I've been quite the party animal this year: this time last week, I went to yet another publisher's party in London. I've never felt so loved! It was my first invitation from Andersen Press, who published my latest, Bears on the Stairs.
I met up with the Bears on the Stairs' author, Julia Jarman, at a pub round the corner to the party, so we could have a quick chat about new project ideas, then go together. I arrived first, but the pub we'd chosen was so full, I couldn't sit down. I felt a lemon just hovering on my own, so went outside (in the COLD!) to wait for Julia, and sketched through the window:
Luckily, she was only 10 minutes, but I had to draw wearing my fingerless gloves!
It was a really nice evening. I met up with various other author and illustrator friends, like Mei Matsuoka, whose work I love. She illustrated the wonderful Great Dog Bottom Swap, written by Peter Bently, who also wrote my book A Lark in the Ark. Peter had come all the way up from Devon to be there. Luckily for all us long-distance travellers, Andersen Press provided a proper hot dinner for everyone too, with apple crumble & custard for pud (yum!)
Of course, I've only just come back from my previous jolly in London, but this time I also had the expense of an overnight stay in a London hotel, so I decided to help justify my extravagance by setting up a work meeting while I was there.
Remember that new story idea I began re-working for Gullane, when I got back from the SCBWI conference? Well, I filled 3 of those big sheets with drawings and ideas. The morning after the party (thank goodness I didn't drink too much) I zipped across to Fleet St on the tube, to visit my editor.
I was crossing fingers & toes big-style, but... my editor loved it: hurrah! It won't be officially accepted until it's got through the next acquisitions meeting (not until February now), however, my editor was confident that it would get the green light, so I fair bounced out of the meeting!
I found myself a cafe just down the street, right opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, and sat very happily, scoffing my lunch while I drew the sketch above. Then I caught my train back to Sheffield, feeling jolly pleased with myself!
I'll keep you posted on progress. Lets hope nothing happens to scupper it!