The first copy!


 

Exactly a year ago, I was eagerly awaiting the appearance of Time Travelling With  A Hamster in the shops.

If you had asked me if there would be another book in a year’s time, I’d have said, “I hope so,” with little idea of what that would entail.

In fact, I knew there would be another: I had signed a two-book deal.  A contract with a major-league publisher is, I discovered,  a powerful incentive to sitting down and writing a book instead of just thinking about it.

I had no idea it would be What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible.

It is not – as some people expected – Hamster Part Two.  It is a completely different story, although there are some similarities.  The story takes place on the same stretch of the north east English coast, and there’s a quirky mix of characters engaged in a vaguely sciencey adventure.  It’s out on December 29, and you can pre-order it here:

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible

At one point I considered having characters from Hamster make cameo appearances, but in the end I decided that would all be a bit arch so I didn’t.  (One very minor character does  make the transition, but blink and you’ll miss her.  To be honest, it was kind of a place-holder name which I meant to change and then forgot!)

I really hope people like the new one.  Hamster will always be my first book-baby, and hold a special place in my heart for that, but I absolutely love Invisible and – oddly – it has taught me more about the craft of writing than, I think, Hamster did.

It’s been a helluva year, culminating in two wonderful award short-listings – the Costa Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award – for which my fingers are so tightly crossed that it has impeded work starting on book three.

Book three?  You bet!  As Freddie Mercury sang,

“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball…!”

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