Radio Seawigs and Signing Tour Times


Early this morning, While England Slept, Sarah McIntyre was putting on her awesome new hat and making her way to the studios of Radio London 94.9, there to enthuse to Saturday Breakfast Show presenter Jo Good about art and comics and our new book, Oliver and the Seawigs.  Here's a link to the interview...

On Wednesday next week we'll be launching Seawigs with an event at Daunt Books in Marylebone. It's free, but you need to phone or e-mail to reserve a place, and tickets are going fast!

Then on Thursday (5th Sept) we'll be off on a whirlwind signing tour of London bookshops.  If you'd like to meet us on our way round, and maybe have us sign and draw in your copy of Oliver and the Seawigs, this is our schedule (though these times are approximate: if the shops are busy and traffic is bad we may end up running a bit late).

10am – Hatchards Piccadilly

10:30am – Waterstones Piccadilly

11:30 am – GOSH! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, Soho

Noon – Blackwells Charing Cross Road

12:30pm – Foyles Charing Cross Road

1:30pm – Foyles Royal Festival Hall

There seems to be quite a buzz about Seawigs, which I very exciting - I can't remember this happening with any of my other books. It partly proves what a good idea it was to work with the magnificent McIntyre, but it also has a lot to do with our publisher, Oxford University Press. It's great to be working with a team who really understand and love the book, and are making such an effort to get it noticed. I'll be doing my best to help by donning clingfilm wig and/or matelot hat again next week, and frantically practising the Sea Monkey shanty on my ukelele. But don't let that put you off.  Hope to see you there!

Seawigs Rock Edinburgh!

I'm just back from the Edinburgh Book Festival, where Sarah McIntyre and I got up to all sorts of Seawiggy shenanigans. I think it's safe to say that that Oliver and the Seawigs has been well and truly launched (though that's not going to stop us launching it again on September 4th).

Here are a few snapshots from the Festival. (Photos by Sarah or me, unless otherwise credited).

As soon as we arrived we were jumping in the air with Neil Gaiman, on the orders of festival photographer Christopher Close.

Photo: Hannah Shaddock

Dr Who reviewer Patrick Sproull is horrified by my new casual look...

 ...and also by the news that Sarah McIntyre is to play the 13th Doctor (with husband Stuart as her glamorous assistant).

Margaret Atwood was intrigued by Sarah's seawig...

Photo: Elaine MacQuade was Mr Gaiman...

...though it proved a bit too roomy for EIBF's children's programme director Janet Smyth.

Personally, I preferred myself in the Superhero head-wings which Sarah wears when she's promoting her new picture book Superkid.

One of the best things about attending festivals is meeting other authors (Edinburgh is where I first ran into McIntyre, after all.)  Here we are with the brilliant Gillian Philip...

...and here's illustrator Nick Sharrat, posing with Sarah in her full regalia.

And we did a long interviewing with Hande Zapsu Watt from the Istanbul Review.

Of course, there's a lot of hard work going on behind all the glamour. Here's OUP's Elaine MacQuade hoisting Sarah into her Seawigs frock.


All the copies of Oliver and the Seawigs in the festival bookshop had been sold before we did our final event on Tuesday, but it should be in a bookshop near you NOW.

Here's another view of Edinburgh, by book blogger Sister Spooky. Sadly, she'd left before Sarah and I blew in, but her blog includes the wonderful Andy Robb, and some Haggis.

Mortal Engines designs by Niall O'Reilly

Oliver and the Seawigs is just about to released upon an unsuspecting world (copies have been sighted in the wild at Waterstones in Edinburgh already), so for the next few months this blog will be largely concerning itself with Seawigs, Sea Monkeys, lost explorers and short-sighted mermaids.

But before that happens, I thought I should rev the old Mortal Engines one last time. Illustrator Niall O'Reilly got in touch recently with these character studies. Tom, Hester et al look a bit cooler than I'd pictured them when I was writing the book, but that's good - it's always interesting to see new interpretations of them. And maybe they would have looked more like this if I'd been writing it today - shockingly, it's now nearly a quarter of a century since I started work on it.

Niall says, "I read Mortal Engines when I was a teenager and they had a big impact on my imagination. I loved Philip's vision of a dented and dirty future. Recently I read the books again and they inspired me to redesign some of the characters. Here's the first set, I hope you like them."

Edinburgh Festival and Autumn Events


                                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Blast
I have a lot of events coming up in the next few months, and most of them will be about my new book with Sarah McIntyre, Oliver and the Seawigs, which will be in the bookshops very soon - in fact, the OUP Bookshop in Oxford already has a few advance copies (thanks to Iain Emsley for this snap!) and it should be available to pre-order from all good booksellers.

Sarah and I will be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Sunday 25th August (with another event, for schools, on Tuesday 27th). We'll be explaining how Seawigs came about, introducing some of the characters, drawing, singing, flanning about in big frocks (though I leave most of the flanning- about-in-frocks duties to McIntyre) and, of course, signing copies of the book.

Then on September 4th there will be a Seawigs launch party at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street, London - admission is free and everyone is welcome, but tickets need to be reserved as space is limited.

On Sunday, October 6th we'll be taking our Seawigs show to the Bath Children's Literature Festival...

...and the following weekend (Saturday 11th October) we shall be at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. 

And then on 26th October I shall be doing my Guest of Honour duties at BristolCon, where I expect the talk will be more about Mortal Engines than Seawigs.

So that's my schedule for the rest of this year. Hope to see some of you at one or other of those places, and if you are there, do come and say hello!