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

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Such a lot has happened since my last. Rhiannon and I had a fabulous week on Rhodes, where it was still really hot and sunny. There was lots of sunbathing and swimming but also plenty of talk about books, read, written and in embryo. I'd read and reviewed Katherine Roberts' The Colossus Crisis, which was set on the island in 227 BC and of course Christina Hardyment's book on Malory hypothesises a vist to Rhodes Town. And we both read Adele Geras' Ithaka in the brilliant white sunshine under blue skies by turquoise seas and sandy beaches.

Rhodes Town, the mysterious island of Symi, where everyone owns art least three houses because the population plummeted once synthetic sponges were invented, and Lindos with its Doric acropolist encircled by a Mediaeval fortress, containing a Byzantine church - lots of food for thought. It's time someone did for the Knights Hospitaller what Dan Brown and all the other conspiracy theorists have done for the Templars.

Four hours at home and then straight to Chair the CWIG conference at St. Cats in Oxford. Very tiring but wonderful and stimulating. Not many publishers, since most were at the YLG conference, which clashed. But we were very well supported by the wonderful Templar Press, who provided folders and wine. We were of course concerned about the proposed bid by HMV/Waterstone's for Ottakar's, which will reduce choice and mean even greater discounting of authors' titles. Rhiannon also attended and was refreshed by being among so many authors, where she certainly held her own.

I did a session on Creating Secondary Worlds, useful since I have to help school students create an alternative Durham next month. I had prepared the autumn issue of Armadillo before we left for Greece and Rhainnon coded it up as soon as the conference was over. So it has gone up only one day late, in spite of Rhodes and CWIG.

The flow of e-mails has stopped completely, which wasn't quite what I meant. But I have been too available and mustn't repine. More time for writing, which is what it's all about.

Have just finished reading HP6 and must admit I rather enjoyed it. Much better than HP5.