Spock, Science Fiction, and Me  (February 28, 2015)  The death of Leonard Nimoy was sad news. There ar ...    The Creature Department Nominated for the 2015 Silver Birch Award  (January 19, 2015)  Happy 2015, everybody. The year has started well f ...    The Wonder of the Webcam: Tips for Virtual School Visits  (January 12, 2015)  Because I live in London, England and much of my ...    Out Today: The Creature Department, GOBBLED BY GHORKS  (November 13, 2014)  NEWS! NEWS! Today is the day the sequel to The Cre ...    The Vancouver Writers Festival, 21-23 Oct  (September 15, 2014)  Good news everyone! Next month, I’ll be appe ...    Nagasaki, Japan: My Favourite Bits  (August 18, 2014)  It’s been quite a while since my last post. I ...    Enchantium Gas is Real (Tell Me Something I Didn’t Know)  (May 8, 2014)  This morning I read an article about a “qu ...    Canadian-UK Young Adult Literary Salon  (April 12, 2014)  On 7 May 2014, the Canadian High Commission is hos ...    Happy World Read Aloud Day!  (March 5, 2014)  The first Wednesday of March is World Read Aloud ...    Blues for Zoey is published—today  (January 28, 2014)  Good news everyone: Today is the day Penguin/Razo ...    The Greatest / Saddest / Oddest Events of 2013  (January 10, 2014)  Happy New Year, everyone. Welcome to the year two- ...    Book Trailer for Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff (with lemmings)  (December 5, 2013)  Okay. So, yes. Technically, I’m a bit late w ...    The Creature Department Emerges from its Cave  (November 6, 2013)    At long last, it’s finally here. Ladies a ...    How to Read in Two Languages at Once  (September 23, 2013)  Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Har ...    Showtime, featuring Machiko  (August 13, 2013)  Here’s something. Good friend and fellow aut ...   
VOL. Mon 30 Mar 2015

The Creature Department Nominated for the 2015 Silver Birch Award

Happy 2015, everybody. The year has started well for the crew of The Creature Department, one of the books shortlisted for this year's Silver Birch Award, part of the Forest of Reading Festival. As ever, it's an honour to be selected, and to appear on a list alongside so many wonderful children's authors. But wait, it gets better. The awards ceremony is in Toronto in May and guess what—I'll be there! I'll be in southern Ontario in the first couple of weeks in May. While I'm there, I'll be available to present at schools and libraries (for more on that, please contact the Authors Booking Service). Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and perhaps making so

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Out Today: The Creature Department, GOBBLED BY GHORKS

NEWS! NEWS! Today is the day the sequel to The Creature Department hits the street. The books is called Gobbled By Ghorks! and that's precisely what will happen if Elliot, Leslie, and the incredibly strange creatures of DENKi-3000 can't find a way to amuse the most humourless ghork of them all. Believe it or not, this book is even stranger (and possibly sillier) than the first one. But that's creaturedom for you. Inside, you will find weird creatures and weirder inventions, gigantic flying beetles, daredevil record-breakers, jazz ballads for the electrombone, a dollop of romance, many more dollops of snot, great heaps of food, and the most bizarre all-singing, all-dancing dinn

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The Vancouver Writers Festival, 21-23 Oct

Good news everyone! Next month, I'll be appearing (live and in the swarthiest of flesh) at the Vancouver Writers Festival! Having once called Vancouver home I have a heap of wonderful memories of that most pristine of coastal cities, so it'll be great to be back after quite a while away. If you'll be in Vancouver around the 21 to 23 of October then please do come out and welcome me back to the old stomping ground! In no particular order, I'll be there to talk about: harnessing your imagination (or just riding bareback), the writing process, do-it-yourself musical instruments, mad science, secrets, lies, knucklecrumplers, fictional rock stars, and what happens when an Irish fairy falls

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Spock, Science Fiction, and Me

The death of Leonard Nimoy was sad news. There are very few actors who spend their entire careers so closely associated with a single character—and Spock was a great one. I still remember the first time I saw Leonard Nimoy interviewed, how ironically alien and unnatural it was to see him without pointy, prosthetic ears. His death brought back a lot of fond memories of growing up watching reruns of Star Trek's original series. Spock's character will always have particular appeal to me. Being quite a mixed bag myself, I couldn't help but feel akin to his multi-ethnic (multi-species?) birth. Star Trek also reminds me of the way science-fiction, with its limitless possibilities

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The Wonder of the Webcam: Tips for Virtual School Visits

Because I live in London, England and much of my professional life as a children's and YA author happens in the North America, I often do virtual school visits via Skype and Facetime. Regardless of what a technophile may tell you, I wouldn't quite call virtual visits a perfect, painless substitute for an in-person presentation (nothing's as good as interacting with readers in person), but that doesn't mean virtual visits don't work. In fact, they can be great fun and allow to connect with readers you would never otherwise meet. The important thing is making them run smoothly. Here's what I've learned to help make that happen... 1. Test Your Connection Beforehand By this point i

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Nagasaki, Japan: My Favourite Bits

It’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve been busy with new writing projects, editing work, travelling, moving to a new neighbourhood (south of the river, baby!), and a host of other things too trivial to mention. Some things, however, weren't trivial at all. They were fascinating. In the spring, while visiting my wife's family in Japan, the two of us slipped away for a couple days in Nagasaki. The city is on the coast of Kyūshū, the most southwestern of Japan’s four main islands. Sadly, it's best known as the world's most recent victim of a nuclear attack, but I can assure you there’s much more to the Nagasaki of today. I found it a brilliant, quirky, end

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“A wonderful coming-of-age story”

“A feast for the imagination”

“Ought to enchant readers, whether they are fashion plates or reprobates”