Cogheart October Events Round-up

I was totally going to write this post a week ago but, what with Halloween and Guy Fawkes night, I didn’t get around to it. Anyway, now all that’s over, here it is…

A Cogheart update for October, where I had a whole week crammed full of talks and events, but before that, at the beginning of the month, I even managed to make it to a couple of other people’s events…

The Lost and Found Tour with SCBWI debut writers Sue Wallman, Olivia Levez, Eugene Lambert, Patrice Lawrence, Kathryn Evans – talking about their books and experiences as debuts had me nodding along with agreement. It was so good to hear others talk about the somewhat overwhelming experience of being a debut author, and how they’ve dealt with it. After that I went to my friend Richy K Chandler’s event for the final issue of his Lucy the Octopus comic book, where he and his band performed tracks about Lucy and her band Lammington Fuzz, in a comic book launch that was also a Lucy the Octopus musical!

Then, in the middle of the month, I was at Betram’s Book Fair in Manchester -which is a book fair for independent book shops – talking about Cogheart. I had to get up and give a speech in front of a room full of independent booksellers. There was probably more than 100 people and I had to speak without my powerpoint as a prompt which was something I’ve never done before. It was a little scary, but fun, in the end I just read out most of the speech because I was nervous, but afterwards lots of people came over to the Usborne stand to talk about the book, and get me to sign their personal copies of the book, so it must’ve gone OK.

The next day, with Liz Scott, I went around some Waterstones shops in Manchester and Liverpool to sign lots of Cogheart books and meet booksellers, before heading off home in the afternoon.

After that I had two days of fab Cogheart school events that same week, the first on Wednesday 19th of October with students from Bridlewood Primary at Isambard School Library as part of the Swindon Youth Festival organised by librarian Stella Rogers. Then on Thursday the 20th with the students from Edwards Hall at Southend Festival at Southend Library, organised by librarian Anne Bonham. Both sets of students had some great questions, and created some fabulous robot animations! There was even an article about my visit in the Swindon Advertiser

Finally on Saturday the 22nd I was at #YAShot an amazing YA Festival in Uxbridge organised with aplomb by author Alexia Casale. My event was a conversation with Kiran Millwood Hargrave called The Rescuers – children rescuing adults, and we had a great chat about Kiran’s book The Girl of Ink and Stars and Cogheart, as well as telling a few wacky anecdotes about writing and our childhoods. YAShot is such a fabulous day to go to – I went last year as a punter – because you get to see so many different authors – ya and mg – talking about their own and other people’s work and it’s totally inspiring. As a visitor and an author I have seen it from both sides now and the organisers and volunteers and authors are all so friendly, it really is a brilliant day out. Some of the highlights of the day for me were Mel Salisbury and Julia Gray talking about Gods, Monsters and villains in Ya Fiction, and an amazing panel on historical fiction with Catherine Johnson, Tanya Landman, Katherine Woodfine and Lydia Syson, called a history of violence, but that touched just as much on diverse representations in YA historical fiction…

So that just about sums it up for October, but this month on Saturday the 12th of November (2016) I’m going to be at my first steampunk event:  in Leicester Space Museum. I will be talking all about Cogheart, zoetrope and animations – so if you fancy it come and say hi… 

Cogheart – roundup for the rest of September.

It’s been a crazy busy September launching Cogheart. Although I managed to write a few blogposts – all about the book launch and the Waterstones Birmingham event with Katherine Rundell I intended to write a lot more about what’s been going on in separate blogposts. Unfortunately I just haven’t had the time, so here instead is a round up of events, blogger Q&As, and reviews of the book that I’ve managed to put together from various tweets of September….

 

 

Cogheart was also reviewed in the Lancashire Evening Post here.

And to finish, here are some COGTASTIC pictures the kids at various events drew of robots:

 

Interview with Mark Cridland on Deal Radio Show – ‘Living the Dream’

Here’s a phone interview I did a couple of weeks ago with the lovely Mark Cridland on the Deal Radio show – ‘Living the Dream’ all about how I came to write the story of Cogheart…

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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One Amazing August

This week saw the last few days with Cogheart as Waterstones Children’s book of the month…

It has been one amazing August, glimpsing all the windows and displays that the lovely Waterstones sellers put together, going round shops to sign loads of books, and meeting the fabulous booksellers themselves in reality and online; hearing all their enthusiasm for the book has been truly fantastic.

Thank you, all of you, and to celebrate here is a little slideshow of some of the stupendous windows and table displays of the book that people sent me during a month that went by very very quick! I was a little sad on Wednesday when it was all over….

But then on Thursday – the First of September – the book was out EVERYWHERE, and we had a proper big launch party to celebrate – of which more later! For now here’s the slide show of all the COGTASTIC Waterstones windows…

Fabulous Cogheart Review by Stephen Palmer

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Really great review of Cogheart by Stephen Palmer, on his Science fiction blog, here’s a fabulous quote from the review, you  can read it all here

This is a really good debut novel. The plot rarely lets up once it’s got going, and the steampunk tropes are light and well used. It’s aimed at readers around 9 to 12, but this shouldn’t stop you reading it if you like a page-turner.