March 2015

I haven’t admitted this officially before because I’m still raw about it, but here goes: the big book I’ve been working on these last four years? I’ve put it aside.

Last October, after we’d gamely knocked three drafts back and forth without agreeing what we wanted, my publisher cancelled my contract. My agent – before she quit the business – told me that she didn’t think she could sell the book to anyone else. Now my new agent has gently but definitely confirmed to me that the book has fundamental problems and ‘needs a lot of work.’

I can take a hint. ;p

One problem with the book is that I’ve put so much time and love into it that now I’m too close to it to see or accept what I would have to do to take it further. So, until/unless I get the distance and objectivity I need, I’m doing the next best thing I can do: I’ve stopped working on it, and started writing other stuff.

I’ve got a brand new novella out under consideration, I’m working on another short project right now, and my next full-length book is already underway. Meanwhile, for the time being, I’m sad to say that all that anyone else will hear or see of my broken but beautiful, crazy-ambitious, utopian SF rock-and-roll epic is its title and this gorgeous cover by genius illustrator Barnaby Richards:


To those brave, kind few who have read the book as it currently stands, my thanks.

To VELVET, au revoir.


Book Week 2015 is over. I feel like I’ve been hammered out flat, but I am happy. This feedback I received this morning might show you why:

In answer to the question “What was the best part of the performance?” our students told us how much they enjoyed the readings from the books, saying things like “When he was reading, as it was interesting and the books were intense and fun” and “When he read to us from his books as he read with lots of expression.” However, they also enjoyed the Q&A part: “The fascinating answers he gave to the questions” and “I found the detail of his answers and his imagination was really good”.  And one student said “I think the best part of the performance was everything!!”

When asked “How will this help with your school work in the future?” they focussed on the writing skills aspect: “He gave ideas of how to write a good and imaginative story”, “It will help me with my creative writing”, “During Sam reading to us I noticed some writing techniques which could help me in English”, “I know how to plan and make my stories more exciting.”

In response to the question “What did you learn today?” there were two main themes. The students focussed on the messages that they need to seize the day and that they need to read.

In the “Any other comments” section they said some lovely things: “Thank you for visiting and good luck in the future”, “Thank you for coming!” and the best one, “He is a lovely person, hope he does fantastically well, I can’t explain how I am feeling right now, loved it!!!”

I love school visits. Thanks and best wishes to everyone I met this week. 😀


I am THRILLED to announce that I now have a new literary agent – Davinia Andrew-Lynch of all-new agency Andlyn. Davinia’s enthusiasm, savvy, ambition and imagination all impress me mightily (and the fact that we’re both big fans of the film The Dark Crystal is a definite plus factor too ;D). Here’s to a highly promising partnership.