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This week I met the very lovely Rebecca Patterson at the Random House Christmas Party. Rebecca’s children’s book, My Big Shouting Day, has just won the Roald Dhal Funny Prize 2012. Huge congratulations, Rebecca! Among the many things we spoke about was the intrinsic part that creating the illustrations for the book played in developing the characters, something that children’s have to do in very few words. Rebecca drew each scene as she wrote it, and the result is a very real little girl.

“Today I woke up and Bob was crawling around MY ROOM, licking MY JEWELLERY, so I shouted GET OUT OF MY ROOM! and that was the start of MY BIG SHOUTING DAY…”

I often wish I could have a big shouting day myself.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Helen Grant. Not knowing much about Young Adult fiction, I have ‘taken a look inside’ her novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, and feel she could teach me a thing or two about hook lines: My life might have been so different had I not been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded.