Simply Mandi Kaye by Amanda Ottaway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Demon Dentist, the sixth children's novel by comedian David Walliams, came top of the Younger Readers category at the 2015 Red House Children's Book Awards' ceremony in London. Each shortlisted author and illustrator receives a portfolio of childrens’ writing and artwork inspired by their book.
Thank you very much indeed for your card wishing me luck in the Guardian Children’s Fiction competition.
Tony Ross has drawn the beautiful cover illustration for the 2012 Telegraph Bath Festival Of Children's Literature. Did you notice any commonalities between working on Insidious and The Entity, as it’s heavily inspired by that style of filmmaking? The thing that made this film fun for most modern actors is we had practical things happening to us – we didn’t have to make believe.
Usually making horror films is not a scary experience at all, but in this case – especially with practical locations it was spooky – it was easy to get involved. Did you get much time to work with House Of The Devil‘s Jocelin Donahue, who plays the younger you? This week’s “Books” page features a review of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, a fast-paced and insightful non-fiction tale by veteran journalist and Fort Worth-based author Jeff Guinn. Author Guinn recently gave an NPR interview in which he discusses tidbits from the book, like the way Manson rearranged the crime scene of the savage Tate-LoBianca murders for maximum visual effect. Be the first to know – sign up for Food News & Booze and the Weekender newsletters! This was the second time I’d read this one, but it affected me so much more than it did the first time.
The book, in which children who leave a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy wake up to find earwigs, live spiders and slugs in its place, is the second of Walliams' books to win the prize.


You only had to witness the laughter as Michael Rosen read out an extract from The BFG at the Telegraph Bath Festival Of Children's Literature to see how Dahl's way with words still conquers. I appreciated that a lot and it didn’t really surprise me that audiences appreciated. I always feel like at the end of the film is when we should be beginning it in terms of people knowing each other and trusting each other. This was a low budget film, shot very fast – I always amazed he can get the atmosphere he does in the amount of time. Both the hospital and the house, and the long takes – a combination of the two was very surprising. The book is refreshing because it refuses to be dazzled by the aura of evil that has surrounded Manson for 43 years now. Here’s a long excerpt from a terrific 2009 essay by filmmaker John Waters on his longtime friendship with incarcerated Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten. It’s a Christian non-fiction book that could probably best be categorized as Christian living. This was also the second time I’d read this book (the first time was several years ago). Rosen read his description of when the BFG eats snozzcumbers, spraying out large pieces like bullets as he says: "It's disgusterous. So I’ve never done a sequel before so it was it was fun to get to leap back in and see that side of it for a change – it was nice. Yes, as an audience member I look at them warily – you have to have a reason to do the film other than they want to use the name.
All of these people were just wonderful and lovely to work with that counts a lot for me going in. Again, it’s not usually that way and hopefully the audience will feel it, but that downright freaky performance we filmed was actually that spooky.
The real story, as usual, is more complicated and more gripping –– Manson was a sociopathic street criminal who lucked into a place and time (Los Angeles in the late 1960s) where people were so busy enjoying drugs, sex, and superficial friendships, they didn’t pay attention to the predators and dangerous exploiters in their midst.


Among other things, Waters discusses why Manson has enjoyed a kind of twisted icon status over the years. All I can really do is recommend it (you can see excerpts from the book here, here, and here).
Ross, the 74-year-old Londoner, is celebrated for his illustrations for the Little Princess books and for his Horrid Henry drawings. You might cut into them, but we were doing these long takes and it really gives your body a chance to react to them and get involved with what’s going on.
Manson desperately wanted to be a rock star, but he settled for the roles of buzzkilling counterculture boogeyman and celebrity criminal instead.
And finally, here’s a 1966 TV interview with the most famous victim of the Manson Family –– Texas native Sharon Tate –– who takes Merv Griffin on a tour of London and discusses The Fearless Vampire Killers, the movie where she met her future husband, director Roman Polanski. It goes into what would happen to the world if the foundation of the Christian faith (the resurrection) is proven false.
A pregnant Tate was stabbed to death by Manson’s minions in the home she shared with Polanski in 1969. The New York Times #1 bestseller, written by Daywalt and illustrated by award winning Jeffers, tells the anarchic story of a boy who finds he cannot draw a picture as his crayons have gone on strike. Try it yourself, this foulsome snozzcumber." Rosen, a former Children's Laureate, was talking about his new biography of Dahl for children, The Fantastic Mr Dahl, and he started with a quiz. So you're right." As a contented Guildhall audience left, I overheard a mother telling a friend that her six-year-old daughter (unharmed) had laughed so hard at one of Rosen's jokes, she had fallen off her chair. Previous winners of the award include J K Rowling, Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz and Suzannah Collins.




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