Aside 23 Nov



My new blog

16 Aug

Hi! I have a new blog-check it out!

There I will do book reviews, not here. I have moved my angel cake review there.

Please check it out!

Do you read comics?

3 Aug


Have you ever read The Beano?


When I was young, there were LOADS of comics for kids to read. For a long time I subscribed to a magazine called Judy, which was filled with comic strips of girls doing exciting things: climbing mountains, being chased by spooky clowns (that one freaked me out big time!), fighting evil mirror reflections of themselves, searching for treasure…

Judy doesn’t exist any more. Neither do many of the other comics available back in the 70s and 80s. But The Beano is still going strong – 75 years old now!

I went to a talk last week given by Neill Cameron who draws a comic strip called Pirates of Pangaea for a comic called The Phoenix. Here’s one of his drawings:

Neill was talking about how sad it was that comics weren’t really around any more (especially for girls). He believes that one…

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Lovin’ The Sun!

15 Jul

I do not like the summer too much because it’s too hot lol but I hope you like it! Im going to Italy so that will be fun!



Hands up who’s feeling hot, hot, hot! Hasn’t this weather we’ve had lately been AMAZING? I’m absolutely loving it. Everything feels better to me when the sun shines, and it’s so rare to get this kind of weather in our country that it’s fantastic to see so many people making the most of it!

Here are some of the things I love best about the summer.

1. Finding a reclining chair and chilling out with a good book or magazine. One of my favourite summer reads is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  The film’s pretty good too…but save that one for when the weather cools off!

2. Eating more lollies and ice creams than I do the rest of the year put together.

3. Muncing on summer fruits. Nectarines, cherries, plums, peaches, melon, strawberries, raspberries…yum, yum, I could chomp away all day.

4. ‘Borrowing’ my son’s paddling pool to cool off in.

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Our Fab New Children’s Laureate

15 Jul



I love the fact that we have a Children’s Laureate. It is, of course, a relatively new thing: whereas the first British Poet Laureate was ‘crowned’* in the 15th century by Henry VII, we didn’t have a Children’s Laureate until 1999 (Quentin Blake). Half a millennium gap!

Anyway, the point of this blog post is just to have a general rave about Malorie Blackman. I’m delighted by her appointment for a number of reasons. It’s been several years since we had someone who writes for older kids/teens, so I think that’s quite important right now. You almost want there to be another term for the position –  ‘Children’s’ Laureate may not feel that relevant to the average 13-year-old – though I think Malorie is famous and well-loved enough that it doesn’t matter.

I was impressed that Malorie wasted no time in challenging Michael Gove for his snobbish attitude to the…

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The joy of small stuff…

14 Jul

My baby brother was born on this day


Yeah, so when Big, Exciting Things happen, it’s great. But far more fun and rewarding is getting a buzz from the small stuff.

Small stuff that’s made me happy this week…

1. Leaving a surprise message and pressie for my stressed-by-SATs daughter. *HUG!*message

2. Having a very kind mum at my daughter’s school make me my very own Thing! (From my younger ‘You, Me and Thing’ series.)Keda's thing

3. Finding these ace wooden (WOODEN!) postcards at the Design Museum in London (made by a company called postcards

4. Being given beautiful flowers by publishers Barrington Stoke (my latest book for them is ‘Sweetness and Lies‘).BS flowers

*Happy sigh…*

What small stuff has made YOU smile this week?

Karen McCombie :c)

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My Favourite (Fictional) Families

14 Jul

Jacqueline Wilson’s books have a lot of great families of all shapes and sizes. And of course, Cathy Cassidy’s the choclate box girls.


I loved Natasha Farrant’s guest blog about families last week (I loved her book After Iris, too!), and it made me think about how obsessed I am with families in fiction, both as a writer and as a reader. My Kat Stephenson adventures are all about Kat and her squabbling, loving family, and my latest WIP is tentatively titled Family Magic, which…well, you can pretty much take it from there, can’t you? 😉 Even my last WIP (currently out on submission), which was supposed to be my family-free book, turned out to be all about created families, after all.


But I can’t help it. As a reader, I’m irresistibly drawn to family books. And I wondered: which are your favourites? Here are some of mine:

  • Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes: Oh, how I love the Fossil family! I could endlessly re-read Pauline, Petrova and Posy’s adventures, trials…

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