Saturday, 8 March 2008

The storyteller

I was at Heffers Bookshop in the Grafton Centre in Cambridge today, invited there by the ever-enthusiastic and helpful Kate Johnson. Heffers are so fantastically supportive of children's authors and illustrators - and not simply of those who can guarantee a queue out of the door (and therefore require no support). Both branches of Heffers in Cambridge have been very good to me, and Suzanne Jones who has organised most of the events is a star.

I have to admit, though - I was a little concerned that we might not get an audience. But I needn't have. There was a nice little group of very friendly children with their equally friendly parents. It was great actually and everything you want from a children's department in a bookshop.

I made the decision that Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror were perhaps a little too terror-filled for the age of children, most of whom were under ten, so I read a bit from Billy Wizard and asked the children what their favourite books or types of books were. I put in a bid for The Cat in the Hat as one of mine. I may bang on about Dr Seuss and his genius at a later date.

I'd brought an edition of Saki short stories with me and read The Storyteller, which went down well. I need to devote a post to Saki at some point I think. He is brilliant. I sold a few Uncle Montagues and talked about Tales of Terror from the Black Ship - and a little about how I work and what I'm writing now.

When everyone had gone I signed a pile of books for the children at St John's College School who had missed out because we ran out of books on the day. Actually the warehouse ran out of books. Bloomsbury are reprinting a couple of thousand, which is great news. And I even got a box of chocolate biscuits from Kate for coming along.

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