SKYCIRCUS book tour and SCBWICON18

It has been a super-busy autumn of book tour events with Skycircus. I visited lots of schools in Birmingham, Bristol and London, with Usborne and also with Pea Green Boat Books. As well as performing at events like Broughton Hall literary Festival, and doing their school events programme with Caboodle Books and Authors Abroad, I performed at the Beanstalk Literary Festival in London for hundreds of lovely Beanstalk readers and reading helpers.

Looking back I see I have been terrible at taking photographs over the months, but luckily lots of lovely teachers have taken pictures, so here are a few…

SKYCIRCUS BOOKTOUR.

SCBWICON 18

Last weekend I was at the SCWBI conference – SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators. It is a fantastic weekend for author and illustrators to hone their craft. I got to see a lot of my favourite writing people and Scbwi members, and I also got to be part of their fancy dress party and mass-book launch party with Skycircus. And I got to see my crit group buddy and ace author, Lorraine Gregory win the prestigious Crystal Kite Award for her fab debut novel ‘Mould and the Poison Plot’ It was such a brilliant weekend and I intend to write some more about it later, but in the meantime, here are a few pics…

In the SCBWI mass book launch
With my SCBWI crit group: Tania, Gail, Meira and CRYSTAL KITE WINNER Lorraine Gregory! No Miriam 🙁
SCWBI Party 2018
Lorraine wins the Crystal Kite
With Gail and Meira from my SCBWI crit group.

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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More of Me Booklaunch

At the beginning of the month I went to the launch of Kathryn Evans amazingly original YA teen story MORE OF ME at Daunt Books. The book was published by Usborne at the start of February. I’ve had a chance to meet Kathy a couple of times at Usborne events and she is truly lovely. Her book is quirky and original sci-fi take on how much you change as a teenager, how out of place you feel, and how you must be kind to the past versions of yourself and learn from their mistakes. Kathy gave a really good speech, as well as the usual thank you-s and stories, she had brought blow up photos of herself at different ages to talk about – which reflected brilliantly on the theme of the book.

It was a fantastic day and evening. My friend Sarah came down from Edinburgh and we went to see the Alice in Wonderland Exhibition at the British Library before the book launch. Then afterwards we went for a dinner with all the SCBWI folk who had come to the launch (-which was a LOT! as Kathy is devoted member of SCBWI and also their finance officer).

#NeverEvers book launch

I had a fun time at the Never Evers book launch last night, catching up with Lucy Ivison who I used to be in The Runcible Spoons writing group with, and finally meeting her writing partner Tom Ellen and their editor Barry Cunningham of Chickenhouse. I LOVED Lobsters by Lucy and Tom it was totally hilarious, and I’m really looking forward to reading Never Evers…