This week I was lucky enough to attend Walker's young fiction preview evening in Hoxton. I headed straight over after putting the shop shutter down. And I was lucky enough to arrive just in time to hear the first author being interviewed by Anna James (author of Pages & co)
Having read Malamander it was wonderful to hear how Thomas Taylor had come to write this brilliant adventure. He spoke of how he'd explored various genres and age ranges before finding his voice for this middle-grade fiction. Having a large exuberant dog he has found himself walking on his nearby beach several times a day. And gradually a fascination with the flotsam and jetsam one finds as a beachcomber and a sea mist or two and he had the start of a story world as you'll be able to appreciate once you've read this wonderful adventure...
Thomas' 5 word synopsis of Malamander was - 'Eerie Sea-Side Beach-Combing Mechanical Mystery'
We were lucky enough to have a visit from Thomas the following morning- so we popped the kettle on, got a plate of cakes from @jadeboulangerie and asked him if he'd mind signing copies of his book for us. We also talked him through our competition and asked him to decide where Herbie Lemon's Lost & Founder hat had been misplaced but not to tell a soul. Thomas wrote the answer and placed it in an envelope which he sealed.....
This year we had a wonderful time celebrating World Book Day - we were lucky enough to be invited to set up a pop up book shop for a secondary school. We took the amazing Laura Coryton into a hall full of year 8 students to celebrate her book 'Speak Up' a book inspired by her campaign to stop the Tampon Tax . And then Amber Lee Dodd entertained the year 7 children with her journey to reading as a dyslexic child all the way through to writing her second book 'Lightning Chase Me Home'.
Then author/ illustrator John Bond visited Ottie and the bea and we were joined by 4 classes from a local school. John read to them and showed them how to draw Mini Rabbit and the results were wonderful.
We rounded World Book Day/ Week off with our very own #shareastory in the shop.Followed by a very sleepy Sunday spent reading proofs on the sofa- curled up in my fav blanket #seventhheaven.
I have spent this week at London Book Fair listening to some brilliant panel discussions about issues such as the future of the picture book. And my favourite event of the fair is always the #publishersassociation #bookassociation Publishers Pitch. Each Publishing house has 4 minutes to talk us Book Sellers through their upcoming titles. And it's a brilliant way to get an over-view of what books are coming out when and oh my goodness there are some corkers coming.
I am busy reading proofs as rapidly as I can but my stack of book proofs is teetering and tottering- I am hoping to share a few, if you are a keen book reviewer do let me know! I've just finished reading Malamander - a really exciting adventure story from Walker Books, written by Thomas Taylor who illustrated the Philosopher's Stone. Malamander is a gripping seaside adventure set in Eerie-on Sea with two brilliant central figures- Herbie Lemmon who is in charge of the lost and found at the towns hotel and Violet Parma who appears and is in need of Herbie's help to find her parents who disappeared 12 years ago. The community of Eerie-On Sea is wonderfully painted - we have a book depository with its very own book dispensing monkey- a community full of characters to rival any local high street- I can't wait to share it with you all.