News and Stuff


Something Exciting is Coming this way …

I’m not allowed to say too much at the moment, as publishers REALLY like to keep secrets! But I have just signed a contract with the amazing Harper Collins!!!!

It’s been something bubbling away since summer 2019 and is now well under way. I’m having a blast writing what I’m writing (sorry no spoilers!) and working with the team and editor at Harper Collins. I’ve visited their stunning offices high in the clouds in Central London and had hugely exciting meetings.

It is something I’m very proud to be part of and I’ll release more details when I’m allowed! Squeeeeeeee!!!!!

Signed Contracts!!

Radio Chocoplot!

Even though I have moved away from my native North East and into London, it was wonderful to hear that me and book were still being talked about up there!

Radio Tees has a weekly Book Talk slot hosted by Bob Fischer and author (and school librarian) Rachel Coverdale. I first met Rachel on a school visit and she is a real champion of books and reading. Rachel has such enthusiasm for getting the right book into the right young hands. So it was especially wonderful to hear her talk about my book in such a lovely way. It was great to share some of the limelight with one of my favourite authors, and North East favourite, Dan Smith. Dan writes fantastic adventure stories full of action and suspense, like ‘Boy X’ which they talked about. Luckily, Rachel said great things about him too!

Although I’m not on the radio, I can still say that I’ve read Rachel’s book, ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t’ and would highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful story of friendship in unexpected places and is a cracking read.

Thanks to Rachel for the photo and for being so kind to me! Please check out Rachel’s website and her books here.


More Waterstones Selfies!!

I know, I know. It’s shameless shelf promotion. It’s egotistical. But I love it!

Going into bookshops and seeing my book never gets old. Now that I have moved from Newcastle to London, it’s been brilliant to see it my adopted home. Here are some of my cheesy grins of me and my signed book in Watersones Kingston, the flagship Waterstones Piccadilly and Waterstones Gower Street, where the staff were wonderful enough to rearrange the shelf so I could have a much appreciated ‘face-out’!!


Christmas is coming …

Personally, I think ‘The Great Chocoplot’ would make a perfect Christmas present. A book about chocolate! But then I would think that, wouldn’t I!

So, just a little reminder that it is available at all good bookstores and all the usual places online.

Please support your local book shops and libraries when choosing books.

Wishing you all a happy and chocolatey Christmas!


Proud Northerner

I’m from Tyneside, but have recently moved into the big capital of London (it’s still a little scary, but I’m starting to get used to it!). We were incredibly sad to leave our home but have been made to feel welcome down south. I always try and return whenever I can.

I’ve always had huge support from from my local bookshops and libraries in the North East and was delighted to see on a recent visit that me and my silly book have not been forgotten!

My heart leaped at seeing my familiar purple cover proudly on display in the magnificent Waterstones Newcastle. It was part of a display from a local Headteacher, Mrs Wall. I had the honour of visiting her school early in the year and had a wonderful time. Thank you, Mrs Wall for this huge honour.

It was also a pleasure to visit beautiful Durham’s Waterstones and see my book still on display there too. The good people and booksellers of Durham have been so kind to me for a long, long time. The thrill of seeing my book next to so many fantastic books never gets old. Thank you, Fiona and all the staff there for your loveliness.

It’s especially lovely to be a ‘Shelf Buddy’ with the incredible Emma Carroll too!


Great to be Back in the North

The Northern Children’s Book Festival and a grinning Northern Author

It was wonderful being asked to be part of The Northern Children’s Book Festival again. I had an amazing time visiting a number of schools in Gateshead and Durham. It’s always a joy to return back up North and spread my chocolatey panic with such engaging, enthusiastic and funny audiences. It was also a pleasure meeting our brilliant librarians again. I was well looked after by Maria, Chris (from Gateshead Libraries) and Julie (from Durham) and received warm welcomes in the schools.

The amount of work and effort that goes into this festival from librarians across the North East is staggering. Thanks also to Rachel and Catherine for inviting me. I had a choctastic time!


The Northern Children’s Book Festival

I am flattered and excited to have been asked to take part in the Northern Children’s Book Festival (NCBF) again this year.

As a proud Northerner it is always great to have an excuse to return up north, especially for the chance of visiting some brilliant schools.

The NCBF is a very special festival, in my opinion. It goes to huge efforts to get authors into schools that don’t normally get those kind of opportunities. This always guarantees the most amazing welcome from the most excitable kids around. It’s such a fun event to be part of and is organised and supported by the hard-working librarians in the area. I can’t wait to get involved next week.

The Great Chocoplot, Chris Callaghan, The Northern Children's Book Festival

Seven Stories Dahl-itious Day

I had so much fun on my visit to Seven Stories celebrating Roald Dahl Day. It was an honour to be asked to take part and talk about my chocolatey book. We also had a workshop where my lovely audience dug into their own imaginations and came up with chocolate stories and apocalyptic ideas. I was incredibly impressed with them.

It was also fantastic to see Sophie Anderson talking about her amazing new book, The Girl Who Speaks Bear and her inspiration from folk tales. I was thrilled when Sophie and her family stayed for my event too!

Huge thanks to everyone who came along, including Sandra Russell who drew this amazing sketch of me during my talk. The staff at Seven Stories were wonderful and many thanks to Sharleene for inviting me along and for the photos in the bookshop! A truly gloriumptious day!


Celebrating Roald Dahl Day

It is a thrill and an honour to be asked to come along to Seven Stories, The Nation Centre for Children’s Books, to help them celebrate our greatest storyteller, Roald Dahl‘s birthday.

Mr Dahl needs no introduction at all, as his stories have been loved by generations of readers. It will be wonderful to add my own chocolatey twist into the celebrations and talk about my own book, reveal some unusual chocolate facts and join my audience in writing their own chocolate story or create their own apocalyptic story plan.

I’ll be there on Saturday 14th September from 2pm at Seven Stories, 30 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PQ. Booking is required here. There is limited space, so get your tickets quick!

Why not call in and see the wonderful Sophie Anderson talking about her new book, The Girl Who Speaks Bear, too? It would be great to have a lovely audience of readers and chocoholics!! It’s going to be gloriumptious!


Chocoplot Returns to Durham Waterstones

It was wonderful to be invited back to sign copies of ‘The Great Chocoplot’ in store at Waterstones Durham. It is one of my favourite bookshops in one of the most beautiful places around, where I also always get made to feel incredibly welcome.

I was even treated to a queue of keen and patient readers/chocoholics for an hour or so after first arriving. I try to arrive at these events nice and early to get set up and shake the nerves away, but I was greeted by a couple of young readers sitting on the floor, already a few pages into their new copies. What a thrill to see that!!

Thank you to everyone who came along – some travelling quite a distance! It was an honour and I always appreciate these special occasions of meeting my readers and scribbling in their copies. After a few fantastic hours, here’s a picture of me emerging into the strong sunlight, with a bag full of newly purchased books (Fiona is an unstoppable bookselling machine!). I especially like this man’s ‘who are you?’ expression to immediately burst my short-lived ‘famous author’ bubble!! Great day!