The cover of the The CFG is now on display at the Bloomsbury website so I think I’m allowed to show it off in all its glory: isn’t it fab?
Illustrator Claire Powell has done a wonderful job of creating the magical world of Dundoodle, and Archie and his friends, and the cover is the crowning glory. It will stand out very nicely on the bookshop shelves.
And news just in: The Bookseller‘s children’s books editor Fiona Noble has made The CFG one of her Editor’s Choices for April – woohoo! This is a big deal as The Bookseller is the magazine that all the book buyers and reviewers read. Might need a sit down.
I’m collecting all the reviews for the book on its page – there have been some lovely comments, and it seems like people really ‘get it’, which is always a relief.
There are a number of foreign editions in the works too, along with an audiobook, all reassuring when you’re a nervous author about to release a book into the wild.
The Summer Reading Challenge gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the long holidays. Here’s what organisers the Reading Agency‘s website says:
The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six books during the long summer holiday.
There is a different theme each year. Children can read whatever they like – fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books – just as long as they are borrowed from the library.
Children receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there’s a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge.
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school aged children and is designed for all reading abilities. Schools work with local libraries and give out information to encourage children to take part, and most libraries run Summer Reading Challenge linked early years activity for pre-schoolers.
This year’s theme is ‘Mischief Makers’ and The Chocolate Factory Ghost is one of seventy titles that children have to choose from. It’s really exciting that lots of readers will get the chance to discover Archie McBudge’s adventures through their local library. You might just be able to make out the book’s cover in the image above, even though it’s not been officially approved!
The full book list for older children can be found here. I’ll be talking about this much more in 2018, and on that cheery note I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
When Monster & Chips first came out, my publisher ran a competition inviting people to send in their ideas for monstrous food. I still get the occasional email about it, although the competition finished a long time ago. It doesn’t matter, as I love to hear from readers and to see what they come up with.
Here’s Amos (aged 9), who read the whole of Monster & Chips in two days, with a bowl of granola and worms! Yum – I hope he (or a monstrous friend) enjoyed it.
I had a lovely parcel from my publisher Bloomsbury today: book proofs!
These are a test print run so that the publisher gets an idea of what the book might look like when it’s printed. The cover and illustrations aren’t completed, but it’s a chance to check for mistakes in the text amongst other things. Copies are sent to reviewers and potential buyers so they can get an advance look. Marketing is everything!
Bloomsbury also sent me a genuine McBudge Fudge bar, made in the Dundoodle Chocolate Factory! Fabulous – it made my day.
To St. Paul’s cathedral for the very touching memorial service for Paddington creator Michael Bond.
BBC article here.
Video from (unfortunately) the vile Daily Mail:
Proofreading! Last chance to tweak the wording for the first Dundoodle Mystery.
I’m so bad at taking photos. All the latest HD tech cannot help when you’re the type of person who always has your finger over the lens. So I’m not much good when it comes to reporting on events. Here’s a couple of recent ones:
Book buddies Gary Northfield and Alex Milway had a joint party at the fab Tales on Moon Lane children’s bookshop for their latest books, Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians and Pigsticks & Harold Lost in Time, respectively. These gents are such great writers and put on a hilarious show. If the photos are blurry, it’s because I’m laughing as much as anything else. Baked goods were included (always welcome).
And Laura Ellen Anderson had a magnificent party for her new series Amelia Fang. It was held in the crypt of St Pancras’ Church and everyone was suitably dressed in a Halloweeny style. The first book is already doing marvellously, thanks in part to being selected as Waterstones’ Book of the Month for October. Congrats, Lil!
This brilliant monster is Buddy, created by Jesse Becerra. Buddy’s super-cool, with his tentacles and multiple eyeballs, and also has great taste in pizza. Thanks, Jesse!
It’s still a bit early to talk about this, but my new fiction series (illustrated by Claire Powell) has made an appearance in Bloomsbury Children’s Books online catalogue for the first half of next year.
[Click on the image for a slightly more readable version of the catalogue.]
I’ll be posting more information when I can (and as usual, the book will have its own page on my website) but for now, I’m keeping my fingers/toes/other bits crossed for October’s Frankfurt Book Fair, where I’m hoping some foreign publishers will be interested in buying rights.
ETA: One Blackfriars is a new residential tower on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge. It’s unfinished but will be about fifty stories tall when complete. Apartments will cost from £1-23 million. The views along the Thames are worth quite a bit in their own right.
It’s a gorgeous-looking book. Above is author Katherina giving a speech with editor Kate Davies (left) of Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.
Molly Jamieson and Emily Talbot from United Agents, with authors Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Sarah McIntyre.
An interior of the book (click for a bigger version) – so much work! It’s amazing. Congrats, Katerina!