Friday, February 27, 2009

Judy Moody in Dublin

Judy Moody's lovely creator, Megan McDonald, was in Dublin yesterday to celebrate the launch of her new book, Judy Moody Goes to College.

I met her in a tres chic restaurant called 'The Saddle Club' in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin city centre. She was wearing a blue shirt and darling blue and pink earrings and she has such a lovely warm smile I instantly liked her.

She's even read Amy Green, isn't that amazing?!

Her new book, The Sister Club is out in May - look out for it, I've just started reading it and it's fab. Just like Megan.

I do love being a children's reviewer - it's sooooooooooooo much fun!!! I'll post a sneak preview review of The Sister Club really soon.

Sarah X

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Congratulations to Orla Heatley

Huge congrats to Orla Heatley who has won the World Book Day writing competition. Orla's story will be published in a special book and she's one of only 3 Irish children to win.

I'm presenting her with her prize tomorrow in Wicklow where she goes to school - I can't wait to meet her - her story is fab. All about a school with no rules.

I'm always blown away by the story and book ideas you guys have - some of them are truly brilliant. Keep up the writing. And look out for some writing tips on the Amy Green site soon. Oh, and a brand new Bebo site - stay tuned for more info.

Happy Pancake Day!

Sarah X

Monday, February 23, 2009

Judy Moody in Dublin on Thursday - Hurrah!

And guess who I'm meeting on Thursday evening - Judy Moody herself, Megan McDonald - how exciting is that?! I can't wait - I looovvveee Judy Moody.
Sarah X

Can You Keep a Secret?

Pssst. I want to tell you a secret.

Are you listening carefully?

Any Cathy Hopkins or Darren Shan fans out there?

Well - they're going to be in Ireland soon for a very special event.

And you'll be the very first to know.

More details soon - but I can tell you this - it's over the summer hols and it's going to be fab!

Sarah X

School Visits

This week I'm visiting Killiney/Glenageary National School - 5th and 6th class - hi guys! That's my daughter's school.
I'm also visiting a school in Wicklow to give a young writer an award for her work - more about that on Thurs.
And finally Skerries Community College to talk to 5th and 6th years (17 and 18) - who will all be taller than me I'd say - I'm a bit teeny - 5ft 3 just about.
I'll let you know how all the visits go - and give a shout out to all the readers I meet along the way.
Sarah X

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mothers and Daughters' Book Club

The book club went really well last night. First we had a quiz - how well do you know your mother/daughter? It was good fun and everyone found out lots of things about their mum or their daughter.

A photographer from the Fingal Independent came to take snaps of all the girls and their mums.

Then we talked about favourite books, favourite characters and why they liked them. All the girls loved Jacqueline Wilson and the club decided the next book they would read would be Jacky Daydream, her autobiography. None of the mums have ever read Jacqueline's books and I think they'll really enjoy reading it.

Lots of the girls brought copies of Amy Green along so I signed them and talked a little about the background to writing it.

It was fun! Thanks to eveyone who attended. Happy reading!

Sarah X

PS Do you know your mum's favourite flower? Or her favourite band when she was teenager? Or who she'd like to meet more than anyone else in the world?
Ask her and find out!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mothers and Daughters' Book Club Tonight

I'm hosting a Mother and Daughters' Book Club tonight in Balbriggan Library in Dublin. I hope it goes well. Cross your fingers and toes for me. I'll report back on it tomorrow.

Sarah X

If you want to find out more, there was an article on the club in The Irish Times this week - here's the link:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meeting Writers

One of the lovely things about being a reviewer (I review children's books for the Irish Independent) is meeting new authors.
Last night I was at a tres swish dinner in Roly's in Ballsbridge with the fab Sarah Rees Brennan. Her book is called The Demon's Lexicon and it's out in June. It's quite a dark tale, with lots of creepy happenings, very Twilight indeed.
Sarah is very smart and very bubbly and it was a real pleasure to meet her.

And next week I'm out to dinner again - with the amazing Megan McDonald, author of the Judy Moody books.I'm one lucky girl!

Have a good day.

Sarah X

Monday, February 16, 2009

Aine in Gorey

Final post of the day! A big hi to Aine in Gorey who's been telling all her friends about Amy Green. I met Aine last year when I did a writing workshop with her class and she's a great reader and very good at the old writing too. A future star in the making.
Right, better get the kids to bed now! It's their half term so they are having a ball.
Until tomorrow . . .
Sarah X
Hi to Sophie and all the girls I met on my book signing day last Friday. I met Sophie and her friends in Dundrum shopping centre (also featured in Amy Green - fab place for shopping!). I also met a very talented young writer called Ciara in Liffey Valley shopping centre. You girls have such brilliant ideas for stories - I'm in awe!

I'll post some writing tips on the site soon - as I know some of you are very interested in writing.

And thanks for all the lovely emails, girls, keep them coming!

Best, Sarah X

Lucan and Joe - Writing Magic

I was at Lucan Library this morning doing a 'Writing Magic' Workshop with Lucan Educate Together and Joe. We wrote a story together called 'Mmmmmmm Vanilla', about a little fairy called Vanilla who loved ice-cream and was afraid of humans.

Hi to all the gang - you were great - loved the ideas. And what clever questions also!

Here's the story:

Mmmmmmmmm Vanilla
By Lucan Educate Together and Joe (with Sarah)
16th Feb 2009

Vanilla the Fairy was trying to get vanilla ice-cream because if she didn’t she would explode.

She was looking for ice-cream in Big Boy’s fridge.

Big Boy was the local farmer who made ice-cream out of the milk from his special cows. He was the size of a cow, with huge purple teeth from drinking too much blackcurrant.

Big Boy walked into the kitchen and saw a tub of ice-cream floating in the air.

‘Holy ice-cream!’ he said. ‘Why is my ice-cream floating in the air?’

Vanilla got such a fright that she dropped the carton on his head and knocked him out. She felt so sorry for the farmer that she hid in an egg cup and stuck her head over the edge to watch and make sure he was all right.

Big Boy woke up and there was melted ice-cream running down his head. He was cold and shivering. The knock on the head has paralysed him and he couldn’t move his arms or legs.

‘Help!’ he shouted.

His wife, Big Girl, was upstairs in the bath. ‘Don’t bother me,’ she said. ‘You’re a big boy now, deal with it yourself. It’s not as if you’re paralysed or anything.’

‘But I am,’ he said. ‘I got knocked out by floating ice-cream.’

‘You’re crazy,’ she said. And she didn’t go to help him.

By this stage Vanilla was feeling very guilty and wanted to help him even though she was afraid of him. So she flew down . . .

Continue this story and tell me how Vanilla the Fairy saved the day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hi to all the Clondalkin Gang

I visited Clondalkin Library to do a writing magic workshop this evening. There were 20 girls and boys (but mainly girls!) at the event and they were brilliant at coming up with characters and plots.

We wrote a story together about vampire twins - called Touch of Blood - and then each person added his or her own ending to the story.

I'll post Tara's ending and picture tomorrow as it's cool - and well done to everyone at the workshop for your brilliant stories!

Here's the story we wrote together:

A Touch of Blood

By the Clondalkin Library Gang
Feb 2009

One day the vampire twins, Jordan and Cian were out trying to steal blood from the blood bank when they bumped into two girls, Chloe and Kate. They were there to give blood.

‘What are you doing?’ Kate asked Jordan.

Jordan said ‘We’re part-time surgeons.’

‘That’s so cool,’ Rosie said. ‘But why are you holding that blood in your hand?’

‘Um, I’m just in from an operation,’ he said, ‘and this blood is from my patient – I’m donating it to the blood bank.’

Just then the sun went down and it began to get dark outside. The boys felt themselves turn into vampires.

They hadn’t eaten for days – they’d both had bad report cards and their dad locked all their blood in the dungeon. Then he’d locked the boys in the shed but they got out through their secret trap door.

Cian bit into the bag of blood and it gushed out everywhere.

Rosie said ‘Oh my God, what are you doing eating that blood?’
When the blood hit her she started to turn into a werewolf.

Then a tall man walked out of the surgery and glared at the twins and the girls. He was tall with pale skin. He had an evil grin.

‘What are you doing here boys? I thought I’d locked you up in the shed.’ It was the boys’ father.

‘How could you lock them up you evil man?’ Kate said. ‘You’re a bad father.’

‘Don’t tell me what to do with my sons,’ he said. ‘You’re just a stupid werewolf.’

‘Who are you calling a stupid werewolf, you ignorant vampire?

Each of the gang added their own ending here – why don’t you see if you can write a good ending? Send it to me if you like – – and I’ll post it here on The Goss.

Happy writing! Bye, Sarah X

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hi to all at Rathfarnham National School

Hi to 6th class from Rathfarnham National School - what a fab bunch of lads and lasses. We wrote a story together this morning about Evan who wanted to be in a rock band and Evalina who was Simon Cowell's god-daughter and the judge of a rock band competition.

All the suggestions were brilliant and I really liked some of the endings the students wrote.

We all agreed that the best books and stories were exciting and interesting, had brilliant characters and lots of action. Some people liked their books to be scary or sad, and everyone liked funny books.

Rathfarnham's own story was certainly most of those things - it was a cracker.

Do you like writing stories too?

Best, Sarah X

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thanks, Girls

Hi to Jess and Aine and Ella and Helen and everyone else who has contacted me, and thanks so much for your emails. I'll answer them all over the weekend, I promise! It's so lovely to hear from readers - keep them coming -

And thanks so much for all the fab comments on the book - it means a lot to me!

Sarah X


The lovely Luisa at Chicklish interviewed me for her great website - check it out:

Chicklish is a fab website - lots of reviews of fab books for girls - plus competitions and author interviews.

Sarah X

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Amy Green Party

I had a lovely Amy Green launch dinner last night - lucky me! It was fun to see some old friends and also to meet some new ones too, like Sarah, editor of Kiss magazine (Hi, Sarah!), and lovely Alice from Walker Books who is my pr guru person.

Poor Alice was stuck in Gatwick for hours 'cause of the snow - boo! But she still managed to make it to Dublin - hurrah!

I'll post some pics of the dinner tomorrow.

I was on Seoige this afternoon - RTE telly - and I'll be on again in the morning (it's repeated). Did you catch me? I was talking about some of my favourite books, including Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Fab book. Read it if you get a chance.

That's all for now.

Sarah X

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow in Dublin!

Ah, yes well you may have to tilt your head to see my family's little snowmen on the gravel in the back garden - oops!
I can't believe it - a few days ago I was complaining at the lack of snow - and boom - snow! See my igloo photo for proof. As Scooby Doo would say 'Spooky'!
I hope you are enjoying the snow wherever you are. Keep cosy.