World Book Day, a Bit of Picasso and Wonderful Witney!

This blog has been a long time coming, sorry. I guess I’ll just have to accept that I’m a pretty sporadic blogger and stop apologising every time it takes me an ice age to squeeze a new blog out…that’s just the way I roll…

Ok, so let’s just skip back a week or so to World Book Day – 7th March. I was in Glasgow, half way through my Scottish author tour. The day was amazing but SO tiring! I was picked up by the lovely Sam from my publishers at 8:30am and taken to a local primary school. I started the day with three workshops for Year 6. As always, the children were nothing but a joy to work with. I was so impressed by all the weird and wonderful creatures that lurked in their imaginations, and some of my favourite questions from the day include, ‘Do you get recognised walking down the street?’ and ‘Are your books on Youtube?’ Seriously, do lots of people put books on Youtube? Is this a normal thing? Should I be doing it? I really am quite technologically challenged at times.

Sammy Feral, signed and boxed-up.

Sammy Feral, signed and boxed-up.

My Librarian badge.

My Librarian badge.

Just before lunch I was interviewed by the school librarians (all children) and given my own librarian badge, which I am still wearing with pride. The interview will be used in the school newspaper and website, and they’re even making a podcast apparently!

I spent my lunch break signing Sammy Feral copies (hundreds of them!) and chain drinking coffee. After lunch I did a special assembly for Years 4-7 and another for Years 1-3 after that. I finished the day signing more books before going back to my hotel room and collapsing at about 8pm. Rock. And. Roll.

Friday was a day of more Scottish school events, this time in Biggar. After a morning talking to Years 6-7 I once again spent my lunch break signing books. I did two events in the afternoon – one of which was for a Reception class. It was a small village school and there was only one boy in the class, I congratulated him on being so special and asked him how old he was. ‘Five,’ he replied proudly. I asked him when he turned five and he looked at me as though I was stupid and replied, ‘On my birthday.’ Brilliant.

After the end of school bell rang I was back to Edinburgh and then on what felt like the longest train journey in the world to London. I finished off the week with an email from my lovely agent telling me the amazing news that The Blue Lady has been sold to a Danish publisher. I’m going to see my book in Danish!

Last Saturday was spent with my wonderful mum on a bit of a cultural crawl in London. We started off with a Picasso exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery. The exhibition featured a lot of his early paintings, which are generally a lot more bleak and, at times, quite disturbing – brilliant none-the-less. After coffee and cake we then went to the National Portrait Gallery, we paid tribute to Shakespeare, the Brontes and Jane Austen, as well as my personal favourites – the Tudors. We also checked out the new portrait of Princess Kate (it really is not flattering). After dinner we rounded off the day with a trip to the theatre to see Peter and Alice. Fantastic to see Judi Dench and Ben Wishaw on the stage. And for anyone who loves children’s books the play is a must-see, however it was somewhat depressing, and left me not only questioning what psychological damage has been inflicted upon me in life to have me writing kids’ books, but also put me off ever having children for fear of burdening them with some kind of expectation that will ultimately lead to their inevitable breakdowns. Still, twas a good day all-round.   

This last week I have been back in the S&S offices, where I work as a part time Fiction Editor. The week was a flurry of trying to catch up with the piles of manuscripts and proofs that had built up on my desk whilst I was away. I was out and about in school again this Thursday, this time in Witney where I was able to stay over and catch up with my fantastic god parents. As always, the children I met were brilliant and utterly inspiring.

Hanging out with Sammy Feral in my local bookshop.

Hanging out with Sammy Feral in my local bookshop.

But there are no more school events in the calendar for a while, which is a good thing. I’m currently working on Sammy Feral 3 copy edits and pushing forward with my next ghost story, so I need as much time as possible for that. I’m enjoying all the research I get to do for ghostly inspiration. Any spooky film or book recommendations welcome!

This week I have the Yeti Rescue launch party…I will try to take lots of photos to post on here!

Peace, love and stories,

Eleanor xxx

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