Monday, 23 August 2010

At the Edinburgh festival

I love being a part of the Book Festival at Edinburgh.  It's always so much fun, and I meet so many interesting people there that I haven't seen for ages. This morning, I met Malcolm Rose, who is doing an event with a robotic hand, on the 24th. That should be fun! Debi Gliori, who is always fun, Keith Gray who is just lovely, ask anyone, and ...the list goes on. I had such a great time, and I didn't have to worry about being spooky at 10am on a Monday because the weather was perfect for a spooky tale. Wind and rain lashing against the roof, and such a great crowd of pupils from schools all over Scotland, including a school all the way from Berwick on Tweed! One school from Callander was held up by traffic and weather and missed the event, but I did speak to some of the pupils later.
   Last night, sitting in my hotel room in the dark, with just one bedside lamp lit, I got the idea to give them a first line for a spooky story, and,( because I always like to make them work!) I challenged them to write the rest. Hope I am going to get lots of great stories out of that first line. One of my nephews said, 'oh, I see, you get them to write the story, then you get it published then you sell it back to them...good plan.' Honestly, no respect! What am I going to do with this family of mine! 
   Anyway, want to know what that first line is....?

   ' I'm alone now, and the room is growing colder and something is moving in the shadows. I'm so afraid.
     Somebody help me.....please. '

I asked them to think about what the writer means by ' I'm'? Have there been other people there before, and what has happened to them? And what kind of room is it? A hotel room, a hospital room, a room in a school, in a house. Is it derelict or is it home? And is this a letter found by someone, or is it an e mail, or a message left in a computer ?
  Goodness, it has got me thinking as well......
  ( and I promise not to steal their ideas!)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Schools event Monday 23rd August

Off to Edninburgh for the Festival. I have a schools event at 10 tomorrow morning, looking forward to creating a creepy ghost story with them!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Kids' Lit Quiz World Final

Had to tell you I was at the world final of the Kids' Lit Quiz yesterday in Edinburgh. What a great day. There were seven teams, representing New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, Northern Ireland , Scotland and the United Kingdom, but it was the team from England, The City Of London School for Girls who carried off the trophy after a nail biting finish!  I was so impressed by these young people. They were so clever, so smart and so quick. There were loads of other authors there, including Alan Gibbons who gave a really funny and inspiring  speech about how much we needed libraries, and stories. Later we were all invited to dinner, and heard about some of the young people's favourite books. Keith Gray and Nicola Morgan gave entertaining speeches too. And then, when it was all over and just as it began to get dark, the authors left in taxis to go to the launch of the Book Festival. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Hello all,

Welcome to my new blog!

I'm Catherine MacPhail - author, tutor and speaker.

Amongst other books, I am the writer of the 'Nemesis' series.

My latest book, 'Grass' is in the shops right now. 'Out of the Depths' is out next, but that'll be the New Year.

I'll be updating you on my news, as well as my many adventures travelling the World, so check in with me soon!