Apologies for the terrible lack of updates. The past 18 months have been some of the toughest of my life. Last year, my parents were both diagnosed with cancer just six weeks apart, and in both cases it had already spread. On May 21st 2017, my beautiful mum, Elizabeth Harrison, passed away aged 74. She was smart, funny, practical, and incredibly brave throughout her illness, never once complaining. She was my biggest fan and supporter of my writing, and my career made her extremely proud. Fortunately, my dad is still here and responding to treatment.
As you would expect, working has been difficult. Despite finding escape in writing, time has been short and filled with hospital appointments, phone calls and everything else that comes with helping to care for someone who is seriously ill. Book seven, as yet is untitled, but is very close to having a first draft completed, which is my focus now.
In happier news: on Friday I was in Halifax for the Calderdale Book of the Year Award, and I’m delighted to say that THE OTHER ALICE was crowned winner, as voted for by the children who attended the event. After such a rotten time recently, I can’t express how much this meant to me. I’ve been shortlisted for many regional awards during my career and not won any of them, so I was fully prepared for this to be the case here. Instead, I went home with a huge smile and a beautiful trophy which now has pride of place on my bookshelf. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. There was a moment of sadness on the way to the train station as I wanted to call my mum and tell her the news and realised I couldn’t, but I like to think that somewhere, somehow, she still knows.