I’ve been quiet online recently for various reasons but, listen up, I’ve got some exciting news to share!
Remember how I said I’d been working on an illustration commission? Well, I can now announce that ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants‘ by Nikki Young will be published on April 28th, complete with illustrations from my very own pen!
Nikki’s book is aimed at 9 – 11 year olds and centres on Harry, his best mate James and neighbour Stacey who form a spy club and spend their summer holidays solving mysteries. Things start off fun and light-hearted but then events take a sinister turn…
You can find out more about the book (and see my own review of it) here but I can certainly recommend it. My nine-year-old son is desperate to read it and I can’t wait to give him a copy!
Nikki has also written a short story introducing the characters from her novel. This is called ‘A Special Day’ and is available as a FREE ebook over on Nikki’s website with cover illustrations by yours truly. Why not pop over for a read?
I’ve loved creating the illustrations for both books, and working with Nikki was a joy. I can’t wait to attend the launch of ‘Underpants’ (as it is affectionately known) next month! It might be worth keeping an eye on my instagram feed as I practice making underpants-themed cupcakes… undercakes? Cup pants? Erm… maybe I’ll just stick to biscuits.
Ok, so it’s really late and I’m really tired and I have about thirty seconds to write a post for ‘What I’m Writing’ tomorrow. Not that I have to write a post for my linky I suppose, but tomorrow it’s the one hundredth week of ‘What I’m Writing’ so I don’t want to miss linking up when it’s such a nice, round figure!
So… It’s late because I’ve been really busy this week. I’ve been writing stuff for work, I’ve been doing an illustration commission and, given it’s December and I’ve got three kids, I’ve been running around in a kind of Christmas frenzy trying not to drop the ball on nativity costumes, social events, presents, parties and end of term thingymabobs. This morning I was frantically trying to assemble a snowflake costume for my three-year-old for the dress-rehearsal of his school play. He ended up in a thermal vest and a cellular blanket. “It will do, it will have to do!” I chimed until I got to the classroom and realised the other kids were all adorned in flashing lights, glitter, home-made wings, amazing headwear, baubles, tinsel and perfectly carved ice sculptures. Ok, I made that last one up but blimey, it took all my powers of ‘cool, parent-of-a-third-child zen’ not to rush home and construct an elaborate walk-in ice cave for him to wear for the performance tomorrow (shhh but I’m still thinking there might be time in the morning… )
So, did you notice that bit just up there at the top of the previous paragraph? The bit where I said I was working on an illustration commission? I have been and it’s my first ever! Well, strictly speaking it’s the second I’ve been asked to do, but I’m not due to start the first one till the new year so the one I’ve been working on this week is the first I’ve actually done, if that makes sense? Probably not. It’s even later at night now. Anyway, I’ve just finished the commission and sent it off to the writer this evening. It’s illustrations for her middle grade book which is coming out next year… more info to follow… I’m dead excited, truth be told!
Right, it’s really, REALLY late now so I’m definitely posting this and going to bed!
It’s time for a little change at ‘What I’m Writing’ HQ. Chrissie and I have loved hosting our linky together for the last fifteen months but regular readers may have noticed that my once-prolific co-host has been rather quiet of late. She’s incredibly busy with work and kids and likes to fill all the (teeny) gaps in her schedule with novel-writing (a little birdy told me she just won another NaNo! GET IN!) which doesn’t leave much time for blogging.
coloured pencils – because why not?
Anyway, I’ll leave any more lengthy explanations to Chrissie herself but suffice to say we’ve decided that I’ll be hosting the linky on my own from now on. Which I’m happy with as I’m hooked on writing my weekly post to link up anyway. ‘What I’m Writing’ keeps me focussed. Not that my recent posts are necessarily about writing, strictly speaking, but I do think it’s an excellent discipline to make sure I’ve got a post written in time for every Tuesday. I’ve been so pushed for time recently it’s usually the only post I manage all week!
Having said that, in the past seven days I’ve published three! My Blogfest roundup, a post about gratitude (inspired by a panellist at the conference encouraging women to stop saying thank you so often. Go figure.) along with one about polar bears and parenting. And I’ve somehow squeezed in this month’s poetry and prose round-up for BritMums in the past few days too. Wowzers.
But now it’s really late at night and I have to get to bed. This post was really just to update you on the linky and point those delightful people who display my badge on their blog, in the direction of the new, updated version. This one has a ‘no follow link’ because apparently you’re supposed to add those to linky badges now or google sends you to jail or something. I have no idea.
And on that note… zzzzz
I wasn’t planning on writing a post today but then I got some good news and I wanted to share it! I got home from a day out with the kids to find an envelope sitting on my door mat… and in the envelope was a letter saying some of my limericks have been accepted for an anthology!
The anthology is called ‘Limerick Nation‘ and will be published by Iron Press in September. It’s an anthology of ‘place name’ limericks meaning they will all have a first line that ends with a UK county or city/ town/village. Poets were invited to submit limericks about their own current place of residence (we had to enter by post – no cheating allowed!) With that proviso, they could be on any subject we liked and be as silly as we fancied. And you know me; I love a silly limerick.
Finding a rhyme for Northumberland was quite a challenge so I’m dead chuffed to say that four of my limericks are going to be included! This may not sound like hugely exciting news but as it is my very first acceptance letter I felt I had to blog about it and I hope you’ll forgive me for jumping up and down a bit!