Moonlocket launch week

It has been just over a week since Moonlocket’s official launch party on Tuesday the 2nd of May at Waterstones Islington.  It was lovely to see so many friends, fellow authors, librarians, family, and folks from Usborne, especially my editor Rebecca and my agent Jo, and MOST especially the kids of friends who loved the first book and all came along to celebrate the launch of the sequel. Here are some pictures from the evening, that lots of kind people who were there have sent me. ( I was far too excited to remember to take pictures as well!)

Then on Thursday I went on a whistlestop signing tour of bookshops round London with Stevie from Usborne. The highlight of the day was visiting Richmonds Indie Children’s Bookshop Alligators Mouth for the first time, such a cool little shop. I wish I lived in Richmond I would be in there all the time!

On Friday I did two talks at Kingham school in Oxfordshire – where all the Year Fours had made an incredible mural of Cogheart and designed their own mechanicals and mechanimals and airships. They had great questions about the book too, which they had been studying with their lovely form teacher Elizabeth Mahooney. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take photos but I hope they send me some because their artwork was absolutely stunning!

On Monday I did a joint event with Kiran Millwood Hargraves talking to Year Nines from Swakeley School at Oak Farm Library in Hillingdon. I managed to get them to do a bit of deportment, which is always fun. Then i got to hear all about how Kiran researches and writes her books for the first time, very interesting.

Cogheart Book launch Day finally arrived!!!!

After what seems like years of waiting, on Thursday the actual official Cogheart Launch day actually arrived, and we had a BIG Party to celebrate at the beautiful Daunt Books in Marylebone. Here are some pictures from the night…

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I was so nervous the night before, I barely slept, even though the book has been out a month and had been doing really well, it still felt like this was the OFFICIAL launch. Mainly because loads of friends and family were coming and I had to write a speech, and I was going to make some cog biscuits too, but by Wednesday evening I hadn’t done either of those things… Of course, those kind of big dos always make me REALLY nervous so I wouldn’t have slept anyway, no matter what, but there we are!

On Thursday morning I got up at 6, and since I had been thinking about what to say for hours, instead of getting some rest, I made a cuppa and turned on the computer straight away and wrote the speech. I tried to have a normal day, going swimming and to the supermarket, and then I made the biscuits in the afternoon to take to the launch. It was a warm day and so bloody hot with the oven on, and batch baking all the biscuits I suddenly realized how many there were, and I thought, what a bloody stupid idea to bake biscuits for your own launch, I must recommend to people NOT to do it! Plus it felt like being on bakeoff because I thought I’ll never get them done in time! But it was fine in the end and it used up so much of my nervous energy…

It was a beautiful sunny evening and M and I got a taxi to Daunts with everything. The streets were quiet, the sun low, and the driver coasted all the way. I was so nervous and excited, but it was a good excitement, like sailing on air, and I knew it was going to be brilliantly, fantastically OK.

Then when we arrived we set everything out and I sat down to sign a few book for friends who had arrived early… and didn’t get up, or stop signing, for an hour-and-a-half, until it was time to do the speeches. But it was great to chat to everyone who came to get books signed, and even better – I didn’t have time to be nervous about speaking in front of so many people. The rest of the evening went by in rather a blur, I got lots of lovely cards and presents from lovely people, and took rather a lot of pictures, and then, with the last few people, tumbled out of Daunts at nearly nine after a superb evening, and it was all over… Except then we ended up in two different pubs having a more drinks!

 

 

Interviewed on Christina Banach’s blog…

Here’s some #mondaymotivation: I did a Q and A interview over on the lovely Christina Banach’s blog, here…

We talked about all kinds of things – automatons, animation, the similarities between writing and film making, time travel, which is better a BAFTA or a Carnegie? It was a fun interview, here’s the gorgeous header picture from Christina’s blog… I wonder if this is near where she lives?

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Abi Elphinstone’s #ShadowKeeper book launch

Last night I went to the fab book launch for Abi Elphinstone’s The Shadow Keeper, which is the sequel to her excellent debut The Dream Snatcher. I read The Shadow Keeper prologue online a couple of weeks ago and it’s even more creepy than the scary opening to The Dream Snatcher. The book has another incredible map by Thomas Flintham – who designed the gorgeous cover.

It was a great fun launch, and very inspiring because I got to hang out with lots of middle grade / children’s writers and bloggers and talk loads about books! Also got a chance to meet co-agenteers Andy and Tamsyn, and another MG Usborne author: Lara Williamson, who wrote the amazing A Boy Called Hope. Plus, I was given a copy of Yellow by Yü Kops Chow. He’s nine years old and wrote this amazing looking book -pictured next to Abi’s -in fact he was only seven when he wrote it. It’s designed by his dad with superb illustrations by his mum. Abi and Yü both signed their book for me, though Yü’s pen had nearly run out!

I’m very much looking forward to reading both books but especially The Shadow Keeper – to finally catch up with Moll, Siddy, Alfie and Gryff on their new adventures.