Wednesday 2 November 2016

The Table of the Tombs

One of the best things about writing the Secrets of the Tombs series was the chance to visit some fabulous parts of the world to research the settings for each book.

Karnak Temple

Terracotta Army

I came back with photographs, maps, tickets, brochures, menus from all the wonderful things I'd seen. While I was writing each book, I would have lots of them pinned up on the corkboard above my desk.

When I'd finished the books I was left with a question; what should I do with all those mementos now? I couldn't bear to throw them away. For a while they lived in a box on my desk but that took up a lot of room. I thought about a scrap book, but then, I had a brainwave.

For many years, the old pine coffee table in our living room had been getting tattier and tattier. Two kids, two dogs and a distinct lack of polishing action had taken their toll on what was not exactly the pinnacle of furniture perfection in the first place

So, some sanding down,

a large piece of glass, some cutting out and a lot of arranging bits of paper, later, I present The Secrets of the Tombs table . . .

The final result . . . The Table of the Tombs

Monday 5 September 2016

Reader Reviews

Can you spot me in the shadows?
My favourite reviews are always those from young readers.

I've been thrilled this week to receive three for The Serpent King.  Trinity, Gabrielle and Kezia have all been kind enough to get in touch to tell me that they've enjoyed reading Secrets of the Tombs and have sent in these superbly written reviews.

Thank you girls!

I'm sorry that the series has finished now, but I promise that I'm working very hard on writing of lots of other exciting adventures - I hope they'll be ready for you to read soon!

I hope they'll take me to some more magical places to research the settings for the books. Here's a photo of me sitting among the strangler figs on the steps of the ruins in Calakmul taking notes for The Serpent King last year. 

Tuesday 16 August 2016

And the winners are . . .

Thank you to everyone who sent in their ideas for where in the world you would send Cleo and Ryan if you were writing their next adventure. There were some great suggestions, from Oxwich Bay in Wales to Bhangarh Fort in India, and from Persia to Peru.

I wrote the names on pieces of paper, put them into a hat (I borrowed Mrs Loveday's cycling helmet, in fact) and pulled two out.

The two lucky winners of the signed sets of Secrets of the Tombs books are . . . fanfare please . . .
  • Benjamin G
  • (Macchu Pichu in Peru is somewhere I've always wanted to go. I'd love to send Cleo and Ryan there.)
  • Bill V  
  • (You are right, there are so many great sites in the Middle East that would make perfect settings. Petra in Jordan would be top of my list.)
Congratulations! I'll be in touch by e-mail shortly to find out where to post your prizes.

Apologies to everyone who wasn't lucky this time, but thank you very much for entering. I'll be running more competitions and giveaways in the future so there will be lots more chances.

Thursday 7 July 2016

The Serpent King Giveaway/Competition

Ta daaaa!  
The Serpent King, the final installment of the Secrets of the Tombs trilogy, is now out in the wild.

To celebrate I have two sets of the complete Secrets of the Tombs trilogy to give away. To be in with a chance to win them, all you have to do is e-mail me with your idea for where in the world you would send Cleo and Ryan if you were writing their next adventure.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

The Serpent King . . . coming soon

It's only a few weeks now until The Serpent King is published - hopefully finding its way to the shelves of a library or bookshop near you.

I've received my advance copies already and have sent a few of them off to some very special readers who I thought might like a sneak preview.

One is Amy, who first got in touch when she read her way through all the Adventure Island books and has since become a dear friend. Amy is a fanatical reader, and like me she loves dogs, and has two gorgeous golden retrievers. I spent the day with Amy when her dad put in the winning bid for a special visit in the Author's Auction for the Philippines in 2014.

Thursday 28 April 2016

Top Ten Thrilling Locations

Exciting New!  Secrets of the Tombs is included in this Top Ten list of Thrilling Locations in Children's Books, compiled by author, Sara Grant on The Guardian Children's Books website. 

I'm thrilled to be in such illustrious company on this list - including the The Secret Garden! 

Sara says . . . 

"This new series combines exciting locations such as Egypt’s Valley of the Kings and an archaeological site in China with unbelievable action and adventure, including ancient murder mysteries, deadly secrets, treasure, fire-breathing dragons, and terracotta warriors. I can’t wait to see where Moss will take us next."

Saturday 23 April 2016

Bonus Chapters

It's still three months until The Serpent King, the final installment of Cleo and Ryan's archaeological  mystery-solving adventure, will be in the book shops. In the mean time, I thought I'd share with you some extra chapters from the end of The Dragon Path.

I was very sad when these chapters had to be cut out but there was no option - the  book was just too long! They describe a final twist in the tale before Cleo and Ryan leave China. This doesn't change what happens in Book Three, but may just give you a little more insight into what you find out at the end of the story.

Monday 21 March 2016

The Serpent King - crossing the finishing line

Over the last month or so I've been busy putting the finishing touches to The Serpent King. First there was the copy-edit to go through, and then the final proofs to check for those tiny errors that always lurk . . .

'How did we miss such obvious typo?' Cleo asked. 'We must have read this text fifty tims!'
Ryan shook his his head. 'It's a total mystery'.
I'm very grateful to all the people who've been involved; brilliant editors, copy-editors and proof-readers all play a vital part in making sure the book is as good as it can be.

And then, very excitingly, a chance to look through the rough versions of the forty chapter head illustrations by super-brilliant illustrator, Leo Hartas, and give feedback for the final versions.