Now seems the perfect time to look at the relationship between owls and literature, from the sweetly befuddled Wol in Winnie the Pooh to the flesh hungry killers of Titus Groan...
The life of a ghost-writer is never a dull one. Earlier this year I visited a prison in Hull to meet with convicted murderer Kevin Lane, who has served 19 years of a life sentence. He wanted me to help him with his book.
Everyone knows that children's literature can't possibly be high quality, right? It doesn't count as proper literary fiction, does it? It can't make people consider big issues or challenge ideas of genre, can it? This week, the University of Kent's creative writing programme embarrassed itself by its advertising strategy, followed by a series of rather ignorant tweets.
Both a modern day ghost story and a Victorian chiller, The Room Beyond weaves two time frames together to unravel the secrets of one aristocratic family over a century. The action is centered around a West London mansion, with endless corridors full of lingering whispers.
'Do you think Father Christmas will bring me this book?' asks little Shaye Lee. Not surprised by her fascination with I Wonder, I suggest adding the title to her Christmas list.