Dotty Detective day four

Dotty Detective day four


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Are you a compulsive doodler?

I don’t mean the kind of informal drawing that artists sometimes call doodles. That’s lightweight.

I mean the almost unconscious wiggles, swirls and dots on the back of an envelope while you’re on the phone;
filling in alternate squares on grid paper to make a checky tiled effect.
(I HUGELY recommend graph paper, or old fashioned school exercise books)




I think it oddly combines letting your mind drift, and helping it to concentrate.

Dot’s a doodler. I have found it the easiest thing in the world to share this trait with my invented character.

I wonder what our doodles reveal about us, though – our personalities, our subconscious. I’ve shown you ours – will you show us yours?
I’lll psychoanalyse them for free!



Dotty Detective day three

Dotty Detective day three

introducing Beans and McClusky

Meet Dot’s best pal Beans and TOP DOG McClusky, fellow members of the Join The Dots Detectives.

This is the contents of Beans’ shoebox of treasures.


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The least said about his PE prowess the better, but Beans is funny, loyal and brilliantly inventive. His homemade periscope is very cool indeed, an essential gadget in their detecting kit.

And then there’s McClusky, Dot’s dog. He’s a rough-coated terrier with a great liking for big sticks and pink wafers.

Many a mystery would be a hopeless case without him sniffing out the vital clues.

He has many other skills, too…


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Tomorrow, a very serious and intellectual analysis of DOODLING…



Dotty Detective day two

Dotty Detective day two

introducing Dot

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Dot is a refreshing sort of heroine.

She is mathsy and sporty, she can eat three super-sour apple sherbets at once, and she loves a puzzle – the trickier the better.

She has a strong sense of justice and of doing the right thing.
I like her especially for being open, up-beat, and wonderfully un-bogged down by the anxieties of school friendships often associated with girls.

Dot also has a stationery obsession bordering on severe. I needed to do some serious stationery gathering – for research purchases, naturally. What a CHORE…




Soon, a bit more about Beans and McClusky…



Introducing Dotty Detective!

Introducing Dotty Detective!

day one



Only a few days to go now until the arrival of Dotty Detective, published by Harper Collins Children’s Books on May 5th.

A proud moment.

It’s the first ‘proper’ length story – the first in a series – that I’ve written myself. I didn’t know I could do it, but I had a small thread of an idea and I found my stride and my writing voice, and I kept knitting it and knitting it and stitching in more colours, and in the end it turned out that I could.

My heroine Dot, together with best pal Beans and TOP DOG McClusky, creates the Join The Dots Detectives. There is no mystery, however fiendishly tricky, that they cannot solve. There are secret codes to decipher, clues to unravel, pieces of the jigsaw to put together.

Right from the start I planned for the books to be contemporary and innovative. It’s a diary with a difference. Dot narrates in the running commentary style of texting or tweeting (indeed the majority of the diary entries are deliberately a maximum of 140 characters), in a super-present-tense. She shares her observations of life, of family, friends and school – both momentous and trivial – just as they pop into her head.

The books are bursting with doodles, lists, selfies and polaroids,




and look well-thumbed and much-loved. Which is of course what I most long for!

Tomorrow, a bit more about Dot…