Just home from a week on tour with Sarah McIntyre in our Refrigerated PugBus. (I can’t believe we forgot to take a picture of the refrigerated PugBus – it’s almost as if it was just a shared delusion caused by wrangling our massive luggage on and off of loads of different trains…)
We visited schools in Manchester, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and Essex, and finished up at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Good times were had, at least by us, and hopefully by the audiences, too. We’re so grateful to all the schools and bookshops who hosted us, and to our relay team of publicists from OUP, Liz Scott, Sarah Howells, Hattie Bayley and Alesha Bonser, who looked after us all week. Here’s a selection of photos, and you can find more if you want to by looking at #PugsRoadshow on Twitter .
As we were waiting for our taxi to the station at Cheltenham yesterday we found out that Sarah has won a Hospital Club 100 award for her work on the Pictures Mean Business campaign. You can read more about it on her blog. Congratulations, McIntyre! I’m very proud to be working with such a brilliant illustrator and co-author.
As well as the three books we’ve made together, McIntyre has been a huge help with Railhead, which I don’t think I would have written without her encouragement. While we were at Bath and Cheltenham I was able to talk about that, too. I did an event at Bath with top fantasy author Joe Abercrombie (excellently chaired by the wonderful Sarah Pinborough) and at Cheltenham I was on a panel about Fantasy Worlds, chaired by the equally wonderful Nicholas Tucker.
My fellow panellists were Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, who will need no introduction if you like fantasy books (they created the Edge Chronicles, among many others) and relative newcomer Lucy Saxon. Lucy’s books should also appeal to fantasy/SF fans (they’ve been compared to Mortal Engines,) and she should be an inspiration to aspiring young writers as she published her first novel when she was only sixteen. Sometimes when you hear about very young authors you have a sense that they are a bit like Dr Johnson’s dog – we’re not meant to be impressed by what they’ve published, just that they are published at all – but Lucy is the real deal, and I think she has a long and brilliant career ahead of her. And look – I got to sit next to Chris Riddell while he drew her portrait!