Posted by Christopher at 2.46pm
Just a swift post about some upcoming events.
On Saturday 8th February, I'll be appearing alongside Tom Percival, author of Tobias Secret and illustrator of Skullduggery Pleasant, at Tewkesbury and Dursley libraries for National Libraries Day. You can get free tickets on EventBrite bookings.
On Saturday 1st March, I'll be at Octavia's Bookshop in Cirencester giving an interactive talk and mystery writing workshop as well as signing copies of The Black Crow Conspiracy.
And looking a little further ahead, I'll be appearing at the 10th anniversary Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham.
If you're around, come and say hello!
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Posted by Christopher at 2.39pm
Amidst the excitement of the publication of The Black Crow Conspiracy, the third and final book in the series that began with Twelve Minutes to Midnight, I was thrilled to learn last week that Shadows of the Silver Screen, the second book in the series, has been shortlisted for the 2014 Lambeth Phoenix Book Award. I was particularly pleased about this as Twelve Minutes to Midnight was up for the same award back in 2013, appearing on the shortlist then alongside books by such wonderful authors as Michael Morpurgo and Jonathan Meres.
Nobody writes a novel in order to be shortlisted for a prize - not even Hilary Mantel - but since Twelve Minutes to Midnight was published back in 2012, one of the most exciting things for me as an author has been seeing it appear on the shortlists of regional book awards across the country. After months spent writing alone in a shed at the bottom of my garden, to suddenly find out that young readers from Northern Ireland to Warwickshire, Redbridge to Southampton, not to mention Hillingdon, Dudley and Oldham too, were reading the adventures of Penelope and her friends at The Penny Dreadful was completely amazing and rather thrilling to me. When Twelve Minutes to Midnight won its category at the Stockport Schools Book Award, it was fantastic to have the chance to meet the children who had voted for the award - to see the wonderful and creative work that their reading had inspired and hear their excitement about the books they had read. For me, these awards are about celebrating young readers - encouraging children to discover new authors, pick up books that they might not usually try, and, most importantly, to read for pleasure.
I'm really looking forward to attending the award ceremony in Lambeth on the 1st of May and finding out what the readers there have made of Shadows of the Silver Screen. And if you're a young reader in Lambeth, don't forget to vote!
Shadows of the Silver Screen,
The Black Crow Conspiracy,
Twelve Minutes to Midnight,
Lambeth Phoenix Book Award,
Reading for pleasure
Posted by Christopher at 9.21pm
The Black Crow Conspiracy, the third and final book in the series that began with Twelve Minutes to Midnight and continued with Shadows of the Silver Screen, was published today by Nosy Crow. To celebrate, I've put together a playlist that inspired me whilst I was writing the book - just click the links to hear the songs. This is the soundtrack to The Black Crow Conspiracy.
The Queen is Dead by The Smiths
The Black Crow Conspiracy starts in the shadow of Queen Victoria's passing as London prepares for the new King's coronation. But from across the sea, there are rumours of war...
Treason by The Teardrop Explodes
If, in the manner of Desert Island Discs, I had to pick one record from this playlist that summed up The Black Crow Conspiracy, it would be this song,and not least for the title. As the great man himself sings, 'Until you realise, it's just a story...'
The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks
As Penelope uncovers the plot that lurks at the heart of The Black Crow Conspiracy, she learns that there is more at stake than just the theft of the Crown Jewels of England.
Herman Loves Pauline by the Super Furry Animals
As was the case in Twelve Minutes to Midnight and Shadows of the Silver Screen, several real-life historical figures make an appearance in the pages of The Black Crow Conspiracy, including one namechecked in this fantastic song.
The Economy by Tim Burgess
And finally, a beautiful song that I turned to more times than I can remember when I was writing The Black Crow Conspiracy. If 'Treason' by The Teardrop Explodes is the theme song to the book The Black Crow Conspiracy, then the album 'Oh No I Love You' by Tim Burgess was the soundtrack to my writing it.
I hope readers of Twelve Minutes to Midnight and Shadows of the Silver Screen enjoy this final instalment in the series, and a huge thank you to Matt Imrie for his first look review of The Black Crow Conspiracy and Kirsty Connor for including it in her We Love This Book preview of the best Young Adult books of 2014.
The Black Crow Conspiracy,