Making Darth Vader out of a spoon

This is one of those special, special weeks that don’t come round very often.

I’m starting the new book and right now, it’s PERFECT. Perfect, you repeat? Are you sure? Well, yes. Because I haven’t written anything that can’t be changed yet, and most of it is still in my head, and in my head it’s BRILLIANT. It’s only when it starts to change into something in the page that isn’t quite what I imagined – when I have to start making compromises about who’s talking and what happens when – that it becomes, well, an artistic challenge.

But I don’t mind the challenge either. When the most difficult decisions you have to make are around point of view, and where to put the jokes, you know your job is pretty fabulous. It will be hard, very hard. I’m not saying it won’t be stressful most of the time, and that I’ll never be truly happy with it, and I’ll probably be sitting here, fiddling with it in a year’s time. The thing is, it could be good. There’s just a chance that I could make something wonderful. I love this bit.

Meanwhile, the challenge at school (for the boys – although the mummies take it just as seriously) is to turn a wooden spoon into an interesting character. We’re doing a three-eyed alien and Darth Vader. Which means the boys doing lots of glueing later on, and Mummy going to the local Sewing and Craft Superstore to buy pipe cleaners, googly eyes and felt.

I’ve just come back. Each time, I forget how much I LOVE my craft superstore. Almost as much as writing, I think. Probably AS much. It takes me back to that same point in my childhood when I made things with my mummy, and it brings out every creative juice in me.

When I tell you I have just bought a BODKIN, you’ll know that they have everything in this place. Including loads of stuff you didn’t know you wanted. Plain Venetian masks, for decoupaging? Daffodil-making attachments for cake icing cones? (OK, I didn’t want those, but wow anyway.) Hot foil? (I don’t know what hot foil is, but it looked lovely and I think I need some.) Multiple varieties of bug-eyed buttons? Neon balloons? I could have stayed there for hours, just admiring the stock and imagining all those things I could make if only I had the time …

But we have a Darth Vader to make, and I have a new book to write, so the bodkin will have to wait.

I love weeks like these.

TV News

Well, it’s been an exciting week. The Look goes to print (very early – it still doesn’t come out until spring) so soon we will have actual shiny copies to coo over. And they literally will be shiny. Foil title. And pink page edges. Woop!

My idea for the new book – a girl thriller – seems to be working out. Woop again! I’m busy plotting and scouting locations. I love this bit. When the book is perfect … before you actually start writing it.

And we finally signed the deal on the TV series for Threads. With a fabulous production company I can’t wait to work with. Woop woop woop!

If you want to know a little bit more, click on my website, here.

Next week there are two very important family birthdays to celebrate, and some new schools to visit, and I’ll go back to being a mummy/daughter, which will be lovely. But this week I was mostly a writer/aspiring screenwriter, thinking up new stories and swanning into town for meetings with my signing pen.

Was it as fab as it sounds?



The boys went back to school this week. That means many things in the Bennett household …

  • It means that last week was the Pre-School-Haircut. We did this at Trotters, who also sell toys and clothes, which is where I discovered this adorable, cloth-eared elephant:

  • His name is Kipu, which means ‘happiness’ in Nepalese, apparently, and every sale of him raises money for the Cairn Trust to build a school in Western Nepal, which is desperately poor and where the children need all the help they can get. I’ve visited the area and it’s insanely beautiful. It had the cleanest air, the best food and the nicest people I’ve ever encountered. And the most mud. A school with a roof that keeps out some of the rain in the rainy season, and a dry floor to sit on – or with chairs, even – would be good. You can find out more about Kipu here.
  • It also meant we did the traditional Pre-School-Visit-To-The-Launchpad-At-The-Science-Museum. This was, as always, busy, funny and inspirational. Here are the boys, post-haircut, but still pre-school:

  • And finally, it means that I have managed to start seriously plotting book 5 at last. I tried my latest ideas out on the boys last night. There were lots of suggestions about how to include more twists and introduce new characters – that’s what comes from having another aspiring writer in the family. But also, my little one kept asking ‘what happened to the boy in the castle? Did he get out?’. These were the RIGHT questions. And his anxious face really needed to know the answers. I’m hoping that bodes well for the new story.

Win ‘Brilhos’

It’s September! Yay!

I’ve always loved this time of year. It comes with having been a bit of a swot at school, and loving the idea of new clothes, a new pencil case, carefully choosing my pens, rulers and rubbers (how I would have loved Paperchase and Cath Kidston if they had existed in the 1970s), and going out on autumn walks to check out the golden leaves and developing conkers on the horse-chestnut trees.

I don’t know what September’s like in Brazil. It probably doesn’t feature woolly jumpers and conkers, I’m guessing. But it’s still an exciting time for me …. because ‘Brilhos’ has just come out (Beads Boys & Bangles in Brazilian).

To celebrate the great title, great cover, great excitement and great early reviews*, I’m giving away 4 signed copies of ‘Brilhos’ to the first 4 people to contact me via my website. (If you go there, you’ll find a contact page where you can email me your name and address.) And yes, I’m happy to post them to Brazil.

The very first person will get a copy of ‘Linhas’ too. Good luck! I hope you love them.

sophia xxx

Here are some of the reviews. Thank you SO much, to all of you who’ve written such fab things about the series.

Literalmente Falando

Dear Book

Batalha Literaria