major award winning Children's Author

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Sheffield Children’s Book Awards

Sheffield Children’s Book Awards

All mended after my recent surgery, I can now go galavanting cross-country at will. Thank goodness, because otherwise I’d have had to miss out on attending the absolutely fantastic Sheffield Children’s Book Awards. The awards ceremony was so much fun! What a great day out […]

Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards – WE WON!

Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards – WE WON!

Well I never. I didn’t even know that the smashing team at Bloomsbury had entered our book into the brand new Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards, but There’s a Lion In My Cornflakes by me and that incredibly talented chap Jim Field has just won Best […]

Back in action (just about)!

Back in action (just about)!

Hello, friends. What a month. And before I start: I make no apology for the small pictures at the bottom of this post; I know they’ll help more people than they offend.

I had my large bowel removed (yes, all of it) on August 16th by a wonderful surgical team at Bath RUH. Since then I’ve been getting over the effects of such a massive operation and getting to grips with my all-new body. Okay, so I’ve bounced back into hospital a couple of times along the way and I missed my son’s first day at school, but nothing can keep me down.

Before
Before

I’m cured of ulcerative colitis and feeling much better than I have in years. I tire quickly, but apparently that’s part and parcel of major surgery for about eight weeks. Come mid-October, I’ll be fighting fit and back to writing properly.

After
After

A huge sadness has completely dissolved. I hadn’t realised just how deeply my IBD had affected me, emotionally as well as physically. My life had been compromised, day in and day out, for so many years – but no more. Okay, so I have to live with a stoma for the rest of my life – but why mope about it? I’ve (re)gained so much more than I’ve lost.

LOST: Large and inflamed faulty organ – good riddance. Masses of nasty drugs – ditto. Excess weight – phew. Exhaustion. Sadness. Constant uptightness and never ending anxiety re. toilet proximity. Ability to eat nuts and mushrooms.

GAINED: Control! Vim and vigour! My old, slim(ish) figure! Hope! The prospect of holidays involving aeroplanes with absolutely no anxiety re. toilet availability! Excuse to eat Haribo at will – doctor’s orders!

To fellow IBD sufferers out there: I hope medication or alternative therapies work for you; they didn’t for me. If you find yourself facing frankly terrifying surgery and its body-changing effects, take comfort from me. On balance, it’s really rather wonderful. Stay well, folks – and much love to @ColitisNinja and the brilliant #GetYourBellyOut campaign.

Belly before - with pen!
Belly before – with pen!

Belly after - with bag!
Belly after – with bag!

Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week!

Yippee! Thanks to the wonderful Nicolette Jones for giving ‘There’s a Lion In My Cornflakes’ this smashing review in the Sunday Times this week. Thanks also to Nicolette for all her wonderful advice and tips on books to share with my Patron of Reading school, […]

The Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books – There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes!

The Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books – There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes!

Wahey! Me and Jim Field’s new book ‘There’s a Lion In My Cornflakes‘ made it into the Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books for summer 2014! ‘…an hilarious idea… Lots of wacky illustrations and hilarious to read aloud.’ It’s among a very small, select group and […]