Emma Barnes reveals the inspiration behind award-winner WOLFIE

Emma Barnes 7+ novel Wolfie is a modern children’s classic that won the 2014 Fantastic Book Awards. And, like the ‘dog’ that Lucy thinks she’s getting, it’s isn’t just for Christmas, regardless of the snow on the Emma Chichester Clark cover (and even though the book has a The Snowman-like quality).

We grabbed a couple of minutes with Emma Barnes at Edinburgh International Book Festival and asked her to explain what gave rise to the idea behind it…and to read us a short extract.

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Danny’s back!

Danny Lansing, that is. For his 3rd adrenaline-fuelled adventure, The Curse of Can-Balam. Although it’s a wonder he’s still with us given given the extremes of jeopardy he experienced in The Sons of Rissouli and Red, White and Black.

The new book will be available from 31 October. Yes, Halloween. Well, it had to be that date given the cover!

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This time the dangers are hidden in the jungles of Belize. And that means author (and action-man) Matt Cartney has been globe-trotting again, visiting those South American jungles for himself, just as he visits all the main settings for his books. (It shows; you’ll feel as if you‘re in South America too.)

Matt’s book was partly inspired by the sort of hideous Mayan skull that would win you a prize at a Halloween fancy-dress party, or that would scare the living daylights out of your neighbours if you wore it to go guising (or trick-or-treating as you may know it.) Not that you’d want to wear it – it’s an actual dead person’s skull! And there’s a rather gruesome story behind it, as you’ll discover if you read the book…

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Kirkland dons the Catalyst crown...

Punk rock, not disco…

…but with a bit of grunge thrown in, because  Conjuring The Infinite and Endless Empress author Kirkland Ciccone appears to have kidnapped the ghost of Kurt Cobain and whisked him off to the yurt at Edinburgh International Book Festival, as you can see in this great new video:

Kirkland is off to collect the Catalyst Award trophy later this week. Whether he’ll be wearing the sunglasses he’s sporting towards the end of the interview…no news on that front yet.

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Kirkland Ciccone’s ‘Teen Titles’ interview

We’re big fans of the Teen Titles review magazine, and they’ve very kindly allowed us to reproduce this hilarious interview with The Supreme Master of Weirdness , a.k.a. Kirkland Ciccone.

Teen Titles Kirkland Ciccone interview

There are so many quotable lines. Our particular favourite involves Tracy Beaker, but then there’s the one about the cow…

There’s also a review (by teenagers, of course) of Kirkland’s award-winning debut, Conjuring The Infinite. They’ve put into words everything we’ve ever loved about this great novel.

You can catch Kirkland (and more weirdness) at the launch of his new novel, Endless Empress: A Mass Murderer’s Guide To Dictatorship in the Fictional Nation of Enkadar, at Waterstones in Argyle Street, Glasgow, on Tuesday 22 October at 6.30pm.

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Theresa Talbot booked for Pitlochry Winter Words alongside Kirsty Wark and Lorraine Kelly

This Is What I Look Like author Theresa Talbot – ‘TT’ to BBC Radio Scotland listeners – has been snapped up alongside the likes of Kirsty Wark, James Naughtie and Lorraine Kelly to appear at Pitlochry’s Winter Words festival in February.

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To quote the Winter Words website: ‘…we’ll hear tales from Theresa Talbot, direct from the Beechgrove Garden potting shed, and the great Lorraine Kelly will take us on a tour of her Scotland’.

(Theresa hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland…just in case you’re thinking, ‘Hang on, doesn’t she do the Traffic and Travel’. She does that too. And she’s written for the Comedy Unit and worked with Andy Williams and Lulu and interviewed Glen Campbell…)

You can catch Theresa on Saturday 21 February, but note that tickets don’t go on sale until December.

Books with bite