This week, I am nervous.

  1. Not long now until the winner of the Ampersand Prize is announced! I have a date, but shan’t make it public just yet.


2. I finished Anomalies: Slash and Burn Edition, which means I’m into the ‘proof-reading aloud’ phase. You can read about that here.

3. I’ve been trying to design simple logos that look evil for a couple of different stories. Generally, round shapes are psychologically ‘trustworthy’ while spiky or geometric shapes make the primal brain anxious. But I have discovered nothing save a newfound respect for graphic designers.

4. Life is research! I’ve been spending a lot of time around kids this week, observing them and hanging out with them. Although I normally write for teenagers, it’s nevertheless been valuable to me as a writer for young people, both as inspiration for characters and to see what interests a potential target audience. In particular, I’ve been noticing how kids respond to the allure of the forbidden – saying taboo words, reading above their level, or pushing the boundaries set by parents.

You can never be too careful around a writer. We’re like spies.


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