An Angry Young Woman

I often wonder how girls and women coped in the past, imprisoned in domesticity and denied intellectual lives. The liberation of girls and women - the thing which means we can study alongside boys and men, and have the same careers - is, in the grand historic scheme of things, so recent. I think tha… more »


At the end of last week, I spent three days at the ShoutSouth! festival of children's writing at London South Bank University. Sponsored by Derwent, and by Pea Green Books, the festival is a gathering of authors and illustrators of children's books, alongside about just over a hundred students. Topp… more »


I watched the first episode of the new series last night. To be honest, I was disappointed by the ending of the first series. The unveiling of the killer seemed to come from nowhere, and not in a good way. Could it be that the writers were similarly dissatisfied with their handiwork? Because the beg… more »

Moving On

Apologies if I sound a little frazzled. We’ve just moved house. And I don’t mean just around the corner, we’ve moved half way across the world from Beijing to London after thirteen years in China (long story). When we were about leave Beijing, I told my children, who have grown up in China and who w… more »

Countdown to publication

Three days to the release of Splintered Light. A first glimpse of Leah:

The girl lies fast asleep on her back with her arms flung above her head as though she's been surprised. She hasn't pulled the curtains, and light from the street falls upon her face. If someone were to stand in her room and … more »

YA Prisons

My new book, Splintered Light, comes out next week. It’s about three teenagers, Leah, Linden and Charlie, who don’t know each other, but whose lives collide dramatically twelve years after Leah’s mother was murdered in a local park. One of these three is a young man called Linden. At 17, he’s a… more »

The Bookworm’s literary lovefest

This week I had fun at the Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival meeting authors from far and wide. I talked about YA literature on a panel with the prolific and funny Australian writer Nick Earls and Chinese writer Ye Gang and we all mulled the question of whether Young Adult literature had any respon… more »