Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wigtown Spring weekend 30 April/1st May Events for Tinies, Teens and Writers

Wigtown Spring Weekend Events -
I'll be there this weekend so why not come along whatever age you are!
For teenagers and those interested in writing for them.........
SATURDAY 30th April 3pm-4pm County Buildings (£3)
Linda Strachan talks about her latest book DEAD BOY TALKING, and her award-winning novel SPIDER.
and on the SUNDAY 1st May for the younger ones......
11am-12noon County Buildings
HAMISH McHAGGIS stories (age 4-10, £3) 
To book tickets please contact 01988 403222.

Last chance to win signed copies of both Spider and Dead Boy Talking

ON Crime Central there is a chance to win both books during April.  Just answer one easy question The last date to enter is 30 April and winners will be notified on 1st May.

Check out the blog for the chance to hear what Keith Gray, Adele Geras, The Bookette, and others have to say about the best in crime writing.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

6# Auckland- Last stop in New Zealand School Tour

Driving through some amazing scenery on the way, we left Hawkes Bay headed back north again.

We arrived in Auckland - the last stop in our New Zealand tour - and on our way to have lunch at one of the waterside restaurants

we came across some rather unique and interesting horses.

We also had a chance to see Cunard's new Queen Elizabeth, which had just sailed into port and dwarfed everything else around.

 The following day I was to visit two schools in the Henderson area the first was the Bruce McLaren Intermediate school where Carol Brooks was waiting to meet us.
I was speaking to two groups about Spider and Dead Boy Talking.

This is the school hall, prepared for my visit. It had some very colourful artwork on the walls.

I really enjoyed the visit and there were lots of interesting questions.

 There was also a chap from 'the ministry' visiting the school that day who sat in on  one of the sessions. I didn't find out he was there until I met him afterwards but, apparently, he was impressed!


At St Dominic's College with Pam Waters
We were collected at lunch time by the lovely Pam Waters from St Dominic's College, who was taking us for a quick lunch before the afternoon visit in her school.

I had a great afternoon speaking to about 60 girls in the school library.


The following day I was to visit Elm Park School, the last in the tour.  The school is in Pakuranga Heights in Manukau and Belinda Johnston is the school e-Learning/Library Facilitator (what a great title!) who came and collected us from central Auckland.

The school has a new purpose built auditorium which was bright and airy, exactly what was needed on a hot and sunny day.

 I was actually beginning to get used to it being hot in February! 

I spoke to two groups of classes that morning with about 200 children in each. 

I read from What Colour is Love? and  Hamish McHaggis to the younger children and Greyfriars Bobby, Spider and Dead Boy Talking to the older classes.

With lots of fun and great questions, it was a wonderful way to end my tour of New Zealand Schools.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the teachers, librarians and young people I met, who made it such a wonderful experience.

New Zealand Book Council
I would also like to  say a huge thank you to Noel Murphy, Emma Gallagher and all the team from the New Zealand Book Council, who helped to organise the the tour.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

WIN signed copies of Spider and Dead Boy Talking

Over on Crime Central all this month is the chance to  WIN
one of 3 sets of signed copies of  

Spider and Dead Boy Talking.

      Just answer one simple question.  clue: look on my website for the answer!

Competition is open internationally and closes on 1st May 2011
Check out the Crime Central website  for full details and lots of other interesting information on your favourite crime books  and authors.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

5# Napier - Hawkes Bay. Tamatea Schools and Bayiew.

Leaving Wellington we set off on the long drive up north towards Hawkes Bay.

There are wineries all around the area and we were to meet up with some friends at the Craggy Range winery for lunch.

Sitting outside in the beautiful countryside with stunning views of the 'craggy' mountains and delicious food and good company it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

The area has many wineries and the weekend we were there the Mission winery was holding the annual concert which is a huge event, sold out well in advance and is known for hosting top stars such as Rod Stewart.  This year it was Sting who was playing to the sell out crowd.  This caused a slight problem for us because we had not known about it beforehand and had hoped to stay in the area for a couple of days but after the first night, and my schools visits the following day there was no chance of finding any accommodation in the area.

But due to some incredibly generous people, we were offered a beautiful house to stay in, by a lovely couple we had met at the wedding, a week previously, family friends of the bride's parents.

 Their house was situated in Bayview, just around the bay from Napier and was amazing, with the added delight of  exquisite views.

Now that the accommodation was sorted there was a chance to have a look around the art deco city of Napier.... 
  In 1931 a devastating earthquake demolished much of the city but it was rebuilt in art deco style.

Every February they hold a weekend art deco festival.

On the Friday I was to visit two schools in Napier.  In the morning it was Tamatea High School, where I was taking a couple of classes, to do some creative writing.

I had a lovely morning there and there were some really interesting writers with great ideas!

In the afternoon when we arrived at Tamatea Primary School  we were met by a piper in full highland dress who started to play and walked ahead of me, leading me in a procession to where the children were all sitting beside a veranda, waiting for me.

I felt like royalty as I sat on the bench seat and listened to their kapa haka group who sang a Maori welcome -  a powhiri.  It was lovely. 

The head teacher welcomed me and told me they were having a Scottish week in honour of my coming to the school. One teacher, originally from Scotland was even wearing a white dress and tartan sash and the Head Teacher had a tartan cap on, too.

After the welcome I went to speak to two classes Yr 5/6 and told them all about Hamish McHaggis and friends.  It was a delightful afternoon.

All too soon we were heading off again, this time back to Auckland for the last three schools.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Crime Central Giveaway

This month (April) on 
Crime Central blog 
there is a chance to win one of three sets of signed copies
of BOTH my teenage novels 

The competition is open internationally and runs until 1st May with just one simple question to answer.

Visit A blog to celebrate crime fiction for teen readers, and read interesting blogs by a variety of writers who write about crime, read reviews and find out how crime writers minds work and have your say, too.


A blog to celebrate crime fiction for teen readers, run by authors Anne Cassidy, Keren David, Linda Strachan and Gillian Philip. Find out about new books, leave your comments and reviews, read interviews with authors.