I remember (very clearly!) how much hard work it was putting the stories of Not So Perfect in order. We (me and the wonderful Roast Books people) knew which story we wanted to start with and which we wanted to end with, and that was about it. Making sure what went between them flowed (for those who would read it in order) and making sure it was balanced and sensible was, well, it was not easy and it took an awful lot of time getting it right. (And I DO think we got it right, which is good.)

So. Not So Perfect has 22 stories in it.

Freaks!, the next book has 50. And they’ve been written with Someone Else, ie (should that not really be elle est??) the very lovely and superbly talented Caroline Smailes (more on that, and the process, to come I imagine).


50 stories that needed putting in order.

We tackled the problem head on. We met yesterday morning and spent pretty much the whole day frowning, umming, arring, laying stories on the floor, arranging them, rearranging them, sometimes scratching our heads, and occasionally swearing. It was hard work. But we did it. In the end. Caroline didn’t even need to shout at me once. (Huge thanks must go to the brilliant and generous Fabri, who let us borrow the upstairs of the cafe he runs where we had sufficient space to have fifty stories and their illustrations on the floor – it made things SO much easier. The lemonade helped too.)

So, Freaks! is nearly totally finished. There are still bits to do, illustrations to come in, edits to complete and things but, yesterday, for the first time, we got a proper idea of how the book will look. And I’ve got to say, I’m really, really excited about it.

And some pics…

The manuscript.

Pretty thick.
Scattered Stories
FINALLY! The stories in order! Go, us!