Saturday, 26 September 2015

New Book Covers

Just a very quick post here to let you see the covers of three new books that will be coming out for young readers early next year... it's always exciting when new books are going to be published.

To coincide with the 2016 Olympic Games there are two Animal Olympic stories: Meerkat's Marathon and Hippo's High Dive
Meerkat's Marathon has been wonderfully illustrated by Steve Brown, and Hippo's High Dive by Andrew Painter. Both of the artists have great individual styles which suit the stories very well and give them both a different, fun feel which I love. 

I have added web pages for both of the Animal Olympic titles to my site which include information about each book and some fun things to do like crosswords, word searches and colouring sheets. Click on HERE to go there now.

The third new book is called Just Like Me! a very short story with around 50 words. So far I have seen the cover and some of the rough artwork... but it's already looking like a lot of fun. This is still being illustrated by two illustrators - Federica Muccio and Roberta Vottero at the moment so the web page isn't quite ready. It's interesting that there are two people working together to do the illustrations but then the story itself was created by me and my wife Vicky... so it's taken 4 people to make this little book...

Friday, 18 September 2015

Garswood Primary School

Here's a really BIG HELLO to everyone at Garswood Primary School. I'm really looking forward to meeting you all very soon. I've got lots of stories to share and lots to tell you about... and I'm really excited about creating some new story ideas with you and answering all of your questions....

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Out And About With a Camera

In my last diary post I said that, as well as working, we had a few days out over the summer holidays. Not only does getting out and about give you a nice break from normal work days but it is also a great way of filling up your mind with sights and sounds that can give you ideas or things that can be use in stories. Whenever we go anywhere we  always make sure we have a camera with us so we can take lots of picture of interesting things.

Over the summer we've had trips out: Tenby, Chester Zoo, London (including a day spent at the Warner Brothers Studios Harry Potter Tour)... We saw lots of things and took lots of pictures. Doing all this gave Vicky an idea for a new little story about a boy taking pictures of animals with his camera. 

Just Like Me! is a very short story for young children - it only has 50 words but it's lots of fun and I'm sure very young children will enjoy sharing the story and looking at all the pictures. The book doesn't get published until May next year so it isn't even finished yet but this week my editor sent me a finished copy of the book's cover - illustrated by Federica Nuccio and Roberta Vottero - and I think it looks great. I wonder how two people do the illustrations together?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Summer Holidays in Tenby

It's a wet Wednesday here in North East Wales... amazing how quickly the summer holidays have flown by and it's already time to go back to school and work... not that I haven't been working of course. Over the summer I've been busy writing but we've also had time for some really good days out. I will write and let you know about some of the things we've been up to over the next week or so.
Last week we were in Tenby, one of our favourite places to go. We had a great time with days of beautiful sunshine mixed in with a few heavy rain showers. For most of the week we had quite a lazy time just wandering around the town and along the beach - dodging the odd rainstorm like this one that had moved off over the sea.
I took my camera everywhere we went as there's always something interesting to photograph... great for helping you get ideas for stories or for adding interesting little details. One day we spotted these strange things washed up on the beach and had no idea what they were... 
And they look even stranger up close...
After a bit of research we discovered that they are Pelagic Gooseneck Barnacles. They are normally found in warmer parts of the world but they get carried around on the bottom of boats and on pieces of driftwood.
There's lots of interesting things to see around the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. The coastline is impressive enough with it's beaches, cliffs and caves but there's lots of wildlife too. 

This Kestrel spent a lot of time sitting at the top of a mast while it kept it's eye out for something to eat... as soon as it spotted something it took to the air. I was just in the right place to get this picture as it glided by one afternoon. 

It was Vicky's birthday while we were away from home and as a special treat we planned to take a boat trip and go dolphin spotting (I will write more about that soon)...