A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
My favourite song is the song I’m learning right now.
My favourite song is an old folk ballad with seventeen verses. Everyone dies.
It’s an early Taylor Swift country-pop song that I sing along with in the car.
It’s David Bowie’s Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide.
It’s most songs by Bruce Springsteen and everything by Leonard Cohen.
It’s by Dolly Parton, and it’s by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joan Baez.
It’s my granda singing How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? when I was four.
It’s In The Bleak Midwinter every Christmas.
Music – listening and making – has been as important in my life as writing. When I was a teenager in Belfast, my dad took me to traditional pub sessions on school nights. As a Durham student, every Thursday night was spent at a singaround in a tiny local pub, falling in love with the wonderful songs of the north-east of England.
I’ve sung in bands and at weddings, and in the car. Mostly I sing alone, but for years I sang with my friend Melanie.
Until now I’ve never written about music. I don’t really know why: I’ve written about so many of my other obsessions – horses and history and heartbreak (OK, that’s not an obsession, but it does describe some of my books, apart from being alliterative and finishing off the list of three). But my next book – out next year – is all about music. I can’t say more than that just yet, but I look forward to doing so very soon. It’s going to be dedicated to Melanie in memory of those days when we seemed to find a new favourite song to learn every week.
Because yes, my favourite song is always the one I’m learning right now.