The Ruby Airship: New characters, new places, and new challenges

A guest post by Sharon Gosling, author of The Diamond Thief and The Ruby Airship.

Isn’t it funny how time seems to move so slowly, and then suddenly speeds up? It’s about a year since I finished writing The Ruby Airship, but so much has happened during that time that it actually feels much longer.

The Ruby Airship is available to buy now!

A little over a year ago, my husband and I decided to change our lives forever. We put our flat in London up for sale and started looking for a house in Cumbria. The plan was to ditch our office-based day jobs and move north to open a second-hand bookshop in Penrith. In between we thought we’d take advantage of the fact that we’d be homeless for a while to do some travelling – but by then I also knew that I would need to finish The Ruby Airship before we moved into our new home.

Thus, the first draft of the book was written while we were staying on La Gomera, one of the smallest islands in the Canaries. It’s a beautiful, quiet place, with the extinct bowl of a volcano housing a rainforest in the centre, edged by jagged peaks that slope down to sandy, calm beaches around its edge.

Every morning I would get up just as the sun was about to tip the horizon, and I’d sit on the balcony that overlooked the ocean and work. My husband would get up a little later and go out walking in the mountains. I’d write until about lunchtime then join him for a walk myself. At the end of the six weeks that we were there, I had a finished manuscript and Adam had a fantastic tan (actually, so did I!). Then we came back and started our new lives.

The bookshop (Withnail Books) opened in July, and I worked on the second draft of The Ruby Airship surrounded by the Pennines. Maybe that’s why the landscape of the book is so mountainous – I wrote what was around me into Remy and Thaddeus’ new adventure!

I really hope readers enjoy The Ruby Airship. I had so much fun writing it, not just because of where I was as I worked, but because I do so love the characters.

It’s funny, but despite the fact I hadn’t written them for quite some time, Remy, Thaddeus and J came back to me very swiftly. It seems that their voices stay in my head even if I’m not writing down what they’re saying. They’ve all grown up a little – and they grow up even more over the course of this particular story. There are new characters for them to meet, new places for them to explore and new challenges for them to overcome – and I hope you have as much following them as their adventure unfolds as I did!


Read more about The Ruby Airship, download a sample chapter, and take advantage of great offers here.

From Swindon to Hay, with glitter and cupcakes along the way…

To celebrate the release of Diary of a Mall Girl at Curious Fox, I (that’s me, Luisa Plaja) travelled up and down the country visiting schools and libraries for fun-packed and glamorous events. Here are some highlights…

– In Swindon, I spoke to a huge room full of girls at the Isambard Community School. This is a school that plays music in the lunch hall and has an animal room for the use of students  – yes, an entire classroom filled with pets. The lovely staff gave me a full tour, and I was extremely impressed. Thank you to the library staff and all the students! (Read Swindon Library’s roundup here.)

Bristol Central Library’s event gave me my first beauty demo experience. Two already-stunning models were given makeovers before my eyes as I attempted to take mental notes and pictures. This was also my first experience of the fabulous Curious Fox goodie bags. The youngsters in the audience tucked into their lipstick lollies as I chatted to them, and at one stage I was faced with a row of girls whistling into their empty lolly cases. Fun!

– Next stop: Edinburgh! A fantastic turnout at Sighthill Library, where there was bath-bomb making and glitzy cupcake-eating, thanks to the Glitz Lit crew. The writeup on the Edinburgh Library website suggests that I was overwhelmed by the success of the evening – and they’re right!

Barnstaple Library in my home county of Devon put on a huge array of activities – there was something for everyone! A nearby college provided practical hair and beauty hints, hand massage and nail design was available, and we could make our own smoothies. The Body Shop was there and so were the lovely staff from Barnstaple Waterstone’s. It was a magical night.

Bromborough Library hosted a truly wonderful evening filled with quizzes, competitions, mocktails and fun. Read all about it here.

– There were fabulous pink drinks, cupcakes and snacks at Chester Library, a talk and demo from The Body Shop, and lots of Girl Guides in the audience. Some of the students and staff of the school I’d visited earlier even stopped by to see me again!

– Finally, I reached the Northeastern leg of my tour, and my first stop was in Stockton-on-Tees. An absolutely brilliant, fun-packed event was put on by Stockton Library. There were craft tables, makeup tables, nail art, Wii dancing and much more. The lively gathering of teenagers asked me some fantastic questions and made me feel like a superstar!

Newcastle Library put on an amazing hair demonstration as part of a lovely night in the beautiful city centre. And so ended the Lipstick Library Tour.

Then there was the Hay Festival… Oh, what a wonderful time I had at Hay, beneath the artificial stars of the Starlight Stage! I got two small people to interview me about it, and you can read the transcript at Girls Heart Books.

And it’s not over yet! Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the mall… Mall Girl hits Westfield, London!  All readers are very welcome to come and decorate cakes with me at Foyles, Westfield on Saturday 6th July from 1.30pm, find out more here.

Thank you very much to all the inspiring and wonderful book-lovers I met on this tour. A special mention has to go to the people who made it all possible. Thank you, Curious Fox team!

Luisa Plaja
xxx