If you happen to have read the leaflet for the Stockton Children's Book of the Year celebration weekend and you're thinking of attending my author session on the Saturday, then you might be expecting me to talk exclusively about The House of Eyes, which was the book that won the Stockton Award back in 2003. They have certainly made it sound exciting. But I must confess I haven't read The House of Eyes since it first came out, a long time ago now. Like many authors, I tend to avoid reading any book I've written after it has actually been published for fear I'll find it full of things I want to change but no longer have the chance to. My memory of the story is not quite as fresh as it once was. But I do remember it begins aboard a barge, where a story is about to be told. And it's stories that my author talk will be all about, where they come from, how they are told, and why we humans are so keen on them. I'll also be running a workshop on the same day, where we will look at how to create a character from scratch - and then put them through a terrible transformation. If you like the sound of these events, aimed at people aged 8 – 13 years, then they're being run by Stockton Libraries and these are the details if you want to come along.