In extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of extraordinary things


What – not another family book launch??? Honestly, you can’t leave my folks alone with a piece of paper for FIVE MINUTES without them coming up with some book or other. But my goodness this one is really very special indeed.

At a star-studded bash at Daunts in Holland Park West London last night, my Mum Shirley Hughes unveiled her first novel Hero on a Bicycle: a YA thriller set in Nazi-occupied Italy.

She started writing it at a time when she was working on picture books all week, and needed a little diversion at the weekends. Most people might take up baking or gardening or doing the crossword, but not her. She would bring a chapter or two over to our house and read them to us as the story was unfolding, and we were so gripped that we jolly nearly did that grabbing-on-to-the-leg-and-being-dragged-along thing when she tried to leave. My son helped her with a lot of the historical research, too.

Being a throughly modern girl, she insisted on a website to accompany the book – do call by and have a look here.

Phenomenal story-teller and all-round star: I’m cheering for my Mum!