Monday, 28 September 2009

The Queen Elect

The two lads and Lady Sunshine (elder son's girlfriend, sorry, LOVELY elder son's girlfriend)have just been sitting on the floor playing Risk, which is a board game about armies taking over the world. I disapprove of the reality, but the game is OK. I have made it clear that if any of my children should happen to take over the world, I would like to be Queen of Lichtenstein and a few pretty bits of Switzerland. Then I went to Denmark, and it's so magical - no wonder the Danes are supposed to be some of the happiest people in the world. Perhaps Queen Margareth would consider a job share. My name is almost the same as hers, so nobody would get too confused. So I should remind you now and again that I am (or we are) the Queen Elect of Switzensteinmark.

We seem to have a flurry of enquiries about Mistmantle animals and blogs. We shall see what we can do. And Hamilton - Hamilton the Wonder Hamster, of whom we are very fond - is greatly looking forward to the adventure of blogging, being a computer-friendly hamster. We are pleased to inform you that his Christmas adventure should be available to purchase very soon. If you haven't met him, do go to our website and you'll find him in a chimney pot.

To all of you in the USA, that's how queens are supposed to talk, and it doesn't harm to practise, just in case.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Some of you have been asking about the Mistmantle site at, and are finding difficulty getting into the secret area. As it's a secret, I can't tell you. But I will suggest that if you move your mouse slowly across the home page, left to right and up and down, you will come upon a particular leaf. The pointing hand sign will come up to show that you can click on it. Click, and see what happens. If something else lights up (and it should) click on that, too.

There should be some new stuff on that site. Fingal, Huggen and Needle will contribute, and we may even hear from Urchin and Crispin, too. I've also had requests for a blog from Corr, and if I can catch him on land, I'll tell him.


Sunday, 20 September 2009

news from the island

The latest release date for Rage Tide is 20 July. And it's nearly October, so July is coming. If you like Mistmantle, order it, get your families, friends, schools and libraries to order it. Review it on websites and anywhere else you can get a review in, tell everyone about it, read it to your budgie, if you have a hedgehog in your garden call it Thripple, or Needle, or anything else Mistmantley. Tell your parents you're a red squirrel.

..or an otter!

I haven't introduced you yet.

...everyone knows who I am!

Eat a fish. Now, a reader reminded me recently that we haven't heard from Fingal on the blog, so...

HELLO, BEYOND THE MISTS! Blog? No problem, any time! By the way, what's a blog? What, just talk about me and what I think and what I'm doing? Like I always do? Bring it on!

I'm not allowed to say anything about the big events on the island because What's-her-whiskers does that in her stories. Anyway, I'm sure you can guess that a rage tide means a lot more than getting your paws wet (and what's the matter with that?)

The sea is swarming with fish just now. You can dry them and keep them for the winter, but fresh is much better. Now, we've got a fair number of little otters on the island just now. A few weeks ago this beach looked like Mother Huggen's nursery, if you didn't watch your paws you'd step on a baby. The sooner they learn to swim the better, and there's nothing like a glut of fish to get the little ones working out what otters do best - eating fish and splashing about. (That's what I do best, anyway.) Baby otters are chubby to begin with, and now they've learned to fish they're like a lot of little furry footballs, all lying beached on the sand holding their stomachs and burping like frogs.

The rest of us take turns to patrol for watersnakes. I did for a massive one yesterday, but not as big as the one Arran sorted the day before. She's in the lead in the watersnake challenge.

Longpaw has just arrived and told me that Captain Padra requests my presence. Bless them, they can't run the island without me. Take care, and if you want a watersnake settling or a blog blogging, remember, I'm your otter.

Friday, 11 September 2009

no title

Firstly, to all friends and readers in the US, you are being thought of and prayed for all over the UK today, including here, in the House of Stories.

Secondly, I am sorry to disappoint you with what I have to tell you next. The publication date for URCHIN AND THE RAGE TIDE has been put back, and it won't be available this month. I have to emphasise that this decision is nothing to do with me. It is completely in the hands of the publishers. It saddens me very much to know that a lot of people will be disappointed, and you need to know that I WOULDN'T DO THAT TO YOU.

I haven't been able to ascertain a date, and at present am not even sure if it's this year or next. If I find anything out I'll tell you, but you might do better to contact Hyperion in New York, and ask them.

I know. OUCH. But far worse things happen, don't they, and we're still here.

Sorry to sound a bit wet, but to all of you who love Mistmantle, huge hugs, and I love you to bits.

Monday, 7 September 2009


Get yerself blogging, woman. Yes, I know, you've 'ad yer family coming and going back and forward like bloomin' shuttles, and they're all 'aving birthdays and wotnot. I know you're on with a book about that blooming 'amster (blimey, why does it always have to be rodents with 'er?) And I know you're trying to do what you can with the garden in a summer like a monsoon in Iceland, but there's work to be done, so write yer bloggin' blog. It's not difficult, all yer need is the composterooter, or gong-hooter or whatever you want to call it. Know what I call it. You do it like this - tap, tap, tap. Got it? Oh, give over, I'll do it meself.

While you're at it, good to see that you finally got yerself down the bottom of the garden today, even if was only for them blackberries. Fair enough, last time you attempted it you ended up ankle deep in mud, but you have to keep making the effort. Before yer know it, them weeds will have organised themselves, built a bridge, and headed over the river.