Monday – take one

I’m working backwards here, so need to put in the earlier part of Monday before we’re into a new week. By some unexpected miracle your witch managed to fit in an unplanned visit to the Puffin presentation early afternoon. This meant even more authors and book plans in one short day, but after travelling on the same train as Scrappy the ferret, I felt up to almost anything.

I swear (sorry) that those conference rooms have shrunk in the two years since I was last there. What did they do? Wash them?

With my usual skill I plonked myself down on just the right chair to have my coat where all the attending authors could stumble over it on their way in to speak. Or on the way out. None did, though, and it was a Puffin telephone of some sort that was eventually brought down by Jeanne Willis. Or vice versa.

Jeanne was elegant in a black top with leopard skin effect (it was, wasn’t it?) trim, and white blonde hair straight out of an early 1960s film. She has two new picture books on the way, and she had everyone but me singing a song about bottoms. Apparently ‘pythons only have them in their dreams.’ And Jeanne carried some insect cadaver round in a small metal tin. (Just thought you might want to know.)

Puffin themselves will be 70 this year and, surprise surprise, they are publishing some books to celebrate. Cheap Pocket Money Puffins at £3.99, written by some real favourites of mine, which I like the sound of. Classics, naturally. Some frightfully expensive limited edition books that will cost £100.

I’ll happily try out some of their merchandise, like the Puffiny deckchairs, so a couple of samples would be most welcome. There will be samples I hope? Or at least a mug? (Hint – we could do with five.)

Eoin Colfer appeared, but only on screen. Still lovely, and he told us Artemis will be lovely too, and that just isn’t right. Charlie Higson talked about taking your children to see zombies. I don’t think so, Charlie. Trailer for the new Percy Jackson film, coming soon. Rick Riordan has a new series coming. Two new series, in actual fact. The richer authors get, the faster they write.

Cathy Cassidy was another one not caught out by my coat. She has a new ‘chocolate box’ series starting, which sounds great. I have a feeling Cathy’s only thinking of the research, however.

Vampires. Goes without saying. Samurais. Coming faster and faster. How do authors suddenly write twice as fast as before?

Alex Scarrow and David Yelland reprised their talks from November. Alex’s Time Riders is high on the TBR pile, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

The star of the show was Sophia Jansson, Tove’s niece. There is a new range of Moomins on the way, including baby board books, but where are they coming from? I believe they are writing new ones, with Sophia watching over them. What do we think of that?

There will be teen books. I’m still amazed that Sarah Dessen isn’t yet a household name in Britain. She will be! Helen Grant’s Glass Demon is coming and so is iBoy by Kevin Brooks, and I gather it’s a cross between Spiderman and The Wire. Well!

Tasty sandwiches at the end, well worth waiting for, but what do you do with over-mayonnaisey fingers when meeting authors?

I cornered Sophia Jansson before the others discovered her, and we had a discussion in Swedish about blogs and other online nonsense. She, sensibly, has no time for blogs or Facebook or Twitter. This Little My has a Tove Jansson empire to run and a lovely holiday island to spend her summers on. She told us that Moomin was first thought up by Tove’s uncle in order to scare her from having midnight snacks in his kitchen. The Moomintrolls live in the kitchen walls. Perfect for baby books then…

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6 responses to “Monday – take one

  1. Ooh, what a line-up. I’m most excited about new books from Helen Grant and Kevin Brooks. Both Helen’s debut and Kevin’s ‘Killing God’ were in my Top Five Books of the Year last year (or would have been if anyone had actually asked me). It’s a happy thought that there are books being written, or in production, now that might have become favourites by this time next year…

  2. I love Sarah Dessen too, and force her books on teenage girls whenever I get the chance :0)

  3. Cool write-up! Am so glad I found you – thanks for popping by the blog to comment. Am adding you to my list of blogs on the site.

  4. Moomins v2.0.0?

    Hmmm. Wonder if Tove would have blessed this enterprise? I feel distinctly odd about posthumous editions of books with such a distinct and quirkily beloved character. If I had nieces, I’d be eyeing them up, wondering if they would carry on my work after my demise.

    But having banged the Jansson drum round more primary schools than are good for the health, and meeting with blank seas of faces when I rave and enthuse about Comet in Moominland, perhaps these new books will give tove’s original works a new audience. They deserve a global readership – timeless, brilliant and life-affirming, they’re the books I’d take to a desert island.

  5. I think they’d added in a new corridor! I skipped the sarnies and devoured the fruit – though sticky fingers are just as tricky when author-meeting as mayonaissy ones!

  6. Yes. ‘Pleased to meet you. Oops, sorry about the pineapple… And the melon.’

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