YAY! Seriously Sassy, the first in my new series of books about an eco-mad, music-crazy thirteen year old is out!
And to celebrate I was whisked off on a whirlwind tour round ten schools in Scotland to tell them all about Sassy, her brilliant buds, Cordelia and Taslima, her love interest, Magnus (or should that be Twig?) and her pesky parentals and little sis, Pip.
I had a lot of fun reading out bits of the story in each school, then I answered questions about what it's like to be a writer. (Fantabidozy!) And where I get my ideas from. (Inside my very untidy head.)
But I had something I wanted to find out too. Sassy has a BIG DREAM. She wants to be a singer-songwriter. If you could be anything you wanted, what would your BIG DREAM be?
And here are some of the answers I got:
Astrophysicist – Catherine
Paleontologist – Adam
Superhero – Ashley
Film director – Hannah
Ballerina – Craig & Glen
Boxer – Connor
Cartoon designer – Callum
Olympic sailors – Kirsty & Megan
Game coder – Aaron
Leprechaun – Michael
Marine biologist – Rachel
Roman Emperor – Calum
Cool person – Maddy
Zac Efron's wife – Robyn
Skateboarder – Kasper
Lego Designer – Ryan
In Seriously Sassy Sassy discovers (between worrying about whether or not Magnus fancies her, why her dad is acting weird and whether or not hair straighteners contribute to global warming) that the wood near her house might get chopped down. Of course, Sassy is FURIOUS. She knows that trees are the earth's lungs and we should take care of them. So once we finished the book signing we ventured outside – despite the Scottish weather!!! – to plant a tree.
The trees are tiny at the moment – little silver birches, but they'll grow quickly. Some of the schools decided to name their trees Sassy, which I thought was a brill idea. And most of them were eco-schools, which Sassy would very much approve of.
Not that planting the Sassy Trees was easy. The ground was very hard to cut into and sometimes we had to take turns at jumping on the spade to dig the hole. Oh, and quite a few worms had to flee for their lives.
So what were the highlights of the book tour?
• The boy who did the BRILLIANT dolphin impersonation. (Seriously, he did that clicking noise thing.)
• The pearl we dug up at Westquarter Primary in Falkirk. I'm sure it has a story to tell…
• The worms at Lowport Primary in Linlithgow
• The drawing Molly at Pathhead Primary in Kirkcaldy did of Sassy, Magnus and Megan while I was munching delish sticky toffee pudding in the dining hall!
• The big bag of chocolate mice I was given at St John's High in Dundee
• Getting a Headteacher's Gold Award to stick on my spade!
So a big thanks to all the pupils I met last week. It was great to get away from my writing desk and meet REAL people.
Though I do love spending lots of my time writing – which is just as well, as Pinch Me, I'm Dreaming, the second in the series is due out in August.
And guess what I'm doing at the moment? Writing the third book about Sassy! And who knows, maybe Mad Midge Murphy will do a dolphin impersonation in it, or dream of being a Roman Emperor, or a ballerina…