Thursday, February 18, 2010


presumably by some kind of evil blog triffid, with a terrible appetite for the rare and tender meat that is a blog by Zizou.....

We'd like to apologise for the shocking lapse in service due to this marauding monster mauling our meanderings, and take this opportunity to mention that in the meantime our beautiful new book HALO has been published, and exists, and is OUT in the world of bookshops, and available, and so on.

Also - Zizou is now on facebook. Please friend him, or, should you feel fanly towards him, join his fanpage.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The link - or rather the not-link - below

I've been trying to make it a link but tragically it won't do it, so you'll need ot type it in with your own little fingers if you want to see it.... it's worth it....

This is so FABULOUS... dear Lionlovers, if you ever thought a Lion couldn't really love a boy, watch this....

The story goes, they bought the lion at Harrods department Store, in the exotic pets dept, and he lived with them for a year in the King's Road in London, before growing too big, when they sent him back to the wild..... They were warned he probably wouldn't recognise him.......

I'm secretly thinking the Young Lion would be like this with Charlie...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


We have a winner for the competition!

Yesterday we all met up in Newcastle, at the exceptionally lovely Seven Stories centre, which is seven storeys tall, and full of interesting things about children's literature, including, yesterday, the full Zizou (ie Isabel and I); Louise from Puffin Books, and our winner, Katie Wright from Wakefield, with her mum Wendy, her dad Cal, and her brother Elliott, known as the Alien, and a big bunch of very nice Newcastle schoolkids too.

There were more than 5000 entries for our competition, and production of books at Puffin ground to a halt while the entire staff stopped working in order to read them all. They sent the best ones over to the Zizou Canoe, where Isabel and I retired to our hammocks to give them some serious consideration. They were exceptionally good.

The reason we chose Katie's was because it was a complete perfect little story, and it fitted exactly on to one, really. A lot of the other pieces of writing were interesting and exciting and well-written and all, but were actually the beginnings of much longer stories, or bits of novels, or scraps of genius, or almost poetry... and we were looking for a story.
Stories! That's what we like! Stories!

I'm going to ask Katie if we can put her winning story here on the page for you all to read, so we can see what you think. Also, we've got some photos of her sitting in the special Authors' Throne they keep in their Reading Attic at Seven Stories, and I'll get hold of those too.

Oh yes, so, yesterday, we had this lovely celebration to give Katie her prize - a Puffin Book a week, for a year. She went off clutching the catalogue, with her little pen ready to tick off the ones she wants, beaming like an extremely happy bookworm.

Also, we signed and presented to Seven Stories a GIANT BOOK OF NEBO. Tragically we weren't able to arrange the magic which would fill the book with every story ever written, and whichever one you want when you open the book, so instead we filled it with.... the best of the stories entered in the competition! We are going to have to go back to Newcastle in order to sit down for a week and read them all again in the luxury of the Authors' Throne. And to research the ghost story. 'What ghost story?'I hear you cry. Ah,'ll see.

So yesterday was a good Zizou day. Today we are back to walking the dog and taking French exams (yes Zizou has a dog now as well asall the ducks and the lizard and the dead tortoise. She is called Luna, she's black and shiny with pointy ears which stick up when she's excited and she has vertical take-off, which means she can just jump straight up off the floor, all four legs at once, just like that, about four feet in the air - four feet off the ground, in both senses of the phrase. When she does it inside the front door she is really funny, because you can see her bouncing in and out of view behind the glass window. I'll try to get a picture of her doing it. She is a lovely lovely dog.)

The seat of the pants must now return to the seat of the authorial chair. Ancient Greece is waiting for me.

By the way,anyone read Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce? It is a work of unadulterated GENIUS.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


....... Zizou is thoroughly ashamed. Imagine having a lovely blogsite and not writing on it for months and months. Zizou hangs his head in embarrassment and - here's a good word - contumelty.

But of course the reason authors keep bad blogs is that they are busy writing other things - you know, books. And sometimes they have to have lunch with their agents, sign Hollywood contracts, be won in competitions and so on, all of which takes a lot of time.

So - it's time for a catch-up in Zizouland:

1) We were won by William Tyndale School in Islington, London, Great Britain, the World, the Universe, Space. The elder Zizou has been pottering along there on a regular basis, to encourage the year Fives and Sixes to lie on the floor on huge bits of paper and draw round each other while giggling wildly. As a result they have written some excellent stories, the ideas for which Zizou has wickedly stolen to re-use at her leisure when she has run out of ideas of her own.

She has also been visiting schools in the south east telling them about Lee Raven, the Boy Thief. (Someone thought he was a thief who stole boys. In fact he is a boy who is a thief).

In sharing her own ideas, she finds that Year Fives don't mind characters falling in love so long as you don't go on about it, and Year Six is very very interested in poop. Also that head teachers don't like you using the proper words for poop.

Zizou is tempted to run a competition to see how many words we can think of.....

2) There is a reason for the poop obsession. When reading aloud from the new book LEE RAVEN - BOY THIEF Zizou offers the youngsters a choice of passages. Funnily enough, they tend to go for the one set down in the dark stinky sewers, with all the poop, and the big crunchy cockroaches, and the being chased by the wild pigs.

3) LEE RAVEN - BOY THIEF! Yes it's out now, looking very fine in its brown and gold jacket (Uniform? Suit? Livery?)There are some extracts and so on on the Puffin site. We're told it's quite good

- but perhaps they just don't want to hurt our feelings.

Have a look and see what you think. It's got baby dragons in it, and a skinny blond boy thief with tattoos, and an evil authoress, and a murder, and a magical Beano which isn't a Beano, and a drowned funfair, and a bullying Dad and a weeping Mum and a kindly old bookseller and a magnificent moustache.

4) And - there's a new competition (oh lord I really should write more often). It's a story writing competition, because we need lots of stories for a very special purpose....
You see on the left where it says WIN WIN WIN in big letters? Click there. You might
Yes every week a lovely shiny new book will arrive in the post for you to keep forever! And even if you don't win, your story might be chosen to go in our special giant book.... and when I say giant....

check it out.....

5) And, you will be delighted to hear, we have now, at lastly last, signed our new film contract. We are now polishing our shoes for the Oscar ceremony in 2013.

6) This month's Fantasy Castlist is....


7) And we are actually writing a new book now too. It's about a girl who pretends to be a boy, a boy soldier and a boy who's half horse.

I must go and write it.

yours alluringly,


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Blog Ten: HOT NEWS - and lots of it

When I say HOT NEWS - actually I can't give you *all* the actual HOT NEWS yet ... but I can give you some HOT NEWS, and I can tell you there will be some more HOT NEWS.

Here is the HOT NEWS I can't really tell you yet - the HOT NEWS will be that we have had a Hollywood offer for our LIONBOY FILM RIGHTS - so LIONBOY the FILM is once again a Hot Hollywood Possibility.

Here is our current fantasy cast list:
Charlie: You
Aneba: Samuel Jackson
Magdalen: Julianne Moore
The Lions: Loads of REAL LIONS
Rafi: Rafi Gavron

Other HOT News:
Our new book, previously known as The Book of Nebo, now has a new and much better title. It is now called....


What do you think? Better, isn't it?

And it is coming out in February 2008.


about the Competition to win US as mentors for your school:

decision day is looming. We are down to the last two schools, and they each sent in such lovely art works that we are having a really hard time deciding. One sent a lovely printed silk scarf with a scene of Maccomo under the tree, and Elsina and the Young Lion snoozing. The other sent a great Lion's Head with the mane made out of handprints - really clever and effective. And they both did illustrations, a story board, all kinds of good stuff. So how can we possibly choose? but we have to. And so we will.

Then next year the adult Zizou will go in four times a term to the school and work with the kids on all sorts of fun stuff. Indeed I will be their Pet Author. I'll be writing about it here and I am really looking forward to it. I love going in to do school visits. Quite often I get biscuits. But mostly I like meeting you lot and hearing what you have to say.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Blog Nine: Mysteries and Excitements

Seems to me that you have to go down to the bottom of the blogs and start from there, otherwise everything is in the wrong order. Well, never mind. You are all clever, you can manage that.

Anyway, we have some news. The paperback of LIONBOY: THE TRUTH is about to come out, on February 2. You may think it is very exciting for a writer when a book comes out but actually very little happens - except you get to feel a bit special all day. When the hardback comes out for the first time you get reviews in the papers and interviews and maybe you go on the radio, and you have a party, and that of course is a lot of fun. People make speeches about how wonderful you are, and you want to hide under the table, while at the same time kind of loving it.

Then if it comes out in other countries you might get to go there, which is rather wonderful. Because you're dealing with people from the country, it's not like being on holiday - you're working, doing interviews and so on, but you're a guest too, and everyone is nice to you and takes you around. It's a great way to be involved with a country. We've been to Thailand and Japan, Argentina, Spain, Holland, the USA, Germany and Austria. I'll do a blog about that soon, and put up some pictures...

By the time the paperback of the third book of a trilogy comes out no-one's giving you parties any more, and anyway you are writing something new, and your whole mind is on that. However - for the reader, it's different. Now The Truth is in paperback, it's cheap! So everyone can get their own copy.

In fact, we are now writing a new new thing. We have our Mystery Book, about the boy theif and the strange book and the tiny little dragons, which I will tell you more about in due course, coming out next February (only a year to go now, Ryan!); but we also have our even more mystery NEW PROJECT, which is such a brilliant idea that we can't tell you anything about it at all. Except that it is completely brilliant and has five kids in it, called Toni, Fig, Sophia, Zed and Treva. Treva is Japanese. There is no talking to cats. It's nothing like Lionboy (except in its brilliance).

I don't think that's giving too much away....

Oh, and the publishers don't even know about it yet. Haha - now we will find out if they read the ZizouBlog!

Other news: Young Zizou is learning to play the guitar. Old Zizou has a bad arm from too much excited typing. Zizou the lizard is hibernating. We had a leaky loo and the next thing the floorboards were up, the loo was in the hall and the basin was in the front garden. Bit of a shock.

And there's a new interview with us in National Geographic Kids magazine. You can find it on

Right - better go and write a book. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeers.