Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Scribblemania 107

I had a lovely time recently up in Scotland at the Borders Book Festival. Over 300 children came to see me and my event was introduced by the very lovely and hugely talented, Vivian French.

I'd never met Viv before and luckily we had chance to have a good old chat beforehand.

Not long after my visit I received a very nice email from a lovely family who had been to my event and wanted to meet me afterwards, but had not had the chance. We had a couple of conversations and it turned out that young Charlie had wanted to ask me if I would draw a picture of Mortimer Keene onto his hard earned pocket money (if you haven't met Mortimer yet check Scribblemania 105).

Last week I received Charlie's spending money, not to mention some VERY impressive artwork by Charlie and Ellie, his younger sister.

Not bad eh !

So... to cut a long story short, here it is. I'll post it in the next day or so.

Hello to Charlie, Ellie, Jenny and Stuart Mackenzie and a big 'get well soon' to Charlie.
Thank you for reminding me how much it can mean to people out in the audience when I'm stood there feeling like I'm just talking nonsense and not knowing whether I'm making a difference or not.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Scribblemania 106

A bit of miniature creative nonsense whilst relaxing on holiday - tiny handmade books - a proper test of my patience - and I have to admit - I'm NOT patient. I'll never do this EVER again. But anyway, here, for your amusement - The Little Book of Scribblemania, The Little Book of Dead Things and The Little Book of Horrors.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Scribblemania 105

If you haven't already met him (and shame on you if you haven't), allow me to introduce you to Mortimer Keene. Mortimer is the star of a new series, created by Tim Healey and decorated with scribbles by my good self.
As a result of getting up to no good in the science lab, Mortimer invents a clutter of crazed machines, all with worrying attributes. They churn out everything from SLIME to GHOSTS to ALIENS and the children and staff of St Barnabas school have to suffer the consequences.
These books are light on text with a fun rhyming narrative and a truck load of artwork. Just right for bridging that often, awkward gap, between picture book and young fiction or illustrated novel.

I often put the Amazon link up when I highlight a particular book or series so today I'm going to play fair and ask you to support your local bookseller and/or library. If they don't have the books in they will be able to order them so please do give them your custom. It's important.
Infact, here's the link to my own local children's Bookshop in Lindley, 
run by the amazing Sonia Benster
There are six in the series so if you've read all there is to read so far, don't go away, there's more.

This week sees the release of the gloriously ORANGE 'Alien Abduction'
(the colour is MUCH zingier in real life than it appears here)

If you fancy having a go at drawing the boy genius, here's a step by step guide to print out or copy from your screen. Give it a go. And no rubbing out !

This series is published by those lovely people at Hodder Children's Books and thanks to their strong  Rights and Sales teams the series is not only working its way around the UK but also taking a packed suitcase, sunglasses and passport and heading around the world too.

 Working on these books means I am teaming up with my good buddies -designer Nigel Baines (who has worked wonders on the layouts) and tip-top Publisher Emma Layfield - a major force in the Children's Book World. Great people to work with.
Here's me and Emma in a recent pic and I apologise for being dressed as a pirate -AGAIN ! 

Look out for all 6 of the Mortimer Books.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Scribblemania 104

I've been busy travelling around and enjoying some fun stuff on the events side of things so here I am, catching up on the blog eventually !

Recent events have taken me to Ironbridge in Shropshire (for the Pop -Up Festival), Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, (for the Sharjah Reading Festival),  a very foggy Aberdeen in Scotland where I visited the International School and finally to York to help open the new Waterstones. Since I came home I've also done the second stint of the Pop-Up Festival in Purfleet, Essex and the final showdown will be at Swiss Cottage, Camden in London in July, (Look out on Twitter for more updates).

Not wishing to bore you further with all my tales and nonsense, here are a few visual highlights;

The Pop Up Festival balloon, flying high in the blue above Ironbridge.

Creative workshop crazyness

The Spooktorium, made for me by those lovely people at the Royal Opera House

With top team - Corrine Gotch and Ashley Baugh (from Midas PR) who both accompanied me on events in Sharjah and Dubai

Here we are outside the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building 
(despite me being almost the same height)

And of course, a touch of Scribblemania from Waterstones, York opening day

A few observations from Sharjah

A really HUGE thank you to the team @ Hodder Children's Books, Lizz Skelly, Corrine Gotch, 
Ashley Baugh, Midas PR, 
Josie Crimp, International School of Aberdeen, Waterstones York, and the amazing Pop Up Festival team for such a crazy innovative idea that came together brilliantly. 
Oh and I'd like to thank my director, my producer, my mum and dad, everyone who voted for me and of course, all the people at BAFTA ! Can I go to sleep now please, I'm tired ?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Scribblemania 103

This year I am delighted to be part of the 2014 Pop-Up Festival.
Only a couple of weeks before we kick things off at Coalbrookdale Museum in Ironbridge, Shropshire where you can come and help me turn useless nothings into spooky somethings !

Go HERE to find out more and download the programme.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Scribblemania 102

I was tidying the studio a bit today and came across these works in the plan chest.
All three images are from Dust 'n' Bones - Ten Ghost Stories

Grab yourself a copy here:      Dust'n'Bones

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Scribblemania 101

Publishing Heroes

Number 1 :  Emma O' Donovan - THE BOOKSNIFFER  

I thought it was about time I started to flag up a few people in the children's book industry on here.
In particular those who I have worked with and who have been a great support to me and my work.

As I publish this particular piece, my good friend Emma, who you will also know as
The Booksniffer, is leaving her current Marketing Managerial role at Templar Publishing and heading
out into the world of freelancing as a consultant on all aspects of the picture book.

Here she is in Roald Dahl's famous chair !

I got to know Emma when she looked after me in the Marketing department at Hachette. I'm surprised she still speaks to me after I flogged her repeatedly and made her slave over all my bookmarks and
postcards but here she still is, sharing my work online, giving my work great reviews and being a top buddy.

Emma will now be available for independent professional help in all aspects of the industry. I wish her well as she embarks on what I know will be a great success for her and I know she is already in big demand.

SO... whether you are a publisher seeking professional, external input, an illustrator seeking a route into the industry, an established author/illustrator in need of social media training, a school or library service needing picture book advice, or you just want a good old chat about books go right here and do it now!

                                                          Good Luck Emma

(with a nod and a presumptuous thank you to the lovely @Benji_Davies for the use of the artwork)

Monday, 10 February 2014

Scribblemania 100


  Pirate selfie

It's my 100th blog post and what could be more fitting than to flag up my latest exhibition.
Those lovely people at Calderdale, West Yorkshire have adorned the walls of the incredible Bankfield Museum with my Piratical scribblings.

There were over 350 people on the opening event and I signed books for almost two hours. Thank you to all the enthusiastic buccaneers who came from near and far to see the work and buy a book.

A special thank you goes out to Calderdale Museums and in particular the lovely Jeffrey Andrews.
His enthusiasm, support and help has been fantastic.

Thank you also to another special person. Frances Andrews taught me when I was at Middle School. She was one of the only people to have encouraged my drawing and show support for my work from an extremely young age. And all at a time when I found school a really difficult place to be !
I am DELIGHTED to still be in touch and be working with her as she continues to teach and inspire other children.

Frances on the left   Captain Mould on the right

Roadside advert

Inside the Museum

 Pirate pics

The amazing Bankfield Museum

Up to press we've had 1220 visitors to the show and all in a very short space of time.
So don't just sit there reading this nonsense, get yourself down there and see what all the fuss is about.