hedgehog calendar I just needed a pic to start the post with)
So I have been meaning to write a lot of things here. I have lots of exciting news to share.
I'll start by talking about some things that have happened. Like my event at the Southbank with Laura Dockrill, Holly Smale, Cush Jumbo, and Gemma Cairney (who was hosting our "panel"). That was in February, and it was very exciting. The event was called "Writing for Tweens" and it was part of the Imagine Children's Festival. I was absolutely petrified as you can imagine, as this was a proper big event at a proper big venue where I'd have to do TALKING and sit next to REALLY FAMOUS AND TALENTED PEOPLE. Beforehand I was shaking so much, but when we got in there, it was really wonderful. Gemma was an amazing host, she literally arrived about 5 minutes before we came out, but she was straight on the ball and was amazing at making us feel comfortable and passing around the questions so we all got to speak and everything kept moving, and Laura, Holly, and Cush were lovely people to share the stage with. We talked about all sorts, cute animals on the internet, how we got books published, that awkward "tween" age and what it means, and a little bit about being girls (or should I say women?) in the publishing industry. Lots of sweet kids were there, I especially loved the ones at the front who were scribbling down notes like reporters - budding writers already! Then they put their hands up and asked lots of questions- my favourite exchange was "What was your favourite book when you were nine?" / "How old are you?" / "Eight". I always found that when I was a 'tween' too- there's something much more magical about the next age you're going to be. Now that I'm starting to be pushed out of my teenage years (19 on the 28th) I'm desperately trying to claw my way back a couple of years. Sigh!
After the event, me, Holly, and Laura sat out the front and signed books. I was a bit nervous, considering that Holly Smale is one of the biggest selling YA authors of the last year (you probably know Geek Girl) and Laura has a big cult following, and a good 5 books under her belt (She had fans who had travelled all the way from France and Poland and brought her bags of gifts!). But I still had a lot of fun, even though I signed only a small number of books in comparison to the others. It's a treat to be able to sign ANY books, considering my age and experience, it was wonderful to have anybody interested. I chatted to people in the queue too, and one lady said they actually had my book at home but hadn't known I was going to be there.
It was an absolutely wonderfully strange day, and I'm very thankful to have been asked by Laura to be on the panel, and to Imagine for putting on such a great load of events. We went to the opening party too and ate loads of book themed cake, stole goodies, and children's-book-celebrity spotted. There were also some wonderful talks, particularly this rousing speech by Patrick Ness.
The next day I went to see Quentin Blake talk about working with Roald Dahl, and after my recent visit to the Roald Dahl Museum, it was sooooo lovely. I've always loved his drawings, and it was lovely to hear him speak about them. Whilst he was interviewed, he would draw pictures to illustrate his answers, which were projected onto the screen behind him. He also showed some original works and works-in-progress for Dahl stories. The most interesting part was discussion about the character development for the BFG, where he and Dahl pondered what would be the most practical outfit for a giant, and what kind of shoes he would wear. I felt very inspired by the whole thing.
Here are a selection of photos from all that:
This is from before I went in. Getting a little "Artists" card felt very exciting. The lights around the mirror were a nice touch too, ha!
The size of the room, from my seat and my mums seat.
Backstage, then onstage...
These are pics from the QB talk. You weren't supposed to take any whilst he was on.
At the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden a few weeks earlier, we saw the inside of RD's real shed where he worked, and the set design from the wonderful Fantastic Mr Fox. They share a few details don't they?
A couple of cakes from the opening of the Imagine festival. We were on the Doctor Who table. On the left is the Tiger Who Came To Tea cake - by that table, I spotted actual Judith Kerr! Around and about I also spotted Quentin Blake but was too shy to approach him, and loads of others. No Jacqueline Wilson unfortunately even though I kept a close eye out.
Ok, so the next piece of news is that I now have an AGENT!
Yes, just like Joey and Estelle from Friends.
Except not really- her name is Becky Thomas and she works at Fox Mason Literary Agency. So if you have any professional enquiries about me, you better go through them.
And speaking of professional enquiries, the other thing I needed to share was some other events I have coming up. Yes! You can see ME in 3D! So if you couldn't make it to the Southbank event, maybe I'll see you at one of these.
- The next one up is the 30th of April as part of Warrington Lit Fest. Unfortunately, the event is with an invited group, so it isn't open to the general public. However, there are lots of other things going on (Wanna get down to that poetry slam), so I recommend you check out their website, and if you're desperate, maybe if you get into contact with them they can add you to the list.
- After that, I'll be heading across the pond, for the very very exciting BEA, also known as Book Expo America. This is because of the exciting news that The Isobel Journal is being published in the US, by Capstone's new YA branch, Switch Press. I'll be at the event on the Friday morning of the 30th May, signing books from 10am at Capstone's booth. Pass this info onto your American pals, as I can't wait to meet them, and they'd be some of the first people in America to get their hands on a copy. Show 'em this ace trailer that Switch produced for the book:
- Back in the UK, in July I will be attending the first ever YA Lit Con. I'll be there on Sunday the 13th. I don't know much more yet but I'll keep you up to date on my twitter (@IsobelJournal) as I find out. You can get tickets here as it is part of the London Film and Comic Con. Scroll down to get to the single entry tickets (don't worry you don't have to pay £195)
I'll try to blog about my trip to America in May, which I'm very excited about. Hopefully I will have some cool pictures to share with you.
I'll leave you with some new music I've been enjoying recently by one of my current favourite bands, Fear Of Men. I saw them playing in Brighton last week and thought they were great. I love this interview with them in Rookie, especially when they talk about their name - " I like the name because I think it puts off a certain person. You’ll hear artists saying they do shows and don’t recognise their audience. I don’t think we’d ever have that problem. Because we’re called Fear of Men, we wouldn’t have a load of lads or jocks come to our shows." Ha!
Twitter: @IsobelJournal (For bad jokes)
Instagram: @Issyfrances (For food pics)
Tumblr: Weirdedout (my archive is so aesthetically pleasing) / 2ndhandzine (charity shop fun)