Pigsticks and Harold at the Storystock Festival

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I had a terrific time this morning at the Saatchi Gallery, reading and drawing Pigsticks and Harold for the Storystock Festival. It was the first time I’d read the book to an audience of children other than my own, and they didn’t want me to stop! I only planned to read a short section, but we blasted all the way through helped in no small part to the trusty Gary Northfield laughing at all the right places. What a guy!

So any worries I had about how it would go down with children have gone now. And it was liked by both the girls and boys. What a result!

Afterwards we drew some pigs and hamsters, and I thought I’d put a few up here.

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This lad could really draw Harold!

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I loved the colouring on this…

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Equally, this one was so bright!

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Now I can’t wait to get out there again and do more drawing!

A lovely visit to Harris Primary Peckham

A week ago, I visited the terrific Harris Primary School in Peckham. It was a great hour, and the children seemed to enjoy it. But little did I know that a week later I’d receive two folders of letters and amazing yeti, mice, and hamster drawings in the post!

It’s such a wonderful feeling seeing children take your characters and make them their own, and I’m so chuffed that I’ve decided to put a couple of them up here. What a super thing to be sent!

Pop-Up 2012 is go!

I can’t believe it’s a year since the last one, but the excellent Dylan Calder has been busy again. Pop-Up is a super children’s festival that gets really involved with the community. Taking place over the 30th June and 1st July in Kings Cross, North London, it’s got some great things lined up.

The highlights would have to be the Comics Big Top of Awesome, starring some outrageously talented folk, and Marcus Sedgwick‘s My Swordhand is Singing tent.

Not to be missed, surely?!

Pop-up Festival 9-10th July

Last week I took part in the fabulous Pop-up Children’s Book Festival, which is running loads of school events plus a festival weekend in London on the 9-10th July. Just have a look at that line-up!

I was lucky enough to get to run my event at the British Library. I don’t spend enough time there, and for anyone who’s never been, you’ll be blown away by things such as Jane Austen’s writing desk, the Magna Carta and Captain Scott’s notebook (I was almost in tears reading the “I may be some time” entry).

There’s also a smart Sci-fi literature exhibition running at the minute, which my event was twinned with. It’s mostly made up of a selection of books and covers and, annoyingly, everything is behind glass. It’s like being led into a sweet shop and not being allowed to touch the sweets, let alone eat them! But that’s by the by. It’s simply great to have a timeline of sci-fi in book form.

If there’s one thing that makes it imperative that you visit, it’s the typed first page of the Day of the Triffids. I love seeing the workings of a writer, and this is brilliantly revealing, as it’s missing its most amazing first line:

When a day you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.

I’m not sure if that line can ever be beaten.

And so, without further ado here’s a picture of Harold the Hamster. This time he’s dressed as Miss Marple.

The end of a busy year

2010 has been a huge year for me. It’ll take a while to fully comprehend what’s happened, but to summarise – and blow my own trumpet a little – here are a few of the highlights:

1) I now have a baby. She’s cute, she shouts at me, but I think she likes me.
2) In January, the final part of the Mousehunter trilogy, Mousebeard’s Revenge, hit the shops. I was really excited to see it through to the end. I always hoped to write a trilogy of books, and I have, so there. I still can’t quite believe I finished it.
3) In June, the first yeti book, Operation Robot Storm was published. The Mythical 9th Division were set free into the world!
4) In October, the second Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival took place. We visited local schools, saw well over 500 children, and even made our very own Monster Book. It was a real success.
5) At the start of this month the second yeti book was released into the wild. Terror of the Deep is my favourite book to date, featuring all manner of sea creatures, and a yeti wrestling a sea monster on the cover.
6) And best of all I’ve made some new, really brilliant friends, and many of them have seen terrific success in the past few months.

These are exciting times and I’m thoroughly worn out. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so tired. But to celebrate the snowy weather and the end of the year, here’s a pink penguin.



The yeti mouse at Beckenham Library

I’ve done a couple of events at local libraries of late. We still don’t know how they’ll be affected by budget cuts, but both Penge and Beckenham library were so welcoming, and clearly playing a great role in the local community. The children were really kind to me, and some had even read the Mousehunter! Who’d have thought?

Any way, If you live near me and aren’t members at Upper Norwood, Penge or Beckenham libraries, please go join and support them – they’ve got great teams of staff and deserve all the help they can get.

And this here picture is of a Yeti Mouse. I’ve never seen one of this rare species before, but last Friday, in the middle of the library, I was asked to draw one. This was how I pictured it…