Thursday, 4 December 2008

Another Party!

At this time of year, we authors and illustrators can be tempted out into the real world by the promise of free booze and lots of much-needed hugging. And so it was that I gave my posh frock another airing and ventured back down to London yesterday, for a second publisher's Christmas party.

This time it was the Hachette Authors' and Illustrators' party. Hachette is the umbrella that includes both Orchard Books and Hodder Children's Books. I have publications with both, and have worked with them for quite a few years, so their parties are always nice, as I know lots of people and the hug-count is high.

I also love the fact that the Hachette party always starts at lunchtime, making it 100 times easier for those travelling a distance. If you're travelling for 3 hours, it's great to be able to have the whole afternoon and early evening too, and to still get home before midnight. These are my train drawings by the way, from the journey down. On the way back I was far too zonked and looked a little like this fellow.

Hachette are very generous too (thanks guys!). Firstly they hired the roof terrace (indoors, thank goodness) at the Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, with a continual flow of free champagne and wine, as well as yummy nibbles. Then, when we were turfed out of there at the end of the afternoon, they had hired a second club round the corner, again with a free bar, into the evening.

It's so nice to catch up with everyone, like old friend Damian Harvey and new friend Cassia Thomas, and especially the slightly bonkers Chris Mould (author & illustrator of the Something Wickedly Weird series, amongst many others) whose characters have a wonderful darkness that reminds me slightly of Edward Gorey. Smashing stuff, smashing guy (blushing yet Chris?).

Gradually, a knot of the gigglier illustrators seemed to coagulate in one corner of the room, around our designer Clare Cartey (who did such a fun job on my Class Two and Class Three books). We were kept entertained by the even more bonkers Melanie Williamson, whose work is everywhere, which is no surprise, as her illustrations are fabulous.

Has anyone else noticed by the way? Dragons do seem to be in vogue at the moment: as well as That Pesky Dragon, Chris has Fangs 'n' Fire coming out next year, and of course there's my Dragon's Dinner, plus a few others I've noticed as well. Long may they reign, they are so good to draw.

I never found Susannah Corbett, author of Dragon's Dinner, but I met one or two other new people, like John Kelly, whose animal illustrations have such great faces! Jack's Tractor is his latest book, coming out next summer. I also met Hayley Welsh, fresh out of university, where she actually trained as a wildlife illustrator. She seems already to be attracting lots of interest and is working with Hodder on a new children's book. How exciting to be just starting out...

Another nice chat was with Jane Ray (who I'm sure needs no introduction from me). We have known each other at a distance for 30 years (we started out on the same Foundation Course at Hornsey Art College, way back in the Middle Ages), but oddly, last night was the first time we have chatted properly. I have always loved her work, as does everyone else of course!

So, I'm pretty sure a great time was had by all. Thanks Hachette! I fell asleep on the train home. Thank goodness Sheffield was the end of the line.


Damian Harvey said...

It was a great party wasn't it... Fantastic meeting up with lots of old friends and making lots of new friends too. And the free bar was rather nice too.

I should go and write about it on my diary.

Doda said...

That sounds like such a cool party. Thanks for letting some of us live vicariously!

Tina Vaziri said...

I love your illustration work, it's so cute! Your sketches are wonderful as well :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, thank you for adding the link. Thanks wonderful.


April Jarocka said...

Absolutely beautiful sketches of your fellow train passengers. I would be so shy to do something like that. It looks as if you had complete peace to complete the sketches, but do you ever get people asking you questions?
I once took an easel and canvas up a cliff here in Ireland for a nice painting session but ended up talking more to passers by. I didn't complete the painting at all. All the best

Ellis Nadler said...

1) Dozing geezer is v.good
2) Did you go to last year's party up the gherkin?
3) Yes, my NY drawing was from life. See also

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks for compliments folks!

April: yes, I quite often end up talking to people I draw, if they spot me, which can be v. interesting. Usually afterwards though - I can't draw and talk at the same time.

Hi Ellis: no, I couldn't go to gherkin, but can't remember why. Would have loved to see inside. Lucky you re NY - will check out pics. I'm desperate for a bit of real travel....

Anonymous said...

It was very nice to see you at the Orchard `do` and have a proper chat. Isn`t it frightening that we were at Middlesex 30 years ago? I love your blog by the way - and thanks for the nice things you said!

Hope its not another year before we chat again (that would make it 31 years since Middlesex - oh dear oh dear...)

Have a wonderful Christmas,
Jane x

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention on your blog. I've had a good read
and was surprised to see myself here, so thank you for your kind comments, that's very sweet of you, and also for promoting me.
:-) Bless you.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Hope to see you in the new year.

Chris Mould

Lynne Chapman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a wonderful sketch... I love it when people fall asleep: so cooperative! Maralina