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In which an author goes a little bit mad …


A lot of people think I'm mad. I don't blame them. After all, I've got lovely publishers with a great marketing team who even have that rare thing, a BUDGET, and here I am leaping in with totally crazy ideas, setting world records (literally), madly running round the country, making podcasts and You-tube videos and fielding hundreds of emails from schools and readers and my dog. I really did get an email from my dog. Or I thought I had, since my dog’s called Amber, and a person called Amber just emailed me to ask when she could read Deathwatch because she’d heard about it from a friend who’d heard about it from a friend who’d even been sent the lovely beetle viral for her phone.

What’s this about a world record, I hear you ask? That was probably the maddest of my mad ideas. Hey, I thought, one perfectly normal grey day back in March, why don’t I see if I can set a world record for the greatest number of school visits by one author in one day? Why not, indeed? Now, as the time draws near (June 15th is 'Deathwatch Dash Day', or D3), I can think of reasons why not. But my problem is not that I have ideas, it’s that I tell people them, and then I have to ACT on them. So, after I’d tripped along to
Vanessa’s Children’s Bookshop around the corner from my house in Edinburgh (my only house, I hasten to add – I’m not claiming expenses on a second home) and asked her to do the book-selling, she leapt on the idea – not literally – and that was it. Trapped by my own stupidity.

I am writing this blog post now, a week before publication, because if I wait until after D3 and the huge launch party at The Mary Erskine School and the big school event at Scottish Book Trust and my trips to Aberdeen and London and umpteen other places in between, I may not be in a fit state to write anything at all.

Before I go, I have to tell you the thing that could have been madness but wasn’t. Supposing I said: I’m going to get some teenagers to commit to a two year project involving a book, which they will have to do mostly in their own spare time. You’d think I was mad. Well, two years ago I asked 14 girls from The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh to help write
Deathwatch and be my consultants throughout all the drafts, and then handed over the youth promotion to them. Yep, I handed over responsibility for my new baby to some teenage girls with a lot of other things on their agendas, because I trusted them. And they didn’t let me down. Amazing is one word.


Walker Books even thought this was a good idea too, which shows how much they respect young people – and well they might, since they publish books for them.


So, thank you to Walker, thank you to the Deathwatch Girls, and thank you to whichever chocolate manufacturer I decide to choose to fuel and support me during my mad month.



Nicola Morgan


PS If you'd like a few minutes of fun, why not watch this interview, in which I have a battle of wits with the interviewer!


  • 26/05/2009

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