How many suns are there in a star system?

The strange world of Denthan, which Paul Murdoch has created for The Peck Chronicles adventures (9+), has 2 suns shining down on it. Unusual? Apparently not. As Bill Bryson explains in his brilliant A Short History of Nearly Everything: ‘Most star systems in the cosmos are binary (double-starred), which makes our solitary sun a slight oddity.’ So there you go. Once…

Coming soon…

No, we won’t be supplying free samples of the pie with the book…! This is a beautiful, fun, heart-warming and educational picture book, the first in a new series. Click here for more details. (No worms were harmed in the writing of this book.)  

Strident & Librario agree integration of lists

Strident Publishing and Librario Publishing have agreed to integrate their lists as Librario’s Mark Lawson retires from trade publishing. The deal is expected to give Librario’s authors of fiction and non-fiction titles greater exposure in the UK and overseas. Strident publishes children’s, YA and adult titles, many of which are award-winning or have been short-listed/long-listed; Librario’s…

‘Terribly gripping’: Follow Me

We love it when Bookwitch enjoys one of our authors’ books, as here with Follow Me. Victoria Gemmell‘s YA novel is a cracker. It’s unsettling and insightful. Actually, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it allows insight. It doesn’t tell us things, it shows us them (the best writers do), leaving the interpretation to us.…

‘Refugee’: Children’s Word of the Year

The BBC’s Newsround has announced that ‘refugee’ has been deemed the Children’s Word of the Year. That comes after OUP analysed 120,000 stories written for BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words competition. In October, we published a children’s book (7+) about a very unusual refugee – Angle the crocogator – who has to leave Nowhere to go to Elsewhere. It…

Paul Murdoch on Stones tour!

Yes, author, songwriter, singer and guitarist Paul Murdoch is living the dream – he’s on a Stones tour. Okay, so it’s not the Rolling Stones. We’re talking standing stones. (What Mick Jagger & Co will become in the next few years?) Paul’s inspiration for The Peck Chronicles came partly from regular visits to the ring of…

New & improved PENANCE

If washing powders can be ‘new and improved’, why not book covers? We’ve tweaked this one for the reprint. But now, if you hold it to the window, it’ll be so white that it’s blue… Did that ever make sense to anyone?

Penance #1 in Amazon chart

      Great excitement at Strident towers… We’ve just heard that the ebook of Theresa Talbot‘s Penance is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon’s Religious Mystery chart! Congratulations, Theresa! You deserve to celebrate your success with a seat on a BBC sofa after that! (John Beattie, looking on, would appear to agree.)

PENANCE in The Irish Times

We were excited to see The Irish Times covering the background to Theresa Talbot’s sparky crime novel Penance today. Ask most people and they’ll assume that all Magdalene Laundries were a) in Ireland and b) Catholic-run. Not so. Thus their headline – A Magdalene laundry that was neither Irish nor Catholic, and novel it inspired

PENANCE author Theresa Talbot on TV

Theresa Talbot was on STV Glasgow yesterday talking about the inspiration behind her sociological crime novel Penance, which has been causing a stir. Here’s the link to the STV Player – start at 32:58 in. TV was something new for Theresa – her natural environment is radio, thus her humorous memoir This Is What I Look…

Mondo weirdo YA & loud shirts

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR COMPUTER. It’s only one of Kirkland Ciccone’s shirts. (You may, however, need to wear your sunglasses. Even Kirkland needed to.) Yes, the man who invented the ‘mondo weirdo YA’ genre has been interviewed again. This time by Christina Banach. It’s an insightful and amusing piece. So sit back, learn and laugh.

Paul Murdoch: World Book Day availability

Paul Murdoch is the author of Windscape (9+, written under his Sam Wilding pen-name), Talisman (9+, book 1 in The Peck Chronicles) and the forthcoming Citadel and Tyrant titles (books 2 & 3 in the series). He also writes for adults and younger children. He’s an accomplished presenter who has visited many schools and libraries, deploying an…

Janne Teller NOTHING event – London, 8 Feb

Fancy hearing from one of the most interesting authors writing today? Nothing author Janne Teller will be in conversation with literary critic Paul Binding at Kensington & Chelsea’s Town Hall (Hornton St, W8). The event comes ahead of 2 world premières – Glyndebourne putting on Nothing as an opera in February while Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre are…

A 2016 sneaky peek at Citadel

Later this month (Jan 2016) you’ll be able to get your hands on Paul Murdoch‘s Citadel – book 2 in The Peck Chronicles that began with Talisman. We know that many of you will be relishing the prospect of more edge-of-your-seat fantasy adventure. That’s if you haven’t worn out that seat edge already… And it won’t…

Space v hospital

In space, no-one can hear you scream. In hospital, children can’t hear their parents screaming at them to tidy their rooms. That’s why children spend more time in hospitals than in space. (Logical, Captain.)   If you haven’t already noticed it, the sign on the wall is good.

Linda Strachan on Abba

Okay, not that ABBA (though knowing Linda I’m sure the singing would be just as good as her writing – talented woman). No, this is Awfully Big Blog Adventure – where a lot of writers hang out. Here Linda muses on how the little things characters say and do can tell us so much more…

Twin Peakes?

Is it just us, or is there a certain similarity between astronaut Tim Peake and Nick Green, author of the Cat Kin trilogy? Both seem to relish jeopardy (certainly if Nick’s books are anything to go by), but only one had a tiny part in a TV drama serial as a child. We hope they’ve sent the…

Don’t say you hadn’t noticed!

Yes, it’s almost Christmas. For us, that’s as much of an excuse as we need to stare in awe at the cover of Emma Barnes‘ Wolfie. It’s not even a Christmas book, but there’s something about that snow… Emma won the Fantastic Book Awards with Wolfie. And no wonder, it’s a dream of a book.…

Bad Faith – life imitating fiction?

We’ve always loved the cover of this book – have a good look at what’s in the trees and you’ll see why. But what’s inside the cover is what really counts, and it’s one of the best dystopian novels we’ve read. The comes from the state-backed One Church that dominates politics in the book’s parallel…

Amy ♥s Kirkland’s #WeirdYA

Oh no she doesn’t! Oh yes she does! (Well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it.) And good on Amy. We love it too. We’re talking book blogger Amy Powis here. She’s listed North of Porter by The Master of Oddness, Kirkland Ciccone, in her Top 10 reads of 2015. Kirkland and Porter are up…

Glyndebourne’s NOTHING: THE OPERA trailer

A tree, some teenagers and some stuff thrown on the ground. We LOVE this trailer for Glyndebourne’s forthcoming operatic production of Janne Teller‘s awe-inspiring novel NOTHING. So simple, yet so effective. Just like the book itself. Tickets are on sale now for the performances on 25, 26 & 27 Feb. Click here to go to…

Hamley is a pog

He’s also one of our favourite aminals. Aminals are, of course, animals that derive from 2 species. Can you guess which species feature in Hamley’s phylogenetic tree. Hamley is a bundle of fun. He crashes into Hugh Holman‘s The Almost Animals like a bowling ball into skittles. Which is your favourite aminal?