Hello there.

Sorry I haven’t blogged recently - all kinds of stuff going on!

I have a new iMac computer now. A lot of it is quite different to my slow old PC, so it’s taking me a while to figure everything out - and next week I’m going up town for a one-to-one training session, which should help. My wife Claudia is finding it trickier because she really understands how PC computers work, so she has a lot of stuff to unlearn and relearn. Which I don’t - because I NEVER knew how the old computer worked and I’d be forever yelling “Claudia! The computer’s broken again!” and she’d come in and say, “No, it isn’t, get out of the way!” and five minutes later it would all be fixed. Claudia is the perfect proof of how great being married can be! Oh, and she was out last night with a pal of hers for a midnight performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (oops - I think I should have called it “The Scottish Play” to ward off bad luck…or is that just for actors…?). She saw it at the rebuilt Globe Theatre (It’s an exact replica of the Shakespeare Theatre that was on the same site in the 16th Century but burned down a long long time ago.) She got home about 3:22 in the morning. I woke up for no reason two minutes before she opened the door - I think I’m getting like a cat where Claudia is concerned - I know when she’s coming home. Anyway, before she collapsed into bed, she said it was a fantastic performance. I’ll find out more when she wakes up, I hope.

What I actually set up this blog to tell you is that I have a new book out. It actually came out two days ago - but before you start wondering what book this could possibly be - it’s a non-fiction rewrite of a book I first wrote with a colleague of mine way back in 1994 - it’s called WRITE A CHILDREN’S BOOK AND GET IT PUBLISHED - and its part of the “Teach Yourself” range of books. You can check it out by going to www.teachyourself.com. Now, over the past months, since I set my website up, I’ve had plenty of people asking me for writing tips, or advice on how to get started writing, or how to turn an idea into a proper story. Well, for any of you interested in that kind of thing, this is a good book for you to read. (Modesty prevents me from telling you its the best one out there - but I do think it gives a lot of insights into the whole business of writing for children - up to and including what we call in the UK Young Adult (teenagers, to you) - and also explains the kinds of pitfalls and problems you will encounter as a new writer trying to get your work published.)

If you are interested in this book, I’d recommend you buy (or borrow) the 2010 update - the older versions that you might find on Amazon etc are pretty badly out of date now. Believe it or not, when we wrote the first version, we had to explain what the internet was! (”Some people even write on computers these days - and there is this new invention out there called the world wide web, which is full of useful information.”) Yes, just sixteen years ago, most people had to have the internet explained to them, it’s true.

What else? Oh, I’ve finished the rewrites of Warrior Princess 4 (very few - they really liked it) - and it is now about to wing its way over the Atlantic to be looked at by the American editors in New York.

Oh, and we finally got the DVD of Alice In Wonderland - and watched it - and totally loved it. As some of you may already know, I am a total Alice in Wonderland freak - I have the two books (wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass) as hardback copies, I have them unabridged on talking books, I have a radio play of it, I have an Alice in Wonderland chess set, I have pictures on the walls, and I have ornaments of the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Alice as well as a bass-relief of the Mad Tea Party. And I also have five versions of different Alice in Wonderland movies on DVD, going all the way back to 1933! Although the Tim Burton version tells a different story than the original books, I thought it was great. Okay, I’m done talking about Alice now - in fact, I’ve kept you reading now for long enough, I think, so I shall disappear now…bit…by…bit…until only…my…grin…is……left….