Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Hello, Dear Readers. I hope you've all been keeping well since I checked in last.

My dad's funeral was yesterday, and I'm not quite ready to come back to the blog again. But I'm starting to feel strong enough to imagine about what the rest of my life might be like, to think about a future that won't have my father in it, but will still hopefully be joyful again, one day.

Whatever peace and comfort I've felt over the past few weeks has come because of the amazing love and support around me. Some of that has come from my family, and from friends that I know here in Real Life(tm). Everyone who knew my father had something wonderful to say about him yesterday - some little gem of a story about his kindness or his humour. The renal nurses who visited him at home, his social workers, people that he used to work with, neighbours: he had an impact on them all.

I've also received a humbling amount of support from other people. From Dear Readers, who've posted loving, kind comments to me here on my blog, even though I couldn't reply. From my friends in the YA Think and Authors Allsorts groups, whose wonderful package of letters and cards made me laugh (Ruth) and cry (Liz) and experience every emotion in between. From Tweeps, fellow bloggers, and online friends, who've emailed messages of love and support. From my Furtive Scribbler friends who've been with me through it all. From my marvellous agent, and from my editor, who've poured compassion and understanding all around me, and from the lovely folk at Walker Books and Candlewick Press.

Every comment, every card, every bar of chocolate, and every flower, has felt like a warm hug around my heart. And it helps. Please believe me - it helps so much. Grief is a terrible, isolating thing, that makes you feel as if there's simply no hope or joy left in life. You have given me joy, my darlings. It is as welcome, as vital, as a brilliant shaft of sunlight piercing the clouds after weeks of rain. It makes me hope again, and that means all the world to me.

Thank you all. I love you all. I will be back... soonish. Don't go anywhere in the meantime.


Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Hello, Dear Readers. I'm back again, but not for long. I just thought, in light of all the love and support I've recieved from everyone, that you deserved to know what was going on.

My dad passed away in the early hours of Monday morning. I think he went peacefully. I saw him, and he looked just as if he'd fallen asleep and was about to start snoring. But he was gone. If anyone's soul ever deserved to find its way to some blissful, light-filled place and be reunited with all their loved ones, my father's does. And if that's true, I know he'll always be watching over me, and I hope that I continue to make him laugh and make him proud, just like I always tried to do.

We were not expecting this to happen so quickly, and it's caught me completely unprepared in exactly the same way that the news he was going to be leaving us did. But I don't know, really, if I could ever have been prepared to lose him. I have a lot of work to do now, supporting my mum both practically and emotionally, and I'm probably not going to be around for a while. I will be back, though.

Love to you all.

Never, ever to be forgotten

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Hello, my lovelies. I'm going to try to keep this short, because writing about it turns me into a giant weeping mess. But after considering it for a few days, I decided that you guys would need to know what was going on with me.

So here goes.

My father, who you've read about on my blog many times, and for whom I've been caring over the last several years, has recently been told that his condition is now terminal. The treatments that he's having are no longer efficient, and there's nothing more that the doctors can do for him. He most likely won't live to see Christmas this year.

I've always been incredibly close to my dad. He's always been the biggest cheerleader for my writing career, the one who always got all my jokes, no matter how weird, and the person I could always count on to get out of bed in the middle of the night and drive thirty miles through a snowstorm to pick me up from some railway station in the middle of nowhere when the last service was cancelled. And now he's dying.

I am, to put it mildly, devastated.

Over the coming weeks and months, I may occasionally post just as normal, answering your questions, updating you about what I'm working on, or ranting. At other times, I might not post at all. Almost all of my energy is going to go towards trying to make my dad comfortable and happy during his final days, and into trying to sort out all the horrible, tangled, legal and financial details that come up at times like these. If there's anything left over, which there may not be, it will probably go into writing that I've got deadlines for, rather than into this blog - much as I love it, and love you all.

Please send good thoughts to my father and me, Dear Readers. Don't forget me while I'm gone. I don't really seem to know much of anything at the moment, but I do hope that I will be OK again one day, and this blog will be a happy place, even if it's never quite the same as it was before.

For the same reasons listed above, I might not reply to comments on this post. But I promise that I will read and appreciate each one.
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