I have just completed what was probably the best book tour I’ve done since being published by Random House in 2004.
I think it is important to visit new areas and meet new readers. But also the balance has to be right; I also enjoy visiting the local schools and bookshops in Lancashire where I have always received great support.
We started in France at a book festival in Montpellier. The books are very successful in that country due to the great team at my publisher, Bayard Jeunesse, which includes my excellent translator, Marie-Helene Delval. My editor, Karine Sol, visited the festival and spent the day with us whilst I met many enthusiastic French readers.
Week Two saw us in Scotland with Alan Wilson, the Random Rep for Scotland. He was great company and after events in Edinburgh and Glasgow he drove us north into the Highlands (I’d never been further north than Stirling before). We met many booksellers in Scotland and visited lots of schools including Earlston High School, Lilliesleaf, Gordonstoun and Buckie High School in Moray. One day I would like to travel even further into Scotland and visit schools well off the beaten track.
In Week Three it was the turn of Lancashire. The booksellers there included Elaine and Sue of the ‘Silverdell Bookshop’, Kirkham, and Tony from ‘Formby Books’. I particularly remember visiting St Aidan’s Preesall, Over Wyre, because that was the school that my own children attended. There were also the usual successful visits to Waterstones stores at Wigan, Preston and Lancaster where I met readers who bought the series right from the start and have now become like old friends.
Week Four began with a visit to London to meet the very supportive and enthusiastic team from Random House Children’s Publishing. We discussed the latest film news and listened to information from Sales, Rights, Marketing and the Editorial team. From there, after signings at Golsborough Books and Waterstones Piccadilly, it was a train journey to Devon. Based in Torquay, we visited schools and bookshops in Paignton, Tavistock , Totnes and Taunton.
Perhaps my most vivid memory was of crossing the River Tamar into Cornwall on our way to an event in Liskeard. It’s a fantastic view and it brought back memories of all the family holidays we had there when my children were young.
It was back home to Lancashire then with just one more event to end the tour – the Lancashire Book Awards in Preston, where once again a Spook’s book, ‘The Spook’s Destiny’, had made the short list. That brought the tour to a happy end and within a few hours my publicist, Linda Worner, flew back to New Zealand. Then it was back to my writing.
‘SLITHER’ (Book 11)
So here’s looking forward to the October tour to promote ‘Slither’ which is number 11 in the Wardstone Chronicles Series. In part the story is told by a non-human mage (try looking up the ‘Kobalos Mages’ in the ‘Spook’s Bestiary’, Page 150). But there is also a young heroine, who tells of her plight in her own words. It is the first time I have used two narrators in the same book.
The Kobalos are bestial, blood-thirsty and dangerous. They no longer have females of their own but hold human women as slaves treating them with utter contempt.
They are about to meet Grimalkin.
That, to me, seemed quite an interesting meeting to arrange!
I hope you agree. The book is out this October and is part of the main narrative with important pointers to the resolution of the series and maybe even beyond it