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, October 05, 2008

Fire and Hemlock and explosions

I did my panel event in Bath with Diana Wynne Jones and Sarah Prineas and it was good. This in spite of an explosion in a parallel road just before (not sinister). While we were waiting in the Green Room I asked Diana to sign Fire and Hemlock for me and she volunteered that she had just read and enjoyed The Falconer's Knot. And she told me there was a monastery where I had invented one!

I had an enormous French meal with the Quercus gang afterwards and stayed in an eccentric hotel in a room up many flights of stairs.

I enjoyed this year's Guardian Award party much more than last year's and was able to tell Frank Cottrell Boyce how stunning I thought his Auschwitz play was.

I've managed to finish the first round of Troubadour edits and have also proofread the re-issue of Special Powers. Books have arrived from the London Library so I must start serious City of Ships research next week.

Just before I went to Wales we had all three daughters plus partners for all or part of the weekend, culminating in Sunday lunch for all 8 of us. And one of the few sunny days, so we could be in the garden afterwards.

Then on Monday I drove over 200 miles to Ty Newydd, where I was teaching a course with Celia Rees. It was brilliant but exhausting. It was the house Lloyd George owned and indeed died in - in the room we used for evening meetings. Marcus Sedgwick was our visiting speaker midweek and sat in the death spot - with no ill effects..

Much too much good food and wine and only one walk - down to the sea where we saw nine swans.

I re-read Fire and Hemlock, loving it as much as ever. Am now reading the new translation of War and Peace, so that will keep me busy for a while. Oh, and I've joined Facebook, which is another good displacement activity.


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