I'm beyond chuffed to report that I am now being represented by literary agent Gillie Russell of Aitken Alexander. Gillie has given me phenomenal guidance and feedback so I am really looking forward to working with her and learning even more. I feel very lucky to have such an accomplished agent and I am very excited about our future work!
Incidentally, we are looking for a new title for "Anarchic Angel". Answers on a postcard, please....
Friday, October 21, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
"Star Trek Book of Opposites" by David Borgenicht
Board book: 24 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
It's surprising that someone with my propensity for geekdom isn't a Trekkie. But for some reason the canon of Star Trek programmes and films has passed me by. Sure, I've enjoyed what I've seen, such as "The Trouble with Tribbles" and its amusing follow-on in Deep Space Nine "Trials and Tribble-ations," but in the main, my Star Trek knowledge is woefully weak.
So it was lucky that out of all the books on Star Trek I could have had to review, I got "The Star Trek Book of Opposites," a book that takes the format of a vocabulary builder for very young children (but the reader age guideline of this book is 4 to 8 years, so it would suit children who are a bit older than the picture book genre that it fits into)!
It's an extremely well-produced board book, with wonderful photographs from the early shows, so even people with a cursory knowledge of the series like me will be able to appreciate them. This book is a lot of fun, and would make a great present for Trekkies of all ages. Or why not start them young, so they avoid being as ignorant about Star Trek as I am?
Monday, October 10, 2011
I have never met a high-glycemic carb I haven't fallen in love with. But I must admit I'm most partial to the cookie variety. My cookie-eating career began in earnest last year, when I stumbled upon 'Ben's Cookies' in Bath while doing my MA in Writing for Young People.
However, the peak experience came last December, with the most awesome Christmas present I've ever received in the post. My talented friend Anne Leone made me chocolate peppermint pinwheel cookies that lasted about as long as it took me to open the parcel; roughly about a minute. And no, I didn't share a single one of them. The parcel was addressed to me, not anyone else... though I did feel a pang of remorse when I saw how doleful my brother looked when I described the transcendent tasting experience. But they were long gone by that stage, so there was no danger of me having to offer him any.
So when "Cookiepedia" by Stacy Adimando arrived on top of my review pile on Friday, I was one happy blogger. The book was like a message from the gods, instructing me to break the wretched raw food detox I had started that morning STAT and return to the comfort and sweetness of baked goods.
What can I say, peeps? It was like coming home.
A vanilla-scented, sugar-sprinkled, cookie-shaped home.
It's been such a fun baking weekend! The only problem was choosing which recipes to use. What type of a pervert can decide between Shortbread and a Chocolate Chip Cookie?! While, lets face it, only a xenophobic freak would be able to favour a Florentine over a French Macaron!
So, in the name of research, I am working my way through the recipes (I know, I'm so "Julie and Julia"!).
I am up to page 23, the "Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-cookies". I'd wager I'm fairly high up on the weighing scales as well, so as a retox, this cookie-baking is probably a resounding success. But I am actually too scared to test that theory.
All the recipes I tried worked first time. The measurements are American, but it's easy to find measuring cups in large department stores or specialist kitchen supply shops. The instructions are well-explained and are written in an engaging style. There is a good introduction to baking at the start of the book and some nice, creative ideas on how to present and decorate the cookies. This book would suit a beginner but has enough unusual recipes to keep a more seasoned baker (pardon the pun) interested.
The best thing about my baking weekend was how social it was. Even I couldn't manage to eat all those cookies on my own so it was lovely having people around, or giving some away to visitors. When word got around about my bake-off-in-the-name-of-being-a-diligent-reviewer, I had lots of help with the baking as well as the eating.
What can I say? Baking cookies rocks!
I can't recommend this book highly enough. I may even give some home-baked cookies as Christmas presents this year. If I can resist scoffing them before parcelling them up, that is.
"Cookiepedia" by Stacey Adimando, October 2011, Quirk Books, ISBN: 978-1594745355, Price: £11.99.