Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Lost and Found

Well, Lorenzo did throw all the relationships up in the air. Surprisingly in was Lonza who accepted him first and Lila was hissed and complained for four days. But they all love each other now.

It has been an exhausting week, so hot and humid and so much going on.

On Monday I got horribly lost both ways going to a teachers’ centre in Northants. If you remember my post “The Fat Lady has Sung” from last October, here is another vow: I shall not drive to places I don’t know unless there is another person in the car to read the AA route for me! Gradually I am learning.

On Wednesday to the East End to launch four new dual-language editions of Amazing Grace at the Newham bookshop. Jessica Souhami and Prodeepta Das also had new books and we all did a live radio interview on an Asian network the night before. We all had a great Indian meal at a vegetarian cafe afterwards and were joined by Benjamin Zephaniah, who has also done a book for Frances Lincoln and is writing J is for Jamaica to Prodeepta’s photos.

After a night in London I went by cab to King’s Cross and saw the banks of flowers for the first time. I observed my 2 minutes’ silence on a train to Nottinghamshire for the Lowdham festival. That was because the train was late – I was supposed to be starting at a school by 12.

It sort of carried on like that – the teenagers in the afternoon hadn’t heard of me or my books. But one lovely girl had been taken out of school by her mother to come and hear me and was a great Stravaganza fan. So as in Toronto, one reader saved it from disaster.

The whole day was mad because of journalists ringing me on my mobile about the press release – it even made BBC Radio 4 news at 6pm, though I didn’t hear it. On Friday, to do a live TV interview on BBC News 24. Then Radio Oxford bagged me and I think Radio 4 picked it up from there.

The cats have found out what fun paper is and I fear they don’t distinguish between scrumpled up bits in the waste paper basket and vitally important documents like my tax bill. Must teach them to read.