Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have Lunch with Me in Dun Laoghaire - Mountains to Sea Book Lunch!

Hi All,

If you live near Dun Laoghaire - here is a cool event just for you - come and have lunch with me at the -
Monster Book Lunch – on Sat 11th September
Sponsored by Walker Books, to celebrate their 30th birthday

An author or illustrator at every table, including moi!

Fifteen authors will host fifteen different tables, and one of those tables has your name on it (don’t worry, you’ll get to meet all the authors!).

Meet and chat to KATE DICAMILLO (how cool is that?!), Marita Conlon McKenna, Don Conroy, Joe O’Neill, Judi Curtin, PJ Lynch, Sarah Rees Brennan and a host of other authors and illustrators. Plus readings and a Q and A.

Everyone will go home with a goody bag and there will be a bookshop on site to buy signed copies of all the authors’ books.

See you there!

Time: 12 to 3.15
Venue: Royal St George Yacht Club, Seafront, Dun Laoghaire
Cost: e15 children e20 adults

Tickets are strictly limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Booking: 01 2312929 or book online at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letter of the week - from Tammy

Here’s my letter of the week, from a lovely girl, T. I’ll call her Tammy!

Hey there, Sarah,

I recently finished reading your second book and decided to get in touch. I was just wondering how you managed to come up with such a great storyline? The books. There isn't any words for them. They are just so good.

I'm trying to write a book myself and was just wondering if you have any tips? Also are you planning on making the books into a film if you haven’t already.

I'm waiting for the next book come out. i even ordered one that isn’t due out until next year. rather sad I know, but they are the kind of books that are really hard to put down, and when you've finished, you just wanna go straight to the next book. I hope you get in touch.

Tammy x

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for your lovely email. I'm so glad you liked Amy Green's adventures. I'm working on the 4th book at the moment - it will be called Party Drama-rama and is about Sylvie's hen party, a very unusual boy called Bailey Otis who will first appear in book 3 in October.

I don't know where I get my ideas really! First I come up with the characters for a book, and then think about the kind of things they might get up to, and then the stories just seem to write themselves as the characters take over.

But I do use some 'real' things in the books. In Boy Trouble the Bebo bullying story was based on a story I read in the paper. And in Summer Secrets, Lough Ine is a real place - and it inspired that storyline.

And in Bridesmaid Blitz (out in Oct) the Paris hotel is based on a real hotel I stayed in, and the trips Amy takes in Paris are trips I took myself and also loved. Like visiting the Mona Lisa, and checking out the shops in Monmartre. It’s such an amazing city.

Writing tips - read a lot for a start, write every day if you can, and don't give up. If you start a story, try to finish it. There are more tips on my website also. Good luck!

All the best,


PS Yes, film rights have been snapped up, but no more news as yet – keep checking the website for news!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The First Book I Ever Read

Here's a quick q and a I just did for the Readathon - can you remember the first book you ever read? SarahXXX

Can you remember the first book you ever read by yourself?

I was a late reader, I didn’t read fluently until I was 9 ½ but as soon as it all started to click I flew through all the Enid Blyton school stories. But the first book I can remember being read aloud to me is A A Milne’s poetry books.

What was your favourite book as a child?

As a child and now, my favourite books are Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Are You There, God, It’s Me, Margaret by the wonderful Judy Blume.

Is there any children’s book which has been handed down through the generations in your family ?

Yes, lots – Richard Scarry books, The Secret Garden, Ballet Shoes, Fairy Tale collections and my prized possession, a signed Mary Lavin ‘The Second Best Children in the World’, a brilliant picture book.

What is your favourite book of all time?

See above!

Is there a reading or book related memory/tip that you would like to share with young readers around the country?

In my job as a children’s bookseller I’ve been very lucky to meet a lot of authors over the years – including J K Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson and Judy Blume. And they all have one thing in common, they are all passionate readers. So if you’d like to be a brilliant writer like Jo or Jacqueline, read, read, read!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Fave Review of the Week - Thanks MB!

Here's my favourite review of the week - and thanks to M B for letting me post it - you rock!


Amy Green, Teen Agony Queen Series.

This is my definite favourite EVER book series! I’m not joking, every time I pick up these books to read I fall in love with them again! These books explain the life of a typical Irish thirteen-year-old living in Dublin. Amy Green has all sorts of challenging problems; school, her parent’s divorce, her dad getting married to some one she hates, her mum’s boyfriend who she is not too fond of, boy trouble and two terror toddlers. But then Amy's breath taking aunt Clover finds a job in the magazine the Goss and Amy can’t believe her luck! To even be around Clover is a laugh and amazing fun but Clover asking Amy to help her is an honour and a fantastic experience. And even though Clover is only seventeen she needs the eyes and ears of a thirteen-year-old to help her. And, as Clover gets more into the job and is getting asked to do an interview with a certain famous actor she needs some one to go to America with her…....and maybe answering other people’s questions may find the answers to Amy’s…..

I really enjoyed these books, you feel that you can relate to them, it’s as if the story was about you in some chapters and I feel that the author, Sarah Webb captured that very well! The book is written very thoughtfully and a lot of effort probably went into this to make it as good as it is now. It’s very funny, and will have you giggling through out the book. The two books out at the moment are Boy Trouble and Summer Secrets, there is the third novel named Bridesmaid Blitz being released in October and Sarah is currently writing the fourth book named Party Drama-Rama. My favourite book would be the first one, boy trouble but I enjoyed the other one thoroughly too. I definitely give them all 5 stars.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check out my interview from Beauty Couture

HI All,
Here is my interview from Beauty Couture - 'cos us writers are v stylish don't you know ;)
Sarah X

By: Niamh, August 03
We have a good old natter with super fantastic Irish author Sarah Webb, about her upcoming book, her top advice for budding writers and her secret ballerina ambitions!

Sarah tell us what you are doing with yourself these days?
‘I'm currently working on my 10th novel, The Shoestring Club, set in a clothes shop. It will be published next year, all being well.’ (and 4th Amy Green too!!!)

How did you get into writing?
‘I wrote my first books as a single mum, working full time in Waterstone's. At first it was a financial thing to be honest, trying to make ends meet. I started writing articles for local newspapers, magazines and finally wrote a nonfiction book for children, my very first book. But then I got the fiction bug and I've been writing novels ever since and loving it. I now write full time so I'm very lucky.’

What is it you love about writing?
‘Working for myself; creating characters I grow to love as much as real friends; meeting readers and other writers. It really is an amazing job. Solitary and lonely at times, but generally wonderful.’

Do you prefer writing for younger or older audiences?
‘I like both. The teenage books are shorter though which is kind of nice!’

Would you ever like to see one of your books be turned into a TV or film adaptation? Or do you think a film can never live up to a book?
‘ The film rights for the Ask Amy Green books, my series for age 10+ have been bought, so fingers crossed. I'd love to see any of my books on the big or small screen, it would be fascinating to see what a screen writer and director brought to the stories.’

Why do you think the Irish are so world successful when it comes to writing?
‘We love telling stories, to anyone who will listen! And we are also huge, huge readers. Readers often become writers, it's a natural progression.’

There are a lot of successful Irish women authors out there, how did you manage to get yourself noticed in the beginning?
‘ I think the only thing a writer can do is to a- write a darned good book and b- write a darned good book!!! I'm very lucky as I also like writing for magazine and newspapers so that helps in that I can write columns and other pieces. And I also have a background in children's books as I worked as a children's bookseller for so long, so I have plenty to talk and write about.’

Who is your favourite author?
‘I love Marian Keyes, Judy Blume, Cathy Cassidy, Anne Tyler and Dr Seuss.’

What is your everyday, staple beauty product you’d never leave home without putting on?
‘Clinique City Base in Factor 40 - I burn amazingly easily.’

What is your beauty regime like day-to-day?
‘ I use Clinique products like the Foaming Face wash which I find great and not too harsh, and their Dramatically Different Moisturiser. I keep it all pretty simple as I don't have much time.’

Who is your biggest style influence?
‘Honestly? My best friend, Tanya. She's bang up to date with all the trends and has an amazing eye for what suits people. She should have been a stylist.’

Favourite high-street haunts?
‘Top Shop. Pennys for belts, hats etc. And River Island.’

Favourite designer destinations and designers?
‘Seagreen in Monkstown is a fav as it's down the road from me and they have great sales. I love Lainey knitwear and try to invest in a cardigan or jumper every few years in the sample sales. I also love BTs. I could spend hours in their shoe department!’ ( HQ is with you on that one Sarah!)

Heels or flats?
‘Flats by day, heels by night.’

Best bargain ever?
‘Probably a black and gold knitted dress by Temperley. I bought it second hand shop for €100 and it looks fab with black boots.’

As a bestselling author how do you juggle family life, friends and your work etc?
‘With difficulty sometimes! I write when the kids are at school, then take a break to do the school runs, then do admin - emails etc - in the afternoon. I also work three evenings a week, replying to readers' letters, copy editing books, and writing articles and reviews.’

Any advice for writers out there?
‘Yes, bum glue! Stick your bum to your seat and stay there. Read a lot. Write a lot. And never give up. Rejection is part of every writer's life.’

What did you want to be when you grew up?
‘A ballerina.’

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cute Letter


This letter from Sophie arrived this week and made me smile. Thanks to everyone for all the great emails, keep them coming!
I'll post some of the extra nice ones here! ;)

Hi Sarah,

I have just read one of your books (Summer Secrets),and OMG its the best book I have ever read - you are now my favorite author of all time.You see I'm from Cork myself - East Cork that is - and I don't really know why I've never been to West Cork and Lough Ine looks beautiful (I looked up pictures of it) and now I have decided to go there and see it myself.

You will be happy to know that I am now going to buy all the Amy Green books and read them so thanks for writing them and please write some more books about Amy Green PLEASE as they are so good. I hope you get this Email thanks again

Love, Sophie, aged 12, Co. Cork Ireland
xxx :)

Well, Sophie, there will be at least 6 Amy Green stories and book 3, Bridesmaid Blitz, will be out in Oct. Thanks for your letter! And do visit Lough Ine (featured in Summer Secrets) - it's so beautiful.