Last week we had a visit from Sarah McIntyre, and as well as getting lots of nice walks in we found time to discuss some ideas for the second of our books for OUP. The first, Oliver and the Seawigs, won't be out till autumn 2013, but Sarah is already hard at work on the illustrations, and you can follow the process on her blog. (There's also a bit there about a comics workshop she did in my kitchen...) The second story won't be connected to ...Seawigs in any way - in fact, it's as different as we could make it, and I'm quite excited about it. Here's Sarah rocking the Vietnam LURP look in Wistman's Wood during one of our editorial strolls.
I was planning that Fever Crumb 4 would be my next big project, but sadly it's had to be put on the back burner for contractual reasons. I've consoled myself by starting in on a huge new story which I just call 'The Epic' for the moment. It's far and away the most science-fictional thing I've ever written, and it also looks set to be the longest - I've done 50,000 words so far and I don't think I've reached the half-way point yet. It's not a children's book, but whether it's 'YA' or for grown-ups (and whether anyone will want to publish it) it's too early to say. It's a lot of fun to write, though, so I don't really care. And as soon as it's done I'll be back to Fever 4.
And on a more practical note, we're having our shed done up to make a writing/drawing/photography studio. I'm not remotely practical so all the work is being done by our brilliant builders, Claud and Neil, but I did pop out between rainstorms to slap a bit of preservative stain on the exterior cladding...
If you're in Edinburgh next weekend I'll be appearing at the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square. If you're in Ireland in September Sarah McIntyre and I will be doing our thing at the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dún Laoghaire. And if you're a fan of SF or fantasy and can get to Bristol in October I'll hope to see you at BristolCon on 20th October.
And wherever you are, I hope you're having a great summer.*
*Unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case Happy Winter.