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Entries by Golden Duck (32)

Friday
Oct252013

New publication - The Lion of Sole Bay 

The Lion of Sole Bay is the book that turns the Strong Winds trilogy into a series. Its central character is not Donny but the younger, more imaginative, less obviously competent, Luke. Luke has been longing for an adventure of his own ever since Donny told him the story of Treasure Island two years ago in The Salt-Stained Book. Here he has one - for real. Does he like it? I'm not so sure. He's joined by Angel, who needs friends and Helen who simply wants to go home.

 

There have already been some lovely reviews on The Bookbag, Eclectic ElectricAmazon, Awfully Big Reviews and the Morning Star. Thank you

Saturday
Oct192013

New Cover for A Ravelled Flag

 Claudia Myatt and I had a happy day deciding on the original cover design for A Ravelled Flag. We were on board Peter Duck and sailing through Harwich harbour in a wind so strong that I even put a reef in before we went out to sea. Anyone who has sailed on dear steady Peter Duck knowns how rarely I do that. We looked across at the 'Hispaniola' lying motionless and sinister off Shotley and said "We must have the flags" on the new book's cover. If you've read The Salt-Stained Book you'll know at once which flags I mean. If not, just look at the cover.  So that's what Claudia produced, cursing as she struggled with the intricacy of the double-headed dragon. But for some reason the background turned calm. We were thinking of still, icy, winter days yet the final impression was tranquillity - far away from the turmoil of the story itself. (You can see the old cover on the ARF page). Finally the first edition has sold out and a reprint offered Claudia and designer Megan a chance to rough things up a bit. Oh YES! I'd take a double reef down if I was out in that lot.  

Friday
Aug232013

The Golden Duck in AugustThe Golden Duck this month looks slightly shocked at the lolling attitudes of Francis, Dottie (spaniel) and Dottie's flattened green familar. However, such superciliousness should be tempered by the knowledge that Francis has been nobly proof-reading The Lion of Sole Bay (as has kind Peter Dowden in New Zealand) and might well be knocked back exhausted after the storm of Facebook controversy (not to mention domestic discord) aroused by his insistence that the word fo'c'sle should have at least two apostrophes...

There were those who wimpily pleaded for one (or none) and there were those who argued that anything less than three would sap the grammatical backbone of the nation. "Backbone" - ah yes - that's why Dottie feels it necessary to come between Francis and the unbending yellow duck - Francis is currently recovering (we hope) from his third spine operation. Meanwhile the offending f- word has been silently deleted and Julia's new novel The Lion of Sole Bay remains on track for publication in October.

Saturday
Jul132013

 

For some people the highlight of summer 2013 could be the Ashes series. The Golden Duck in July (Archie)

For others it might be a trip to Lowestoft in Peter Duck, the hospitality of the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and the friendship of Y6 pupils from Kessingland Primary School. A memorable day for 28 children and their teachers, began at Ness Point (the 'easternmost point' in A Ravelled Flag) and continued with new words for old shanties, pilotage lessons from Judy and Nicola of the Nancy Blackett Trust, a coat of arms worthy of an old sailor's kitbag (Ransome's 'Peter Duck'), a treasure hunt with teachers turned to goddesses and much happy scrambling on board the boat

Exciting times took a different turn with a meeting of the Crime Writers Association and the Margery Allingham Society - of which more later.

Two long day's sailing north then south across Sole Bay have left Julia eager to get back to work on the final draft of her next adventure story. Illustrator Claudia Myatt has meanwhile been sailing down from Inverness to Ipswich, sketch book in hand.

Wednesday
Jun192013

Children from Frobisher Primary School in Jaywick. Thank you for your 'meet and greet' poThe Golden Duck in Junelicy that immediately made me welcome. Thank you Y5 for your hard work and friendliness. I've really enjoyed reading your stories. JJ

Children from Alton Park Junior School. Well done. You are the first to have your work in the children's section. I hope there's more to come and I'm excited to see what you'll produce. JJ

Essex Book Festival. Thank you for sending me to these schools as part of your all-the-year-round activity. JJ

Between the Lines: New Bookshop in Great Bardfield, Essex OPENED JUNE 22nd 2013 CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday
Jun122013

The Red Lion at Martlesham (Suffolk) offered Julia her inspiration for a new sailing adventure story.

Children at Alton Park Junior and Kessingland Primary Schools offered a wonderful range of comments on the feelings inspired by this warlike object. They didn't know it was a lion -- several guessed it might be a Chinese dragon - cf Authors Electric blog post June 9th 2013.

One group of the Kessingland Y6 children also offered a range of great suggestions for the new book's title. Thank you all.

Wednesday
Jun122013

The Adventures of Margery Allingham is now available as an ebook and The Salt-Stained Book has won an award!

Wednesday
Jun122013

Fifty Years in the Fiction Factory: The working life of Herbert Allingham has now been favourably reviewed in the Church Times, the Oldie, the Review of Children's Books History, the TLS, History Today and the Literary Review.

Wednesday
Jun122013

Ghosting Home was LoveReading4Kids Book of the Month for July 2012

"The Strong Winds trilogy has the style, spirit, sense of fun and sheer adventure of the classic Arthur Ransome novels which inspired it"  says Amanda Craig, novelist and children's book reviewer for The Times

Wednesday
Jun122013

A Ravelled Flag was published 24.11.2011. "The themes are darker", says Peter Willis, "but the page turning impetus is just as strong."

Wednesday
Jun122013

The Oaken Heart  was launched on Thursday March 3rd 2011 at the opening ceremony of the Essex Book Festival. Ronald Blythe finds the book "astonishing". Read his foreword now - and a marvellous appreciation by Simon Heffer in the Sunday Telegraph.

Jackie Wilkin, literary editor of the WI Life magazine, made The Oaken Heart her 'Book of the Year'.

Wednesday
Jun122013

Francis Wheen is working on a Victorian mystery novel which will be published by Fourth Estate.

His previous book was Strange Days Indeed - UK paperback published by Fourth Estate (2010)

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