if you would like to introduce yourself. I hope that this website will be a way of keeping in touch with those readers who have waited very patiently for the final volume, as well as those who are coming to the books for the first time. I am very much looking forward to completing the journey alongside you all.
All the very best,
P.S. On the books page, I have just uploaded the very first synopsis for The Heart at War! This was quite difficult to write without spoiling the book for the many people who have waited so patiently for it, so I hope it contains a hint of what is to come without giving too much away...