It's one of those projects that's been bubbling away in the background for a while. I began work on it last year and later showed you some sketches in progress. When I had finally roughed it all out, in June, I took the project down to London to present to various potential publishers.
Egmontwere very keen right from the start, as they have an exciting, new baby-book range, so I have been crossing fingers ever since I saw them.
My manuscript and roughs have been to various internal meetings since then, while Peter, the kind editor, periodically reassured me that they were still interested.
It got the big green light at the Acquisitions meeting (phew) and Egmont sent me a formal letter of acceptance, but I still had to hold my breath while negotiating my advance. Scary stuff, but everything went well.
You're still not done though, until the contract has been scoured and all the details and percentages thrashed out. I'm representing myself at the moment, so the Society of Authors have been great - they have a specialist, legal boffin who knows what it all means and tells you what to challenge.
I've illustrated just one book with Egmont before: A Lark in the Ark. That was great fun and went very smoothly, so I'm looking forward to doing another book with them and, even better, one I have written myself!
I've just posted off the signed contract. I will keep you posted as I make the inevitable adjustments to my original roughs. Egmont have said it's OK for me to show you how I get on with the artwork, like I did with Bears on the Stairs.
Watch this space!