Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your wonderful Bookcase Showcase. This post was a real pleasure to put together, partly because, given half a chance, I could talk about my favourite books for ever (don't worry, I'll try not to) but mainly because my bookshelves are the one part of my house that I actually keep tidy.
My husband and I are both English and Drama teachers so, when we bought this flat together, we needed a LOT of shelf space. My husband made these shelves to fit a lovely big alcove next to the living room fireplace. Taking the books out of boxes and arranging them here was a truly joyful experience.
The bottom three shelves in this picture are full of plays, lots from our days as Drama teachers. Then there's poetry, and the top two shelves are novels. Since I stopped teaching and started writing for children, I've been reading more children's books and less grown-up literature, but it's nice to know that all my old favourites are still there!
This bookcase contains some of my favourite children's books, past and present. They include my mother's copies of the Little Women books and the What Katy Did series. There are lots of Puffin Noel Streatfeilds from my childhood, as well as brilliant contemporary children's authors like Frank Cottrell Boyce. On the shelf underneath are books I'm using for research for my work in progress. It's a timeslip story, partly set in 1813, so I've been using it as an excuse to read biographies of Jane Austen and Blake as well as books about servants' lives and general histories of the period.
This little bookcase in the dining room belonged to my grandfather, so I have huge affection for it. It contains more children's books that I've enjoyed over the last few years, as well as, on the top shelf, a few books about writing, including How Not To Write a Novel, by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark, How to Write a Blockbuster, by Lee Weatherly and Helen Corner, and Stephen King's On Writing. I read and reread those three books while I was editing and re-editing The Secret Hen House Theatre.