I saw Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart briefly while I was up in Edinburgh. I was in the author's yurt (that never sounds sensible) just about to leave and catch a cab to the airport when I noticed Will Hutton, one-time editor of The Observer when I still working there as an illustrator. His main contribution to my career was axing my strip, Babel. I pointed him out to my publicist Ian Lamb and Ian said, 'Isn't that Chris Riddell talking to him.' I hadn't recognised Chris at all, seeing him out of context. I was also quite sure he was not arriving until after I'd gone.
Sure enough, the redoubtable Paul Stewart stepped forward, telling me that they had just had a hellishly bumpy flight into Edinburgh, flying through the thunderstorm that erupted just as my event stopped. Chris came over once he had finished talking to Will Hutton and I had the briefest of chats before I had to head off. It was nice to see them. We always talk about synchronising our events but it never seems to work out.
When I first arrived in Edinburgh I met up with Andrew Jamieson of the Edinburgh Geekzine. Andrew has been a great supporter of my recent books so it was great to meet up in the real world and hear his plans for taking Geekzine to a new level. You can see what he's up to by following the link.
I met up with Debi Gliori too. Debi is also with Bloomsbury and our publicists, Ian Lamb and Emma Bradshaw took us out for a very nice meal. Gillian Philip - another of Bloomsbury's authors - managed to drop in for a while. I've met Debi and Gillian before, but it was lovely to see them again. It was a really pleasant evening, even though I was exhausted after my early flight up to Edinburgh.
Writing is a fairly solitary profession and so festivals and events do provide a means of meeting up with other writers. I was very disappointed to have just missed Neil Gaiman as he is someone I have wanted to meet for a long time, but I was lucky enough to bump into the wonderful Shaun Tan.
I have been a big admirer of Shaun's for a long time and it is was great to meet him and discover him to be the quiet, thoughtful person that I would have expected from his work.
I also got to meet Nikki Gamble of who introduced my first session. I am looking forward to attending Nikki's Just Imagine children's book centre in the near future. More about that later.