Stocking Fillers

Dartmoor gets ready for Christmas…

I try not to spam readers of this blog too much – I assume that if you’re reading, you probably already know about my books. But I guess part of its purpose is as a shop window, and it’s that time of year when I should spray fake snow all over it and fill it with my latest wares – which will, of course, make PERFECT presents for your nearest and dearest. If they like this sort of thing.

GOBLIN QUEST is my latest novel, and completes the Goblins trilogy (there may be more one day, but for the moment the goblins of Clovenstone are taking a well-earned rest). I hope these books will appeal to children of about 8 and upwards, and anyone who likes fantasy, or poo. (If you’re in the USA, only the first Goblins book is available – I presume the others will follow at some point). They make a colourful set, as you can see – like a selection pack of capsicum peppers. Cover illustrations by the great Dave Semple.

CAKES IN SPACE, my new book with Sarah McIntyre, is aimed a slightly younger audience – it’s shorter than Goblins and has way more pictures.

It’s the story of Astra, and her one-girl struggle against the mutant cakes which threaten to take over her ship during a long space voyage. It was a lot of fun to cook up, and the end result is a thing of beauty – Sarah and our designers at OUP have worked wonders with it. It’s full of cakes and silliness, and, oddly, it’s the closest thing to real Science Fiction I’ve ever written.  If you’re in London in the next few weeks you could keep an eye out for these great Cakes in Space posters on the underground…
Photo: Sally-Anne Hickman
The previous Reeve and McIntyre book, OLIVER AND THE SEAWIGS, is now out in paperback in the UK, though if you want to spend a few extra £s the hardback is still around, and has two-colour illustrations (in the paperback the blue has been replaced with grey, which works just fine – the pictures were always designed to work in monotone too – but I’m fond of the hardback).

If you’re after a bookish present for an even younger child, don’t forget JAMPIRES, a lovely new picture book by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell, more details here…
All of these titles are available from your local bookshops or via the usual online places. Happy shopping!

Events, dear boy, events…

Just a reminder about two forthcoming events for anyone who is interested and in the right bits of the country…

First, next Saturday (21st June) I shall be at Exeter Library, talking about the Goblins books (and specifically about the new one, Goblin Quest).  Kick off is at 2pm and I shall burble on for about an hour, with signing afterwards. I don’t think I have any other events scheduled for Goblin Quest, so I guess this counts as the OFFICIAL LAUNCH too! Tickets are free, but can be reserved if you want to make sure of a seat –  at time of writing, there are 37 left.

And at the end of the month I shall be joining Sarah McIntyre in Manchester for a big Oliver and the Seawigs event on Saturday 28th June. This year’s Manchester Children’s Book Festival has been overrun by our Sea Monkeys; to the point where one of the little critters is even writing the MCBF official blog (he’s a much better typist than the goblins).

Looking forward to both of these – and hoping to meet some of you there!

Hay Festival & Exeter Library

Caban Coch dam, Elan Valley.

Just back from a week in mid-Wales, during which I popped into the Hay Festival for a day to join celebrity hatstand Sarah McIntyre for a couple of events – details on Sarah’s blog.

We haven’t been to Mid-Wales before, although I know the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia fairly well. It turned out to be beautiful. The towns aren’t up to much – charity shops and convenience stores inhabiting the decaying grandeur of once-popular Victorian resorts (Aberystwyth feels particularly post-apocalyptic)  but the surrounding country is beautiful, with mountains, gorges, waterfalls and lots of dams and reservoirs, which were looking very impressive after the recent rain. It reminded me a lot of the Wicklow Mountains, and also parts of the Lake District. We stayed at Pwllgwylim Cottages in Cilmeri, just outside Builth Wells. The owners, Richard and Jill, also do B&B, and were very welcoming and helpful. I’d recommend it if you’re thinking of visiting the area.

I was also very taken with the Hafod Hotel at Devil’s Bridge, which has exactly the sort of a big, comfy, friendly tea room you want to find if you’ve just been on a wettish hike to the bottom of the spectacular Devil’s Bridge gorge. And the drive back to Climeri from there over the mountain road was glorious…

I came home to find my first advance copy of the new Goblins book, Goblin Quest. It’s published this week, so I’ll be blogging about it in the next couple of days.  And if you’re in Devon, I’ll be doing a Goblins event at Exeter’s snazzy new Central Library on saturday 21st June at 2pm. Tickets are free, and can be reserved in advance (though you can just turn up on the day, if you prefer).  It’s so long since I’ve done an event without Sarah M that I can’t remember how, but I expect I’ll do some drawing, and read a bit from the new book, and I may even dust off the Bratapult…

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