412152_414027215303764_1330329331_o-1Most of the time (as you probably know from my previous blogs) I’m at home with my two dogs Traffy and Bella – unless I’m out by the river walking with my two dogs Traffy and Bella -who are often in the river (unless they’ve found some mud to go in instead).

But sometimes authors get to go on tour around the country and talk about their books and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve been on the ‘A Soldier’s Friend’ tour and have visited some amazing schools THUMBS UP to Highgate Primary, Holy Trinity, The Study, Latymer Prep, Oxford High Juniors, Woodstock Primary, Vine Inter-Church, Mayfield Primary with Crossfields and Trafalgar still to come on Monday. SOLDIERS_FRIEND_2

And very occasionally (this is the first year this has happened to me) authors get to win awards for their books.

On the 24th of March I went to Stockton-on-Tees because my book The Victory Dogs had been shortlisted for Stockton children’s book of the year. There were four children’s books shortlisted and all of the book authors went up to Stockton but none of us know who’d won – although I was sure I hadn’t.

I spent the day talking to different groups of children in libraries in the area and when one boy put his hand up and asked how I’d feel if I won the award I told him there was no chance of that. I knew there wasn’t. But another boy said, ‘Don’t be nervous miss you’re to sure to win.’

‘Shake my hand,’ I told him, and he did.

Stockton 2014

Stockton 2014

Even though I was so sure I hadn’t won the award it was nice to hear that someone thought I could. And then at the ceremony I was utterly gobsmacked when I did WIN it. 

And then I won another one!!!!!

On the 1st of May my book The Bomber Dog won the Shrewsbury Book Fest award. It was a fantastic awards ceremony with 900 children and 1 spaniel called Marcus.

Shrewsbury 2014

Shrewsbury 2014

Marcus was an arms explosives search dog who’d spent 23 months in Aghanistan but was now retired with his own sofa at his handler’s house. As I gave Marcus the ball I’d brought for him as a present and he cuddled into me (I was kneeing on the stage) he seemed exactly like the spaniels who play ball with my own dogs down at the river. But Marcus had also done something most dogs never have to and he was lucky to still be alive.

I love touring and I love awards but I can’t wait to get home tonight and hug Traffy and Bella and take them for a huge (probably muddy) walk tomorrow to make up for me being away.Image 1

Have you won anything unusual?  I did win a writing holiday the year before I started getting published and that was a very fine prize!