Yesterday was a smashing experience as I attended a media day, organised by Puffin at their offices on the Strand, overlooking the Eye and Westminster. It was their opportunity to present a selection of their publishing highlights for the year to press, media, librarians and bloggers, so it was bloomin lovely to be invited along as one of their authors.
Each author had three minutes to talk about their new project, but far from feeling like a bizarre twist on speed dating, it was actually a great exercise in condensing what the book is really all about and why I wrote it in the first place. It was certainly gratifying that folk came to speak to me afterwards and dig a bit deeper about the kids I worked with.
The other great part of the whole thing was meeting a number of other authors, many of whom I’ve read and respected for a long time, writers like Jeremy Strong and Meg Rosoff. I was also lucky enough to chat to one of the people who really inspired me to write in the first place, David Almond. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that affected me as much as ‘Skellig’, so to meet him was a bit special, and what a terrific, warm man he is. (I’ll stop there before I start to sound a bit psychopathic).
The rest of the afternoon was spent in interviews with ‘The Big Issue’, with the fabulous Ciara from ‘Spinebreakers’ (who recorded a video interview for the site), and with my good friend Graham Marks, who was asking questions for ‘Writeaway’. It’s an odd experience talking at length about yourself, but certainly not unenjoyable when an old mate like Mr Marks is asking the questions….
When I left the offices, six hours after arriving, I had a sore throat, a heavy bag of books (some crackers as well) and strangely enough, a rather good feeling about it all.
A day to remember. I hope there will be more to follow….