Tag Archives: Katherine Woodfine

Tales Events – #BrumHist Waterstones Birmingham April 2016

IMG_0785On the 2nd April 2016 I attended this brilliant Historical Fiction In YA and MG event at Waterstones Birmingham with five awesome authors!


It was brilliant afternoon full of interesting facts and writing historical fiction tips!


There was the awesome Emma Carroll….



















The lovely Katherine Woodfine….



The brilliant Lauren James



The fabulous Helen Maslin



And the wonderful Rhian Ivory who was the chair of the event….



We were encouraged to live tweet using the #BrumHist from the event.  A few of us did this and I think it really captured the conversations and the event so I have storified it!

As you can see the panel was brilliant!


After the event it was time for a signing!



And of course time for a mingle with the authors and meet internet friends in real life!

brumhist16brumhist15A huge thank you to Waterstones Birmingham for hosting such a fab event and to all the authors for being absolutely brilliant!

Happy Reading!


Guest Post – Being An Edwardian Debutante By Katherine Woodfine

The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth


Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk . . .

It will be the most thrilling event of the season!

The follow up to Katherine Woodfine’s bestselling debut novel, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

The 25th February 2016 marks the release day of the follow up to Katherine’s debut novel, The Mystery Of The Clockwork Sparrow……

The Mystery Of The Jewelled Moth

The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth

Today I am over the moon to be featuring a fab guest post from the lovely Katherine Woodfine!

After featuring Katherine last year around the release of The Mystery Of The Clockwork Sparrow ( you can find this post here ) I was so excited to be asked to feature another brilliant guest post and this time Katherine talks about…..

Being An Edwardian Debutante

Without further ado here is the lady herself…..

Manners, Mean Girls and Morals:  Being An Edwardian Debutante

‘Are you certain that this is a good idea?’ asked Sophie, for at least the dozenth time.

Lil smiled beatifically at her reflection in the looking-glass, as she tilted her hat to a better angle. ‘Of course I am. It will be fun – rather like acting and after all, I am an actress. I shall simply be playing the part of the perfect debutante.’

– The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth

For aristocratic young ladies in the Edwardian era, growing up happened almost overnight. The Edwardians had no concept of being a ‘teenager’ or a ‘young adult’ so until the age of seventeen or eighteen they were treated  as children – then, all at once, it would be time to pin up their long hair, lengthen their skirts, and exchange the school-room for the ball-room, as they embarked on their very first London Season.

This sudden transition from childhood to adulthood must have been quite an alarming one, especially because as debutantes (young ladies making their first appearances in society) they would have to go through the nerve-wracking ritual of being presented at Court. For this very special occasion, each debutante wore a head-dress of three curled white ostrich feathers, a white dress, and a pair of long white gloves. Accompanied by a sponsor – a lady who had already been presented, usually a mother, aunt or older sister – she would attend the Court Presentation, and when her turn came, be ‘presented’ to the King and perform her curtsey.

Once this ceremony was out of the way, a debutante would embark on the whirl of grown-up balls, parties, dinners, afternoon teas and events that made up the London Season. She would have the chance to dress in beautiful gowns, mingle with London’s high society, and most importantly, to meet eligible young men – though of course, never without the supervision of her chaperone, in accordance with the strict rules of Edwardian etiquette. For many young ladies, finding a suitable husband was the ultimate goal of the Season – years earlier, Lord Byron called the London Season ‘The Marriage Mart’, and so it still was during the Edwardian period.

For some girls, the highlight of their first Season would be their own ‘coming-out ball’ to celebrate their coming of age – and in The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, debutante Miss Veronica Whiteley’s coming-out ball has an especially important part to play in the story.


Each of these Edwardian debutantes has a role to play in finding the missing Jewelled Moth!

Illustration © Júlia Sardà

To help locate Veronica’s missing jewelled moth brooch – which she is desperate to find in time for her coming-out ball – Sophie and Lil go undercover amongst the debutantes. There, they meet three of Veronica’s friends, Phyllis, Mary and Emily, each of whom has a role to play in helping our young sleuths discover the truth.

Writing about these characters, and the ritzy, glitzy world they inhabited was great fun – but it also gave me chance to explore what I can only imagine must have been the turbulent ups-and-downs of a girl’s first Season. Tightly-corseted (in more ways than one!), the debutantes had to contend with strict rules, high expectations, the pressure to look perfect, and a total lack of freedom or independence. What was more, they were constantly pitted against each other in a competition for social triumph that makes Mean Girls look tame.

Veronica is certainly a bit of a Mean Girl herself, but who can blame her when she has been so suddenly plunged from the sheltered, comfortable world of childhood and home into the strange adult world of London high society? Here, she soon finds herself grappling with some dark and shocking secrets, and alarmingly sinister schemes – but with the help of Sophie, Lil and her friends, her Season as a debutante becomes an opportunity for a coming-of-age of a very different kind.

The Mystery of the Jewelled MothYou can buy The Mystery Of The Jewelled Moth here or why not visit your local independent bookshop!

About Katherine Woodfine


I spent six years working as Arts Project Manager for reading charity Book Trust. I was lucky enough to be the project manager of the Children’s Laureate, which gave me the chance to work with children’s writers and illustrators including the likes of Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson and Malorie Blackman. I also ran book events such as YALC (the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention), managed book prizes and created materials such as Book Trust’s annual Best Book Guide.

I now combine writing with other children’s book projects, including continuing to run YALC on a freelance basis. In 2014, I started a monthly children’s book radio show, Down the Rabbit Hole on Resonance 104.4FM, which I run and co-host with Melissa Cox and Louise Lamont. Find out more about the show and listen to some of our past episodes here.

You’ll also find me chairing children’s book events and interviewing authors everywhere from the London Book Fair to the Hay Festival to Waterstones Piccadilly to the World Book Day Teen Fest.

Apart from books and writing, I love going to art galleries, Earl Grey tea, wearing cosy jumpers, going for long windswept walks, black and white films, red shoes, and of course, cake.

You can find out more about Katherine on her website – www.katherinewoodfine.co.uk

Or why not follow her on twitter using @followtheyellow

61uxVP9JOoL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth

You can buy these books here

Or check out The Mystery Of The Clockwork Sparrow post here

A huge thank you to Katherine for such a fab post and to Maggie at Egmont for asking me to be part of the tour to celebrate the release of the book.

Will you be buying The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth?  Have you read The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow?  I would LOVE to hear from you!  Why not leave me a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !



Guest Post – The Mystery Of The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine


Clockwork Sparrow foil

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

 After the death of her father genteel young lady Miss Sophie Taylor must seek employment. She’s thrilled to join the staff at Sinclair’s, the most beautiful department store in London – and consequently – the whole world. There she enters a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and Mystery around every corner.

 Working at Sinclair’s, Sophie makes lots of new friends: glamorous aspiring actress, Lil, serial paper obsessed Billy, and Joe – who is on the run from underworld criminals.

 When the priceless Clockwork Sparrow is stolen from Sinclair’s grand opening exhibition, it is up to Sophie and her friends to bring the Dastardly villains to justice…

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is the first book in a sumptuous mystery-adventure fiction series for readers aged 10+. Fast-paced and compelling with gorgeous period detail, join Sophie, Lil and Billy on a splendid adventure. Enid Blyton fans will love The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.

The 4th of June 2015 marks the exciting release date of a new mystery adventure!


I have recently started to read this book by the lovely Katherine Woodfine and I am completely hooked!  And just look at the cover!  So pretty!

I was so happy when the brilliant Maggie from Egmont contacted me to ask me if I would like to feature one of a few short videos of Katherine talking about what inspired her to write The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow!

I’m so excited to be able to share this on Tales today so thank you to Maggie and the team for asking me and of course Katherine for letting us get a glimpse into her world!

Look out for more videos popping up over the blogosphere between now and the 4th June!  So exciting!

Without further ado…..

1.) What Inspired you to write MOCWS

About Katherine Woodfine


Katherine Woodfine is Arts Project Manager at Booktrust, the UK’s most prominent literacy charity. She is a true champion of children’s literature and throughout her time at Booktrust has project-managed the Children’s Laureateship and worked on a huge range of other children’s book prizes and initiatives, including YALC 2014, the UK’s first Young Adult Literature Convention, curated by Malorie Blackman.

 She has reviewed and recommended children’s titles online, in print and on the radio as part of the founding team at Down the Rabbit Hole, a monthly show for Resonance FM discussing children’s literature. She lives in London.

Follow Katherine on Twitter @followtheyellow.

Or check out Katherine’s website – http://followtheyellow.co.uk/


Clockwork Sparrow


 You can buy this book here!

Also check out Katherine’s brilliant article in the Guardian too – here

Keep up to date with Egmont too!
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Blog Tour

You can also follow the rest of the blog tour here and follow the trail of Katherine’s awesome videos  🙂


Saturday 23rd May – Library Mice

3_) How did you decide to set The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow in a department store

Monday 25th May – YA Yeah Yeah

[Art work to follow]

Tuesday 26th May – Overflowing Library


Wednesday 27th May – Middle Grade Strikes Back


Thursday 28th May – Winged Reviews

4_) How did mystery stories help inspire The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

Friday 29th May – Snuggling on the Sofa


Saturday 30th May – YA Shot


Monday 1st June – Egmont – Special Announcement!


Tuesday 2nd June – Playing by the Book


Wednesday 3rd June – George Lester Reads


Thursday 4th June – Chouchett Blog

You can also check out another fab guest post from Katherine about Being An Edwardian Debutante here

Will you be buying The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow?  Have you already read the book?  I would LOVE to hear from you!  Why not leave me a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !


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