Sunday, February 19, 2012

Window Shopping...

We had a family day out to the seaside yesterday, and spotted 'The Pirates Next Door' in the window of Watersones, Llandudno!

It had a nice spot amongst the shortlisted titles (and a couple of imposters), right in the middle... Daisy and Rosie were very excited and Rosie toddled into the shop shouting 'Daddy's book! Daddy's book!'

Also in the window was (fellow Arena artist) Alex T Smith's 'Claude in the City', which I've just bought for Daisy. Alex is brilliant and funny and the Claude books are full of his wonderful illustrations, so I've got my fingers and toes crossed for both of us, for the awards ceremony in March!

I'm going to be a little quiet online for a while, so I can give my next book, 'The King of Space', my full attention as I head towards the impending deadline.... My router will be turned off, my noise cancelling headphones turned on, and my Wacom stylus will be a whirl of doodling action.

Meanwhile, I may occasionally post some 'work in progress' on my 'King of Space' blog.

I shall return sometime in April, if everything goes to plan....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Aardman's 'Pirates!' Production Blog

A little while ago, I wrote a load of waffle for Aardman's production blog , which chronicles the production of 'Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!' movie (or 'Pirates! Band of Misfits!' if you're in the US of A). I tried to give a brief description of my job on the movie, with a few illustrations to help explain the process.
The Pirate with Prosthetics is one of my favourites, because he was one of the first characters where I had such an influence on the finished puppet. And he's a funny looking chap too. If they make any toys to go with the movie, he'll be the first on my shopping list.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2012

I found out recently that 'The Pirates Next Door' has been shortlisted for the The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2012. The prize aims to "champion new and emerging talent in children's writing" and I'm hugely excited to be shortlisted!

yeh, I know... Same old Picture....

So here's another one!

This year the prize was opened up to include picture books, and is now split into three age categories: Picture Books, 5-12 years and Teen fiction.

My fellow Arena artist, Alex T.Smith has also been shortlisted in the 5-12 category for 'Claude in the City'. Alex produces wonderful illustrations and stories that are full of humour, and his picture book 'Home' is a particular favourite of my daughters. Daisy's due to start reading 'Claude in the City' as soon as she finishes 'Fantastic Mr.Fox'....

I mentioned last week that the first edition hardback of 'The Pirates Next Door' is out of stock at Templar. The hardback is still available in book shops, and there may be the odd copy online at some retailers. But if it's difficult to get hold of, the paperback is now available to buy from Waterstones HERE, or in-store.

I think Templar are also planning to do a second, smaller run of hardbacks which should be available in April or May.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Will Gallows and the Thunder Dragon's Roar

The second 'Will Gallows' book was published on Friday by Anderson Press. 'Will Gallows and the Thunder Dragon's Roar' is available in all good book stores and online emporiums now!

This is the second in the series by Derek Keilty, following 'Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll', with covers and black and white interior illustrations by me.... Here's Hox Swillet, a mean old snake-bellied troll and train station manager.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Sold out..?

So it seems that Templar have sold out of the first edition hardback of 'The Pirates Next Door'! There'll still be copies in book shops here and there (Waterstones in Bath has 55 copies!) and some places might have them online. But for anyone in the UK who was slow off the mark, the paperback is now available (3 months early!!) on the Waterstones website... Here.

And there'll be a few more hardbacks available in April with a second printing.

And if you're not in the UK, you might be getting your own version soon anyway. Countries publishing 'The Pirates Next Door' in 2012 include the USA, Australia and Brazil.