Claire Watts

IMG_1441I’ve been living in a cottage in the countryside in southern Scotland for the past eighteen years. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere because we moved around a fair bit when I was a child and then I was in London for a good while which seemed to involve even more moving. Our house started off fairly small, but it’s a good bit bigger now because we had too many daughters for the number of bedrooms and then not enough bathrooms for the number of daughters. Also I needed some more room for my books.

I love writing more than anything. Except reading… and my family… and I’m pretty keen on cooking too. Oh, and movies, but not usually if they’ve been made out of novels. And museums, I like all kinds of museums.


Here’s what they don’t tell you about love in the movies:

(one) You never know what’s going on in the other person’s head. Never. Not even when they’re telling you.

(two) Which you know already, because you’re not necessarily telling them what’s going on in your head either.

(three) And most of the time you’re not absolutely sure what’s going on in your head anyway.

(four) Most important of all. Keep in mind, all the time, that you don’t get ‘happily ever after’ when you’re seventeen. You don’t get anything ‘ever after’. Not yet.

Kate and Joe ought to be a perfect match. They’re both obsessed with movies. They definitely fancy each other. And they never stop talking.

But it’s not that simple, is it?


Summer isn’t turning out the way Molly planned…

Looking forward to six weeks in sunny southern France kept Molly going all through exam revision.

But she didn’t count on the loneliness.

Communicating in a language that’s not your own is hard.

Living with someone else’s family is weird.

And spoilt, moody Léa would rather spend her time with a never-ending stream of boys than bother with Molly.

Maybe Molly needs to find a boy of her own?


It’s that weird limbo summer when school’s over for ever and everything you’ve ever known is ending but nothing new has started yet…

LILY’s split up with the boyfriend she was planning to spend the summer with.

SIMON’s plans to travel are scuppered when his mother has a freak accident.

So they agree to be each other’s substitute best friend. And when Simon gets Lily a job in his mum’s tearoom, Gingerbread & Cupcake, they soon have other things to worry about as business takes a dive.



The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

Henrietta’s House by Elizabeth Gouge

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit

I Shall Wear Midnight (or any of the Tiffany Aching books) by Terry Pratchett

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien


Desk? What desk? There is a table with a computer on it in the corner of the living room which is nominally mine, but everyone else uses it too so generally I end up writing at my laptop at the kitchen table or on my bed if there are too many people around. The kitchen’s best: the table’s big enough to spread out books and maps and whatever else I might need and I can look out over the countryside when I’m thinking. It’s Scotland, so it’s mostly raining, but, heigh ho, it’s green and there aren’t too many people around.




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