Tuesday, 31 March 2015

An interview on Lauren Kelly's illustration blog

Lauren Kelly has just published an interview about drawing with me on her lovely illustration blog. Please go and have a look!

Monday, 30 March 2015

International Ungow Day

It's International Ungow Day! Round this house, it's dedicated to the memory of Fester Cat​, precisely two years after we lost him - and to the memory of all the cats who've others have had in their lives.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Dates for readings and appearances in 2015

I just thought – this seems like a good time to share a few dates with you! It’s been a little while since I did any appearances or readings in public, and there’s going to be a flurry of activity coming up…

First of all there’s this coming weekend at the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival. I’ll be reading from my new Science Fiction novel, ‘Lost on Mars’, which the brilliant Firefly Press publish next month. There’ll be early copies available to buy and get signed. I’m talking at 2pm at City Hall.

Then, the following weekend, I’m having my first art show at Fred’s Ale House on the Stockport Road in Levenshulme. I’m showing a set of pictures I’ve been working on in recent months, all based around Levenshulme. There’ll be cards and prints available to buy. The show’s all day long, but there’ll be a launch event at 6pm. It’s a great pub for a pie and a pint…

I’ll be at the Hay on Wye Festival in May. I’m appearing with Moira Young and reading from ‘Lost on Mars’ on Wedsday 27th May.

On Saturday June 6th  I’ll be at the Steamtown event at Beamish open air museum in County Durham. I’ll be selling and signing copies of my steampunk novel ‘Mrs Danby and Friends’, along with all my other stuff!

During the weekend that starts 17th July I’ll be at YALC – the Young Adult fiction conference in London. Last year’s inaugural festival looked smashing, so I’m looking forward to talking at this one.

Then in August I’ll be at the Edinburgh Book Festival for the first time in about ten years! I’m reading on Wednesday 26th at 6.45pm.

That’s everything for now, I think…! I hope to see some of you there..!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Saturday Tea Time drawings...

Yesterday, just for fun, I left aside drawing-straight-from-life and did three pictures that I hoped would summon up the very essence of Saturday Tea-Time...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Manchester Drawings from last week

 Tea at the Midland Hotel

 Levenshulme Market

 Royal Exchange Cafe

 The Northern Quarter

Levenshulme Market

Friday, 6 March 2015

Drawing Alice...!

This was a curious result of World Book Day. Somehow... as if by magic, I found myself drawing some Alice in Wonderland illustrations very late at night.

It's something I've always wanted to do - to illustrate Alice. I first tried when I was about six years old. As this year's the book's 150th anniversary, it seemed like a fun thing to get into. Here are the first four pictures I've completed.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

My Own Private World Book Day

It's World Book Day and my newsfeed is full of people either dressed up as something or other, or going off to read their work out to people. Since no one has asked me to do either of those things.. (!) I'm off to visit my favourite bookshops, and a library or two - and to read and write and draw in a few favourite cafes. I'm on the hunt for graphic novels today, I think. Bronze Age Marvel comics are what I'd love to read today. 

And I'm also lugging the new Anne Tyler with me, as well as all my drawing things. And I'm thinking of actually going for it - at last - and illustrating my own kids' book for the first time (what do you think..?). 

But in the mean time - here's a photo to gladden the heart of any bookshop-hound. It's the painted stone stairs into the cellar at the High Street Bookshop, New Mills - which we discovered for the first time yesterday. It's a wonderful place, with an upstairs filled with annuals and novels and 1970s comics and a basement of old vinyl. It's a very good shop, where everything feels lovingly curated, rather than stocked...

(Of course, it's not only bookshops and libraries where you find the best stories. Look at this, found last week, in a corner at the very top of Manchester Museum. (So he *was* real...?!))

Monday, 2 March 2015

A few more pictures

 City Gallery Cafe - with the nice cat I saw on the way home.

 Corner House cafe. Writing is hard...

 First daffodil.

 Fred's Ale House, Levenshulme (with a switch of medium, into acrylics and felt tips.)


Shine Hair (another try - using acrylics.)