Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

This is getting slightly addictive. Had I any time at all, I'd be assembling improbable piles of books myself. Instead, I'm looking at those posted on 100scopenotes. Fabulous!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Deadly: Darren Shan on Dracula

Tomorrow is the centenary of Bram Stoker's death and to celebrate, the Irish Times had a special pull-out section in yesterday's edition thadt you can still access online. On the front page was this very cool article by kidlit horror master Darren Shan. How many death, blood and guts puns can he fit in a single page? find out!
As one who has followed in Stoker’s footsteps, I am often asked to explain why vampires are so popular. The short answer, which I usually avoid in an effort not to look like a bumbling fan with more enthusiasm than literary kudos, is that they’re cool, baby, cool. It is really, when you strip all of our critical mumbo jumbo away, that simple. Vampires have style. They get the best-looking ladies. They don’t age. They dwell in the finest mansions that money can buy. Dracula is like Keith Richards minus the wrinkles.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A mystery is uncovered and a load of chocolate is eaten

(c) Sadie Cramer for Little Island
Right so, since the last post seems to have elicited some excitement among my readers, I shall no longer tarry and will this instant reveal all.
After nearly 40 picturebooks and translations published  in France, I am now going to see my name on a cover in English. This time, it isn't as a translated author or an editor, but as an Actual Writer of (silly) Fiction Composed Directly in This Here Language.
The good people at Little Island have allowed me to pitch my tent in a corner of their lovely beach and Siobhán, Elaina and myself are more than delighted to introduce you to MAD CAP and her gang of best friends, entertaining relatives and crazy neighbours.
Madgie Cappock, aka Mad Cap, is a super hero who isn't terribly heroic, but she is (if I say so myself) really quite super. Together with her genius friend Norbert Soup, she has set up the Rent-a-Hero agency, who specialize in all kinds of missions from doing your homework for you to locating missing items (people, socks, that sort of stuff) or identifying zombies posing as teachers (and vice versa).
This time, Mad Cap and Norbert have quite a bit on their plate: the new butcher has gone awol, Madgie's big brother has a girlfriend and there's the panto tap-dancing routine that needs practising. Oh, and there's also a giant fluffly rabbit somewhere in there.
The talented Sadie Cramer is in charge of illustrating Mad Cap's shenanigans. Here you can see lovely, cuddly kitty-cat Sapphire (charming, isn't she?). I'll show you more tentalising morcels as we go along.
All going well, this splendiferous masterpiece should hit the shelves in the summer (early July, I'm told), but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, it is now officially Chocolate-fest time, so go on and have yourself a treat. I will.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Artistry in Newbridge

Check out this brand new, super splendid exhibition at the Riverbank arts centre in Newbridge. It's called The Illustrators, is curated by the UK Children's laureate, Gruffalo creator, and general kidlit megastar Julia Donaldson, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. 

"This fantastic exhibition curated by author Julia Donaldson featuring over 50 original artworks by illustrators Axel Scheffler, Emily Gravett and Nick Sharratt, to name but a few! This is your chance to see The Gruffalo, Stickman and Zog as never before, alongside many other wonderful pieces created by the artists who have collaborated with Julia on her best-selling picturebooks over the past two decades... A complementary programme of family events will also run throughout April, including a double-bill screening of the award winning animated short films The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child animated short films (featuring Helena Bonham CarterRobbie Coltrane, and John Hurt) and puppet shows by master puppeteer Martin Cahill, bringing some of Julia Donaldson’s most popular titles to life."

There's also a GRUFFALO DISCO!!!
More info over here

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An announcement is made

Meanwhile, in a wet part of Dublin...
A contract is signed...
A celebrating jumping-around is performed...
A title is in debate...
A cover is in the making...

Intrigued? I should hope so!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Three score and more

I stumbled across this blog a wee while ago. For all your birthday needs! (or not)
Three Score & Ten is subtitled 'lives in literature' and compiled by Wayne Gooderham

Three Score & Ten is an anthology of literary quotes illustrating every year of one’s life from conception to death. Basically 0 – 70 (or minus 9 months to 70 if you prefer)...The overall aim of this project is to view the different male and female literary characters as if they were a pair of individuals, following their progress through life as  they are shaped by experience and decisions are made, talents are blunted and youthful hope turns to resigned despair and failing talents – or perhaps even growing maturity and contentment.  At very least, death (spoiler alert: the project doesn’t end happily).

Fascinating stuff!