Snow, Reddit, Mossy Hares

Our pond on Friday. Thanks to Frank Kelly for pointing out that the trees look like three frosty trolls …

Winter finally reached us on Friday last week, with a heavy fall of snow overnight.  I gather it’s mostly melted down in the lowlands, but here on Dartmoor it’s not going anywhere.  It’s very picturesque, but the lanes around our house are all quite bad, so I think we may be stuck here till it thaws. At least we’ve sorted out the pipe from the borehole, which used to freeze every winter and leave us without water at the coldest times of year.  And the new studio is toasty warm with the woodburner ticking over, so I have no excuse to slack off. I’ve completed three projects so far this year – the text for the second of my OUP books with Sarah McIntyre (keep watching her blog for updates on the first, Oliver and the Seawigs) and a couple of short stories which I’ll tell you about when the anthologies they were written for are published. I suspect that rate of productivity will tail off pretty sharply now…

Last night, as mentioned here previously, I did an AMA session on the Mortal Engines sub-Reddit.  I was a bit worried that nobody would log on, but quite a few people did, and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done: there were good questions about the books from all sorts of angles, and people could come back with further responses to my answers, so it was like half a dozen conversations going on at once. I hope I didn’t miss any of the questions: I’ll check in a moment in case I did.  You can read it all here, but because of the way Reddit operates, with people voting things up and down, it’s all got cut up and rearranged in the manner popularised by William Burroughs, with some of my replies appearing long before the question to which they relate…  maybe that makes for a more interesting read, though.

Finally, thanks to everybody who shared or re-Tweeted my posts last year about Mossy Hare Productions, and all who contributed to their quest to fund their documentary about the making of John Boorman’s Excalibur.  They raised very nearly two thirds of the $30,000 they were aiming for, which will enable them to at least start the post-production work.   I look forward to blogging my report from the star-studded Dublin premiere in due course.

Seawigs Marches On…

I’m still not sure this blog is loading properly – on my computer it sometimes seems fine, sometimes won’t open at all, and other people have reported similar problems.

Anyway, if you can read this, here’s a new work-in-progress picture from Seawigs, the book I’m doing with illustrator Sarah McIntyre (to be published in autumn 2013).

                                                                                               Sarah McIntyre 2012

It’s going to be beautiful, especially in its two-colour hardback ‘gift’ edition (in the paperback the blue tones will be reproduced as grey, which still looks great, but the blue adds an extra zing).  It’s very exciting watching it all take shape, and Sarah’s keeping quite a diary of the illustration process over on her blog: this is episode 9, so you might want to scroll down to find the earlier ones.

The Mountains to Sea Festival

My first book with Sarah McIntyre, Oliver and the Seawigs, won’t be out till this time next year – she’s working flat-out on the illustrations at the moment. (Draw faster McIntyre! FASTER, I SAY!)  But we’re already getting into the swing of doing events together, and next week we’ll be packing our Bratapult and travelling to the Mountains to Sea festival in Ireland, where we’ll join a frankly glittering host of book-world luminaries including Marcus Sedgwick, Steve Cole, Jeremy Strong, Chris Judge, Michelle Harrison, Steve Simpson, David Mackintosh and Robert Muchamore. 

Our joint events are already SOLD OUT, so if you have tickets already I’ll see you there, and if not, bad luck – although I suppose if you’re going to the festival anyway it might be worth checking if there any free seats on the day.  I’ll also be doing a session on Ideas, Imagination and the Craft of Writing with 13 Treasures author Michelle Harrison, for which there are still a few tickets left.  It looks as if it will be a wonderful festival, with an amazing line-up of writers for both adults and children. If you’re coming, seek us out and say hello!

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