Malkin Child and scraps of the summer

I am prouder of Malkin Child than of anything I've written myself. This beautiful small hardback book is by the wonderful Livi Michael and published by Foxtail, an imprint of Litfest. Written from the point-of-view of nine-year-old Jennet Device, it's a powerful reimagining of the most famous witch trial in English history. Suitable for ages 9+, it's been described by Jacqueline Wilson as 'an absolutely riveting read, so original and imaginative... a novel about witchcraft that casts its own particularly powerful spell.’ And by Martyn Bedford as ‘a taut and moving retelling of a notorious tale from our past... a timely reminder of the power of words and the evil that can be done with them.’

I edited and was in charge of the making of Malkin Child. It launched on the 18th August, which was the 400th anniversary of the trial. And now it's out there in the world and already in the hands of lots of people, which I'm finding unbelievably exciting. As the Lancashire Reads Book 2012, it's available to borrow from all Lancashire libraries. It's also available to buy here.

People with the book in their hands at the launch!

In the spaces between work this summer there have been writing deadlines for some brilliant projects (more on these to come) and many rainy days out involving rucksack-squashed picnics — adventures to playgrounds, museums and castles; to Whitby (which I fell in love with); to Port Mulgrave, where we peeled apart rocks to find ammonites and wondered at the deserted tin shacks; and to Edinburgh, where I sat in a tent of carpets with my sister, eating baklava and drinking honey and mint tea, and talked.

Absorbing work, writing and adventuring. I know that all makes me very lucky. It also makes me a bit exhausted...

But my sons will both be at school next week, my youngest for the first time, and I can't quite believe I've somehow grown two people, cared for them and got them through to school-age (and, yes, I know there's much more to come, but it feels like this is an important waymarker).

There have been many times over the last few years when I thought I couldn't do everything and almost buckled. When your children wake you a lot and you know you'll be up at 6am, working into the early hours every night is perhaps not to be recommended (although to my sleep-deprived eyes the world is a beautifully strange place). But I've done it. And no matter how much work and uncertainty lies ahead in the next few months, I'm excited about forging ahead.

My piles of must-read-next books are teetering dangerously. I bought not one but two new notepads yesterday. I'm ready for the new (school) year!