The things I want to share here are stacking up like planes above Heathrow during a snowstorm (or light drizzle, or fog …).
First of all, if you’re confused about the 2 Threads-related fashion competitions, which is understandable, here’s a bit of explanation. The ‘design a dress and send in your design’ one, as described on the threadsthebook website, is over, and I announced the winner in the last post. BUT the ‘think of an outfit for your favourite character and send me a description’ one, as launched on this blog, is still open until the end of January. I’m getting some fabulous entries, so if you want to join them, please do.
Second, I’m sorry if you didn’t win the first competition (see above), but so grateful if you entered. We got loads of thoughtful, inspiring entries and enjoyed looking at every one.
Third, the Chicken House Breakfast on Friday. This was more than just a bowl of cornflakes with my publisher. Chicken House are 10 this year and wanted to celebrate. The thing about them is that they’re a small publishing house (literally – their offices are a little cottage-type-thing in Frome, Somerset), so you get to know everybody and feel like family. The sort of family that includes Cornelia Funke and Brian Williams and Roderick Gordon, the writers of the Tunnels series. And Lucy Christopher. And Rachel Ward. And Di Toft. And Pat Walsh. And Emily Diamand. And Emily Gale. And the soon-to-be-famous CJ Skuse.
A few of us had to tell the assembled crowd how great Barry Cunningham and the team are, which was pretty easy, and how much we enjoy being published by them, which was also pretty easy. In return they gave us bacon butties, fresh orange juice, DELICIOUS eccles cakes, and the opportunity to talk to lots of our favourite people in publishing, from Amanda Craig at The Times, to Jenny at WondrousReads and my local bookshop owner, Hazel Broadfoot, who is now my official book launch party host. Oh, and we got a world exclusive preview of chapter 4 of Cornelia’s next book, Reckless. As you do. (The first print run is a million copies worldwide. Good grief.)
Click here for a picture of us, courtesy of Roderick Gordon and Twitpic.
Worst moment: seeing a pretty girl trying to talk to me, but being too distracted to say hi.
Best moment: being properly introduced to the pretty girl, and discovering she was Laura from Troubadour, and THE FIRST PERSON IN PUBLISHING EVER TO READ THREADS. She was the person last year who was reading entries into the Times/Chicken House competition and spotted Threads among them and passed it on.
THANK YOU, LAURA! Meeting her was an emotional moment. I never thought I would, for some reason.
Later, I got the chance to catch up with Siobhan, my US editor, and Anja, my German editor. (KERLANNG! Yes, thanks to Chicken House, I have a US and a German editor. I really do!). And also to talk to Elinor Bagenal, the Foreign Rights Manager, about the launch of Threads in Holland and Norway in the near future. As if that wasn’t enough, Elinor has some hair-raising stories to tell about her previous life, which I’m not going to share because I think I need them for book 4. I was gripped.
Oh. My. God. This is my new life. Sometimes. Very occasionally. But very occasionally, it’s very nice.
But get this. One of the gang, who shall remain nameless (but you know who you are, Mary), couldn’t be at the breakfast … because she was flying first class to BEVERLY HILLS to stay in a FIVE STAR HOTEL with CRESSIDA COWELL to accompany her to the DREAMWORKS PRESENTATION of the NEW MOVIE of her book, How to Train Your Dragon. Oh yes.
The book is one one of my absolute favourites. I’m reading book 4 of the series to the 9 year-old at the moment (for the second time). He could quite happily read it to himself but I make him let me read it to him because it’s SO GOOD. Every character is a delight. Every plot twist is a charm. And you can’t possibly put it down at the end of any chapter, because each one’s a cliff-hanger.
And now Dreamworks have made a 3D movie of it, which is out in the US in March. And Cressida has been jetting around to help them with the publicity.
Do we have the best job in the world?
YES WE DO!