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Lovely, lovely readers!

All posts tagged ReturnToTheSecretGarden

Lovely, lovely readers!

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One of the nicest things about being an author is getting letters from readers. Even when they’re writing to tell me about mistakes in the books, it still means that someone is reading all those words I spent ages hidden away writing. It’s fab. What’s even better, though, is when someone loves one of your characters so much, they dress up as the character for an event, like World Book Day. Funnily enough, this usually happens to me with Maisie Hitchins – I think because of her gorgeous red hair, and purple dress, and I’m giving all the credit to the fab Marion Lindsay who illustrated the books. There’ve been quite a few wonderful kittens, and a fantastic Reindeer Girl costume made by an amazing talented grandma. But a few weeks ago I was sent a photo of the first Emmie costume! Emmie is the main character in Return to the Secret Garden, an orphan evacuee in the Second World War. And here she is – played by Isabel. She’s in her secret garden, and can you see she even has her gas mask case? A huge thank you to everyone who dresses up and is kind enough to send me the photos – you’re all amazing!

Mountains to Sea Festival

This weekend I was in Dun Laoghaire, not far from Dublin, for the Mountains to Sea Festival. I love the sea, and Dun Laoghaire is so beautiful – you really can be looking at mountains and the sea at the same time!

I did a Return to the Secret Garden schools event on Friday – why do I always seem to have my eyes closed when I’m talking?!

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On the screen is the photo I used to help me imagine Lucy, the cat in Return to the Secret Garden. Currently trying to convince the rest of the family we could easily have another cat…

I really enjoyed talking about RTTSG – completely ran out of time!
On Saturday I did a family event with the fabulous Alan Nolan, who told the best stories about his dog Toby… He definitely needs to write a book about Toby the Farting Dog!

This is me with Alan, and Sarah Webb, who organises the Mountains to Sea children’s festival, and writes the Songbird Café Girls books, among (lots of!) others.

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As you can see, the festival was a lot of fun!
And this just about made it perfect…

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These are Natasha and Holly in the most fabulous T-shirts! As the lovely Gutter Bookshop, who were doing book sales for the festival, said on Twitter, “They were such dotes!”

I got given fab pictures in Dun Laoghaire too. (I really hope I haven’t mixed up where all the amazing artwork has come from – everything’s in a bit of a whirl at events, so please let me know if I’ve got something wrong!)
This gorgeous kitten is by Grace.

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I thought this was Emily Feather, but apparently it’s me, and now I really want this hair!

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And last of all, this gorgeous origami cat from Katrina!

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Return to the Secret Garden is out now!

So excited that Return to the Secret Garden was published by Scholastic Children’s Books on October 1st. I’ve been thinking and dreaming about this book for such a long time, since a conversation with my lovely editor Zoe Griffiths (then at Scholastic) a good five years ago! Since then the book has been nurtured by the brilliant Lucy Rogers at Scholastic, and the cover was created by their design team (I love it so much – it even has the robin!)

This is the story of Emmie, an orphan evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor, who rediscovers the Secret Garden. I do hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I loved the writing.

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All this week I’m taking part in a blog tour to celebrate the launch, with some fantastic book bloggers, so do go and visit these sites!

Monday 5th October
Ya Yeah Yeah
This Fleeting Dream

Tuesday 6th October
The Little Munchkin Reader
Powered by Reading

Wednesday 7th October
Serendipity Reviews
Maia and a little Moore

Thursday 8th October
Pretty Books
Tales of Yesterday

Friday 9th October
The Bookish Outsider
Big Book Little Book

Saturday 10th October
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Sunday 11th October
YA Under My Skin

October is actually extra special, as my first picture book with Scholastic is also published this month – The Snow Princess! Princess Amy is sick of all the fuss and bother about her birthday party. She’d much rather just play in the snow – if the snow ever comes! I so enjoyed writing this fairytale book, and I love the illustrations, by Helen Huang. Especially the cakes in the palace kitchen!

Lots of events coming up!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be at the Bath and Cheltenham festivals (see Event pages for dates and links).

This is really exciting, as these are the first events I’m doing to tell everyone about my new book, Return to the Secret Garden, which will be published in October. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, was one of my favourite books as a child. I wish I still had my old copy! But Scholastic have released a beautiful new edition to match my new book! It’s the fantastic story of Mary Lennox, who comes from India to live at Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire, and finds a garden that has been forgotten for years… The original story was written in 1910, and my sequel is set during the Second World War. Emmie, a London orphan, has been evacuated to a huge, old house in Yorkshire, with a beautiful garden…

For these events I’m going to be talking to Kate Saunders, who wrote the fabulous Five Children on the Western Front, a sequel to Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. Kate’s book is wonderful – funny and sad and exciting.

I’ll also be talking about my animal stories in a separate event at Cheltenham, with a fun Secret Kitten craft!

Then early next year I’ll be at festivals in Ireland and Oxford – more details soon!


Cheltenham Literature Festival

The Secret Kitten With Holly Webb

Sun 11 Oct 2015  10:00am – 10:45am

Find out all about the real kittens, puppies and other animals behind the books and take part in a craft activity based on the series.


Sequels To Classics With Kate Saunders And Holly Webb

Sun 11 Oct 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm

If you grew up loving classics such as The Secret Garden and Five Children and It, now you can explore the sequels. Return to the Secret Garden is the magical sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless story from bestselling author Holly Webb. Kate Saunders’ recent COSTA Award-winning novel, Five Children on the Western Front, takes E. Nesbit’s protagonists into WWI.

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