The love affair is over

I still haven’t read any of Dr. Lucy Christopher’s books. I’ve read her Twitter updates, though. They’re all about HORSES. I like horses as much as the next human, but jeez, Dr. Lucy Christopher REALLY BLOODY loves horses. I think she actually OWNS horses. Hopefully she lives in her homeland of Australia where owning two horses is probably mandatory; if she owns two horses and lives in the UK then it’s just troubling.

And speaking of troubling, I checked the Chicken House website today and they’re still not featuring that book I’ve not written and they’ve not published yet, I don’t understand why. Somebody really ought to do something about that.


The Usual Suspects: Christopher, Landy, and a man so boring he’s not even boring.

Apols for the lack of author-stalking recently. First, I was off being a roller derby superstar again – we won our first bout and I was named ‘Best Jammer‘ for the first time; then, a week later we won our SECOND bout and I was named ‘Best Jammer’ for a SECOND time! Soz for the boast but it’s the best thing in the bloody world.

Second, I’m basically a completely lazy suckerface. No further explanation required.

So, The Authors. Pretty much EVERYTHING has been going on whilst I’ve been kicking some A on the track.

EINS! Everyone’s favourite female YPF author whose first and surnames ARE BOTH FIRST NAMES, Lucy Christopher, was awarded MY PhD. Go doctor-elect Lucy Christopher! I expect all her published work from now on to show her name in all its new doctory glory, though I wonder if Chicken House would have marketing concerns about that…?

ZWEI! An opportunity has arisen for me to engage in a little real-life author-stalking. I am HIGHLY excited by this prospect. Derek Landy (of Valkyrie Cain fame) is doing a little book signing tour and is coming t’Yorkshire! BY ‘ECK! Unfotunately he’s chosen to come on a Thursday, presumably having forgotten to check my schedule because I WORK on a Thursday, as do most failed failed authors. Silly, selfish, self-absorbed Derek Landy.

DREI! The Edinburgh Festival exists, is going on, and all The Authors are going. Likeable Patrick Ness (who I’ve never really heard of) is hooking up with Andy Stanton, Luddite (of Mr. Gum fame) at the Edinburgh festival to chat about WRITING and the [my imaginary] Guardian Children’s Fiction prize and about getting them pesky young people involved in “the whole exciting process”. Read that last bit in sarcasm-voice, please. Presumably Andy Stanton, Luddite, will be putting forward the idea that we DESTROY ALL VIDEO GAMES. Take their X-Boxes and Playstations and replace them with paper and chawk and bits of string like wot he had as a young’un. Oh Andy. Just give up and get on t’internet so I can stalk you from the (relative) safety of my own sofa.

VIER! I’m getting more and more fascinated by the tepid beige entity that is Jonathan Stroud. I don’t really understand what he is or why he exists. Initially I was dismissive, but the more I read his blog the more vaguely not-completely-bored I become. It doesn’t sound like much but actually it’s almost notable. The man is COMPLETELY, entirely, wholly, all-consumingly normal. He’s in this weird beige area between mildly-interesting (which would at least be mildly interesting) and just shy of completely-bland-and-dull. It’s clever: he’s not quite entirely bland-or-dull because being entirely bland-or-dull would be interesting in it’s own way. Reminds me of Yossarian’s liver pain in Catch-22. Let me give you an example:

Bartimaeus ‘Lost Chapter’ revealed!

Just back from an excellent weekend in Norfolk, where it was (unusually) warm enough to swim in the sea, and definitely nice enough to stroll along beside the quays, watching people crabbing and eating excellent fish and chips straight from the paper.

Now I’m back home, writing hard and enjoying it: 5 pages a day is my current aim. And my mood is made even better because the lovely Ring of Solomon UK paperback is out on Thursday. A large box of them has just been delivered to my door by a weak-legged postman, and they look fantastic.

Anyway, to celebrate, we’ve got something special planned. On Thursday, 9 a.m. UK time, I’ll be posting up a ‘lost chapter’ from The Ring of Solomon for everyone to see. To start with it’ll be exclusively on my Facebook Fan page (!/JonathanStroudAuthor), but it’ll be posted up on this Bart site later.

When writing a Bart book, there are always lots of scenes and sequences that don’t make the final cut, and Ring of Solomon was no different. This extract features Bart and Faquarl trying to kill their nasty master, and getting into a little spot of bother over it… So you can take a look at it from Thursday! Meanwhile, more surprises later in the week…  Stay tuned!

Jonathan Stroud introduces the revelation of a lost chapter in one of his books – which is presumably supposed to be an exciting marketing ploy – with a description of his weekend in NORFOLK! And then asks his readers to “stay tuned”, as if he’s done a brilliant job of building up suspension somehow! Oh Jonathan, you tease. Ridiculous. Love.

BREAKING NEWS: YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is living my dream

What do you mean you don’t know who YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is? She was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award! She won the Southern Schools Book Award! SHE WON A GOLDEN INKY!

For bookssake, what does a girl have to do to get noticed around here?

Yeah, I’m kidding obvs. I didn’t know who she was either until I decided that I wanted to branch out in my author stalking, clearly only because I dislike that the words ‘NEIL’ and ‘GAIMAN’ are so huge in my fancy tag cloud over on the right there. ————————->

So anyway I’ve started author stalking YA fiction author Lucy Christopher – in a FRIENDLY way, jeez! – of whose two published novels (Stolen and Freedom) I’ve read nil, nada, none und nichts. Yet. There is still time. So meanwhile, before I’ve perused her disgustingly well-received novels, I have found something else to entertain myself with. It turns out, quite coincidently, that YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is LIVING MY IMAGINARY LIFE!

Yes, that’s right folks: YA fiction author Lucy Christopher has somehow managed to break into my imagination, has STOLEN all my ideas for things I have imagined for my own life, and has made them a reality in her actual life! In other words, SHE HAS PRE-EMPTIVELY PLAGIARISED MY LIFE! I’m suing. I confess to not being particularly familiar with the fine print of copyright law but I have absolutely no doubt that this is covered somewhere in there. You remember the adverts: “Life plagiarism is a CRIME. DO NOT accept it. Demand an ORIGINAL life from your video store.” Or something.

YA fiction author Lucy Christopher’s List of Things She Has Stolen From My Imaginary Life

1. She has published THE DREAM plural well-received YA novels
2. She took THE DREAM Masters degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa** (AND got a Distinction for it)
3. She is doing THE DREAM creative PhD
4. She is doing THE DREAM lecturing-at-a-university-whilst-simultaneously-fitting-in-writing-more-novels.
5. She reckons she’s always wanted to go in a hot air balloon but, excuse me, that is my ACTUAL DREAM!
6. Finally, and to top it all off, she is represented by CHICKEN HOUSE. This of all things makes me fuge (pronounced ‘huge’). Chicken House is MY preferred publisher and has been for years, ever since that time I picked up a Chicken House book and saw that the editor had written a little note about the book in the front. I thought to myself “Oh, how lovely. What a wonderful personal touch – this editor must really care about this book, and this publishing house must really care about their authors and editors to let them do this. I can’t wait until I write my imaginary future award-winning YA novels because I’m going to send them to Chicken House and refuse to have them published by anyone else in the whole world EVER”. Why, YA fiction author Lucy Christopher? WHY? COULDN’T YOU LEAVE ME JUST THAT ONE SCRAP OF THE DREAM LIFE?

(** Actually, this isn’t a valid point: the ACTUAL dream MA is the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People, but it’s close enough.)

You know the worst thing? She sounds like she’s so damn NICE. Ugh. She says “Hi Guys” when she writes a blog entry. She takes her mum to book awards. She volunteers in South Africa.

Yeah, WHATEVER YA fiction author Lucy Christopher. I shake my fist at you. You may be a successful, prizewinning YA novelist who gets to travel all over the world living all the best elements of my dream life, but I’m in ADMIN.


She’s my hero.