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Making Cakes for Nigel

On Saturday, I went to the South Bank for a panel on Writing for Tweens, part of the Imagine Children's Festival. It was aimed more at tweens than at writers, which I really should have guessed when I booked, but it was fun all the same.

All the authors were younger than me - some only by a few years, but one was eighteen, having been offered a book deal when publisher Hot Key started following her on Twitter. What was funny was how much they themselves dressed and behaved like tween girls who had been let loose on London without parental supervision (sparkly tights, enormous heels). They hero-worshipped Jacqueline Wilson and talked about how they still felt as if they were pretending and weren't really proper authors, even with multiple publications under their belts.

They were a cool bunch and I'd have liked to be in their gang, but I don't think this is a market I should aim for, at least not deliberately (they all denied 'writing for tweens', insisting that they just 'wrote for me'). Frankly, I knew bugger all about nine-year-old girls when I was one and I know slightly less now.

On Sunday I visited my erstwhile flatmate calgor, bearing a home-made walnut cake. In exchange I got a delicious dinner, a late Christmas present of a bottle of Cocoa Gin, and an afternoon spent hanging out with Nigel, Drac and their two ferrets, which seems like a pretty good deal to me. The ferrets in particular were great value: rolling around in towels, playing in their very own ball pit, and sticking their heads down my bike boots.

Then I went home and watched The Musketeers while drinking a miniature of good-quality rum my bestie gave me for Christmas. It seemed appropriate. (Yes, I get given a lot of booze at Christmas, what of it?)
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Ah. I trust calgor and Co. were well, and the ferrets didn't bite anything they weren't intended to bite... ;)

...and I've heard so many authors say they write for themselves that there must be something in it...

And just who do they count as "tweens"? Kids aged, say, 9 to 12 years(-ish)?
I think 9-12 covers it. Around the age I was knee-deep in The Hobbit and John Wyndham...

And I'm sure the gang would be delighted to see you. Don't wait for an invite, just ask for one to be issued...

At that age I wasn't doing much reading, because school tried to enforce it, and having Dickens shoved at me then pretty much innoculated me against him for life. There were a few books in the school library I've remembered, though; "Lord of the Flies", "The Count of Monte Cristo", "The Three Musketeers", John Christopher's "Tripods" trilogy, but not much else...