Thursday, 28 July 2011

Lost Voice after Weymouth MY VOICE!!!

I attended the Weymouth MY VOICE Roadshow yesterday and have just about recovered. What an awesome event! I got quite excited on the journey down from London, then more so on the walk to the library in the sunshine, because Weymouth is at THE SEASIDE! Woohoo! A day at the beach! I'd almost calmed down after that thrill when I was led in to the venue via the back entrance where a graffiti artist was creating murals with a young team of Weymouthites, which was totally cool and set the tone for the rest of the day.

I had missed the Meet the Publishers panel where the speakers - marketing, publicity and editorial experts (Commissioning Editor of Teen Fiction no less) from Headline - had been given a grilling by their audience. I hear they gave excellent answers. I already had an audience gathering for my workshop so, after a small technology delay (!), launched in to a short introduction (viewed on a very small screen!) followed by a Cartoon U drawing session. Here are the results. Great aren't they? I was so impressed. Not just by the drawings but by how creative Weymouth teens are. I chatted with several young people who will, no doubt, be successful published authors, artists or designers one day.

I signed some books and chatted some more then was interviewed by two charming young Weymouthites who had such a cool, quirky look that they could have stepped straight out of one of my books. They asked brilliant questions too.

By then I was peckish and when someone suggested sandwiches on the seafront of course I said 'yes please'. So Vicky, Sam (Headline Experts), Crypt author Andrew Hammond and I headed off for the beach. We were like four little kids on holiday! The sun was out, there was a Punch & Judy show AND a mini caterpillar roundabout ride (which Sam was determined to have a go on until we pointed out she was a grown-up!)

Back at the library I had missed Kate Kingsley's talk about How to Get Published (Check out her Young Loaded & Fabulous series). I hear she was marvelous and wish I'd eaten my sandwich more quickly! Then I got interviewed again, signed some more books and braced myself for Andrew Hammond's Ghost Story Writing Workshop. Andrew's CRYPT series will be launched in September and he led a truly scary session where we came up with descriptive words and wrote a 'Eye Witness Account' of the first appearance of a ghost. Naturally, I joined in and here is my effort:
'The ghostly author suddenly stepped through the wall and shocked his workshop audience right out of their skins. It was gory - skinless bloody teenagers oozing all over the library! Yuck!'
That's all I could fit on the page because I had a thick marker pen!! (

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, we capped it all by attempting to break the World Record for the Longest Scream by a Crowd (a record of 60 seconds held by Ozzy Osbourne's audience). My ears are still ringing! It's yet to be verified but we managed one minute and 6 seconds.

It was a fabulous roadshow, so thank you Weymouth for being brilliant!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Latte and Emos in Petersfield

Just got back from Petersfield, where I was chatting, signing and sketching at Waterstone's. Thanks to the whole W Crew (you rock!) and everybody who posed for me (click on the 'sketchbook' page). P.S. Terri-Anne, Emma and Brianna: Cool meeting you and don't forget to go back to buy a book! I signed some for you:)

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Doodle

Here's an old doodle I found in my sketchbook. Not sure what to do with her. Next book? A whole book to herself? I like her blue hair and nails. Kinda cool. Any ideas?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A move to my Summer Studio

Between the showers, I've been working outside, so this is what my temporary Summer Studio looks like. Pretty, huh? It's been a bit chilly and soggy so far - more socks and cagoules than sundress and shades - but, perhaps I'll get more use out of my 'shady writing nook' later in the hols.

Friday, 8 July 2011

School's Out!

Yay! The summer holiday has arrived. No more school for nearly eight weeks! I can now switch my brain from 'art department' mode to 'author/illustrator' mode. In fact, I did it before I'd even left the school grounds and began planning the next chapter of book 4 while driving home. I hope the weather gets a bit better soon 'cause this soggy stuff doesn't feel at all like 'hols', does it? Ick! My damp trainers are where my turquoise flip-flops should be and there's a wet brolly in the hallway instead of a beach umbrella. I might put away that factor 50 sunblock. So much for a sizzling summer.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Exuberant Reigate Grammar!

Spent the day doing sequential art (that's posh for comics) with 60 4th years. Exhausting (it got very hot today) but some fantastic outcomes. Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun day. A particular thank you to Tom and Matt for carrying my very heavy box of books. I thought some of the strips would make brilliant animations, so here's one of mine...