NEWS & EVENTS
ver the Moon News!
Planet Stan has been shortlisted for the
Lollies Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2020
'A heartfelt and incredibly funny look at family life... Ideal for fans of Tom Gates and David Solomons.'
More information on the shortlist here!
Action Stan is one of BookTrust's
'Books We Love This Month, June 2019'
'The follow up to Planet Stan has all the fun of graphs & charts & laugh-out-loud humour but has evolved to explore friendships & bullying too, making it the perfect story to help young people navigate relationships.' Full review here.
Planet Stan has been shortlisted for the
Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2019 in the Hooked on Books category (age 9-13).
The books were shortlisted by a panel of specialist children’s librarians and teachers, then voted for by children in a Big Brother style vote-off!
The awards are a great way to promote reading for pleasure in schools.
Planet Stan is an April 2018 Debut Book of the Month on LoveReading4Kids
Check out all the fabulous reader reviews here.
'Space, family relationships, friendships – they’re all cleverly and vividly described in this highly entertaining story. Super-orderly Stan resorts to a range of charts & measuring devices to fill us in on his life... it makes for fast & very funny reading. Readers will be on Stan’s side from the start.'
Planet Stan is one of
BookTrust's 'Books We Love This Month, April 2018'
'Written from his own perspective, readers can follow 11-year-old space enthusiast Stan as he and his friends enter a competition to win a much-desired telescope. How fantastic to see a book packed with mathematical concepts and space facts and yet be so hilarious.'
Full review here.
Come and meet me!
Look out for announcements here soon!
And here are some fun Q&As:
Fancy a read with your cuppa?
Here are some blogs I wrote for my
Helping children to feel like VIPs
I am delighted to be an official VIP Reading author, which promotes reading for pleasure and children's independent reading.
VIP Reading is a proven programme utilising beautifully made resources and innovative quizzes, by teacher Rob McCann and illustrated by Lincoln-based artist Andrew Bailie, who created my wonderful author doodle.
If your school is looking to hook reluctant readers, and promote reading for pleasure, I can heartily recommend this brilliant scheme with its vast selection of fantastic books. More information here.
I had great fun taking part in the very first VIP Read Trip, when Rob and Andrew set off on an author-filming adventure, covering 9 authors and 646 miles! You can follow their journey on Twitter under the hashtag #VIPReadTrip. More Read Trips will be happening soon, and the videos will be available as part of the reading scheme!
Since September 2018, I’ve been taking part in the BookPenPals scheme, which pairs UK authors and illustrators with UK schools. We make book recommendations once a month, by sending a postcard, sometimes with a writing tip. You can find out more here.
Usually I recommend 3 books a month, so I thought it would be nice to share some here:
My Favourite Summer Reads
Bad Nana, by Sophy Henn – 3 hilarious short stories, including the contents of Nana’s ginormous handbag.
Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan, pictures Victoria Semykina – woodland-set fantasy (I particularly loved Crow).
Just Jack, by Kate Scott, pictures Alex Gunn – warm and funny story about friendship and moving school. Sometimes we all need a friend like Tyler.
Books for the New Year
The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Rauf - moving story of a refugee boy, & the classmates who want to know more about him.
Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story, by Catherine Johnson – the remarkable true story of the first man to reach the North Pole.
The Peculiars, by Kieran Larwood – a group of misfits end up trapped in a Victorian London sideshow.
Some of my Favourite Funny Books
Uncle Shawn and Bill, by A L Kennedy & Gemma Correll
Dave Pigeon, by Swapna Haddow & Sheena Dempsey
Darcy Burdock, by Laura Dockrill
Stick Dog, by Tom Watson
Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties, by Humza Arshad & Henry White
Mr Gum, by Andy Stanton & David Tazzyman
Knitbone Pepper: Ghost Dog, by Claire Barker & Ross Collins
Claude in the City, by Alex T Smith
Waiting for Callback series, by Perdita & Honor Cargill
The Nowhere Emporium, by Ross MacKenzie – will you remember your visit to this magical, mysterious shop?
The Thirteen Treasures, by Michelle Harrison – Tanya has a secret ability, she can see fairies!
Nevermoor, by Jessica Townsend – Morrigan Crow is cursed, destined to die on her 11th birthday…
High-Rise Mystery, by Sharna Jackson – a page-turning detective story with Nik and Norva.
The Malamander, by Thomas Taylor - Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysterious place, and it just got stranger...
Magic, Miracles, & Twinkling Stars
Picklewitch & Jack, by Claire Barker, pictures Teemu Juhani – hilarious tale of an unlikely friendship when Picklewitch blows into Jack's life like a mugswoggler (an ill wind that makes tea go cold).
Alfie Bloom & the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle, by Gabrielle Kent – Alfie Bloom’s life may be dull, but that is all about to change in this tale of time travel, magic and mystery.
The Skies Above My Eyes by Charlotte Guillain & Yuval Zommer – a stunning book that takes you on a journey up into the sky (remember – you’re never too old for picture books!)
The Wolf Wilder, by Katherine Rundell, pictures Gelrev Ongbico – set in a Russian winter: ‘Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl.’
Podkin One Ear, by Kieran Larwood, pictures David Wyatt – the perilous adventures of a one-eared rabbit.
The Last of the Spirits, by Chris Priestley – a spooky tale in Victorian London, and a clever reinvention of A Christmas Carol.
Fact-Filled Non-Fiction Books
Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook, by Louie Stowell, pictures Roger Simo – brilliant guide on what it takes to become an astronaut.
Timeline, by Peter Goes – journey from the Big Bang to the ipod!
A World of Information, by Richard Platt, pictures James Brown – full of infographics and amazing facts.
Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe, by Tim Leong – heroes & villains in pie charts & Venn diagrams!
British Wildlife: A guide to every common species, by Paul Sterry – wonderful photographic reference, and a book I used while writing Action Stan.
Out-of-this-World Books to mark the
50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
The Cosmic Atlas of Alfie Fleet, by Martin Howard, pictures Chris Mould – a fabulously bonkers adventure through the cosmos.
This Was Our Pact, by Ryan Andrews – a beautiful graphic novel full of magic and wonder and stars and bears.
The Space Race: The Journey to the Moon and Beyond, by Sarah Cruddas – answering all the big questions about space travel, and filled with photos, facts, diagrams.
Timeline to Publication
-The journey of Planet Stan-
January 2016 - Fresh Start
After three manuscripts, a gajillion rejections, a near miss (or two), and a wibbly wobbly writing journey, I knuckle down to write my fourth book Planet Stan, with a BIG CUP OF TEA.
May 2016 - The Phonecall
Planet Stan lands in Julia Churchill's inbox at AM Heath and planets align with moonbeams, because I get The Phonecall from Fairy Godmother Agent of Dreams. I go doolally. I think I also tell her I love her.
July 2016 - Out on Submission
After working on edits with Julia, the book goes on submission to publishers. My sister sends me 'Good Luck' messages from ALL the exhibits at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History that feature in the book. Yes, sisters are amazing.
July 2016 - OUP
Planet Stan finds the perfect home with Oxford University Press. Have to pinch myself when I go for posh lunch with the lovely Kathy Webb, Elv Moody, and my agent Julia Churchill (also lovely, obvs).
October 2016 - Edits
I retreat into my author cave to work on edits, and reduce the word count from 37,000 to 30,500. This may not seem like news, but believe me, it is.
February 2017 - Sneaky Peek!
Stupidly excited to find out Chris Judge is illustrating Planet Stan - and get an early preview of what the book could look like.
June 2017 - Page Layouts
"It's beginning to look a lot like bookmas" - I get to see the amazing design by Holly Fulbrook, with Chris Judge's marvellous illustrations. It's like Christmas morning for authors.
September 2017 - Exciting Book Post
Over the moon to receive proofs from OUP - Planet Stan is looking (and smelling) like an actual book! I do lots of laughy-crying and remember that bit when Marty McFly's dad gets his books delivered because I always wanted it to be ME.
March 2018 - World Book Day
Snow couldn't stop my very first World Book Day, with a flurry of school visits across the week. I signed my very first books as I introduced the world of Planet Stan. I even opened a school library!
March 2018 - WRD Magazine
Delighted that the Spring issue of WRD Magazine not only features an excerpt from Planet Stan, but me in the Ones to Watch feature! You can subscribe to the magazine here (it's ace).
March 2018 - BBC Radio Oxford
Loved chatting to Lilley Mitchell on her afternoon show about all things Planet Stan and getting a mini tour of the studio!
March 2018 - Oxford Literary Festival
Huge thanks to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Oxford Literary Festival for helping make Planet Dinosaur absolutely ROARSOME! I had so much fun, and so did Rory the T.Rex - thanks to everyone who came along!
April 2018 - Launch Day
After a wonderful Planet Stan Day hosted by Blackwell's Bookshop, the book was officially 'launched'. Thank you to everyone who shared this special moment with me - it was emotional!
The journey continues...
Amazon Book Reviews
PLANET STAN has over 50 wonderful reviews on Amazon, and I love each and every one of them!
Leaving a review is one of the best things you can do to help spread the word about a book you love. Also, whenever you post a nice review, a fairy is born (probably).
Reviews can be just a few words, like these smashing ones:
"11 out of 10!"
Or a couple of lovely paragraphs, like this:
"This is one of those rare books which parents will enjoy reading as much as children... There are so many lines here that I just want to use in real life."
"It's not just funny, it's also touching and life-affirming. The relationships that Stan has with his friends and family are really well-written. They are believable and three-dimensional. And at the end of the story, you feel happier having read the book."
If you're one of the the BRILLENDOUS people who has left a review of Planet Stan,
from the bottom of my author heart.
And here's some
Because a writer's life isn't all about yacht parties.
(It really isn't, if anyone's having a yacht party, I'm available. Thanks.)
Here's everything you probably don't need to know about what I've been up to lately...