Daunt’s Launch for Seawigs

I’m just back from London, where Sarah McIntyre and I have been launching Oliver and the Seawigs – or at least shoving it a little further from the slipway following it’s launch at Edinburgh. Many thanks to Daunt Books, a beautiful independent bookshop in Marylebone High Street, whose staff were incredibly helpful and patient.  It was good to meet some Mortal Engines fans among the throng, too, including Marcus and Lily, whose parents had brought them all the way from Guildford. I hope they weren’t disappointed that Mortal Engines doesn’t get a mention in the events I’m doing with Sarah now – no doubt I’ll return to it, and to Goblins too, but at the moment I’m enjoying doing something new and different.

As usual, Sarah had blogged brilliantly about it all while I was still on the slow train home; here’s her account.

We also did a brisk signing tour of central London bookshops in the sudden heat and sunshine of Thursday morning. (You can see loads more photos of our tour, and all the lovely booksellers we met, here.) Here we are at our final port of call, relaxing outside Foyle’s on the South Bank, with bookseller Lolli Andersen…

Photo: Philippa Perry

Later we met up with Chris Riddell, one of the great illustrators of the present age (you may know him for The Edge Chronicles), who showed us a copy of his new, self-penned book Goth Girl.

Chris keeps beautiful sketchbooks, and his current one contained a drawing he’d done for Sarah…

Photo: Sarah McIntyre

We also met Jeremy Levett, my Chief Scientific Advisor and co-author of the Traction Codex e-book. He’s just off to Australia for a year, and I felt he ought to meet Sarah McIntyre before he left. Jeremy’s one of the brightest people I’ve ever met, and a very good writer too; I’ll try to post some links to his blog osts about his adventures Down Under, which I’m sure will be reliably saturnine, amusing and well-observed.

One of the subjects we discussed was the ‘Walkie Talkie’, a new building in which melts posh cars and sets your hair on fire.  London is fast filling with these novelty skyscrapers, and personally I rather like the way the city skyline is being Blade Runnered. But as we walked down Charlotte Street in search of supper I noticed the former Post Office Tower looming over the rooftops. It still looks more like the future than any of the newcomers.

And while I was away, Sam started secondary school. I was a bit worried that he’d be nervous, but if Sarah (R’s) photo is anything to go by, he took it in his stride…

Traction London by Kyran Samy

I haven’t written much about the Mortal Engines / Fever Crumb books here for a while, but it’s good to see that they are still inspiring illustrators and model-makers on the internet. There are a couple of recent examples I’ve been meaning to blog about, but this one is so impressive that it deserves a post all of it’s own. Creator Kyran Samy writes:

I am a compulsive reader of Mortal Engines and its sequels. I couldn’t resist the urge to build a model of London for my A level Product Design! It stands two feet high, weighs about 12 kilos and features moving arms to dismantle prey and an opening jaw. It’s currently biding its time in my school library next to a display of your books. I hope you like it!

And I do!


All images by Kyran Samy.