On the Ride Again (6): Revving Up

My publication day for Punch is 10 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes away. It’s amazing how this concentrates the mind! The blog tour begins sooner, of course:

PUNCH Blog Tour social media image (1)

There seems to be  a lot to do all of a sudden. It crept up on me, the way major life events like the publication of a second book can do. September and October have been busy, even new day job aside.

First, I was lucky to be asked to appear at four schools as part of Nairn Book and Arts Festival. Pretty much straight after, less than two weeks ago, I was at Islay Book Festival, doing school and puppetry events. Just a few days later, our own NessBookFest was in full swing, and as committee chairperson, I wasn’t going to be taking a back seat. 35 events after that, I emerged, crawling, on the other side, mopping up, tidying up, and realising:

My publication day for Punch is 10 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes away!

Oh help! Guest blog posts need to be written, press contacts need to be made, events need to be planned. I made a list of all upcoming events:
26th Oct: School Launch, Crown School, Inverness
• 26th Oct: Launch at Waterstones Inverness (6pm)
• 3rd Nov: Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre Launch Event
• 4th Nov: Waterstones Edinburgh West End (2pm)
• 25th Nov: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mass
Book Launch, Winchester
• 29th Nov: Schools Event, Culloden Library for Book Week Scotland
• 30th Nov: ‘Nourishing Local Writers’ Showcase, Waterstones Inverness, Book Week Scotland
• 2nd Dec: Fir Trees in Folklore & Fiction: Barbara Henderson reads
from her children’s novels Fir for Luck and Punch (which both
feature trees) and explores the stories and legends around our
beloved Christmas trees. Simpson’s Garden Centre, Inverness. Book Week Scotland

At least there are a few, not too bad. Although I need to decide what I am actually going to do in them. Realising that all this is really quite soon, I ran down to the train station and booked my transport to the Central Belt, begged friends for accommodation and started purchasing odd things like Punch hats and inflatable whacking sticks, stripy clothes and red shoes. Yes, I am going the whole hog – I’ll pretty much be wearing a Punch and Judy fit-up!

Getting press coverage might be a hard one though – I have literally been all over the local papers with NessBookfest recently, and they might be reluctant to take on anything else with my mug on it. Sad but true.Courier front page

Of course, that doesn’t mean I am not going to try! However, my first follow up call to a public broadcaster who shall remain nameless went a bit like this:

Me: Hello, is that the producer for the super-iconic programme for all things cultural?

Her: Yes.

Me: You emailed me on such and such a date, expressing interest in Punch and asking if a copy could be sent to you? I trust you got it? Great. Now, are you still interested in doing something on the Victorian/puppetry angle in… all right… Really, 500 hundred new titles published every week?

Her: Too competitive/too much out there/won’t be able to, as much as we’d like to/snowed under (basically *NO*)

Me: (*profuse thanks, not sure why*)

No time to dwell on that! After all, it’s only 10 days…

 

 

 

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COVER REVEAL! Punch by Barbara Henderson

GO! It’s out there in the big wide world!

What do you think?

paisleypiranha

We’re delighted to reveal the cover of Barbara Henderson’s book ‘Punch’, her second with Cranachan Publishing. Isn’t it fab? The book will be out 23rd October 2017.

PUNCH EBOOK COVER FINAL (5)THE MARKET’s on FIRE. FIRE! FIRE! The BOY DID IT!’

Smoke belches out through the market entrance.

And me?

I turn and run.

When 12 year-old Phineas is accused of a terrible crime, his only option is to flee. In the unlikely company of an escaped prisoner and a group of travelling entertainers, he enters a new world of Punch and Judy shows and dancing bears. But will Phineas clear his name? And what can he do when memories of a darker, more terrible crime begin to haunt him?

The Author says:

When Anne Glennie, Director of Cranachan Publishing, said that this time, the cover needed a proper illustrator, I was really excited. I had been so happy with the much commented-on, striking…

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#Punch Cover Reveal: Steady…

Tomorrow, Friday, is the big reveal on the Paisley Piranha blog. The Punch cover has been a while in coming, mainly because we wanted to get it right. 

I thought I’d make the next clue about the process.

The ideas for the design came together quickly, but it’s fair to say that some of the practical solutions were found in unexpected places… 

Here is another wee clue, to keep you guys on your toes:

Can’t wait for you ALL TO SEE THE COVER!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait for the world to see the cover tomorrow!

#Punch Cover Reveal: Ready…

The week of the PUNCH cover reveal has finally arrived: On Friday 25th August, the wonderful Paisley Piranhas are going to throw the image out into the big bad world. It had to feel classic and timeless at the same time: the perpetual challenge for historical fiction, and particularly so with children’s books.

THE MARKET’s on FIRE. FIRE! FIRE! The BOY DID IT!’
Smoke belches out through the market entrance.
And me?
I turn and run.
When 12 year-old Phineas is accused of a terrible crime, his only option is to flee. In the unlikely company of an escaped prisoner and a group of travelling entertainers, he enters a new world of Punch and Judy shows and dancing bears. But will Phineas clear his name? And what can he do when memories of a darker, more terrible crime begin to haunt him?

What do you think the cover of this type of story should feature?

I’ll give you  wee hint: it shares a colour scheme (and theme) with this: Image result for red white yellow orange black

(* no product endorsement, obviously)

Get guessing!

Edinburgh Book Festival: A love letter from Barbara Henderson @edbookfest @scattyscribbler @cranachanbooks

Thanks to Joanne from Portobello Book Blog for featuring me on her blog today. Find out what it was like to attend EIBF as a published author for the first time. 🙂

Portobello Book Blog

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I’m delighted to have Barbara Henderson with me today. I met up with Barbara at a gathering of authors and bloggers at the Edinburgh Book Festival and as usual, she had a big smile on her face. That’s her at the back with the lovely blue scarf on. As she explains in this guest post, this year more than ever she had a very good reason for that smile!

Edinburgh International Book Festival: A love letter

WP_20170812_07_53_18_Pro View from the train en route to Edinburgh

Edinburgh International Book Festival has been a fixture in my life for nigh-on a decade.

What’s not to love? It’s an excuse to visit the fantastic city where I spent many happy student years! Where I met my husband, had my first child and the setting of countless happy memories. Over the years, popping down the A9 to EIBF was a great way of sharing our…

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Merryn Glover’s India Books for Kids

When an author I greatly admire, Merryn Glover, talked about putting together a blog tour around the anniversary of the India/Pakistan partition, I jumped at the chance to be part of it. Some first hand recommendations of India books for kids? Yes please! Here is what she says:

I grew up in Nepal, India and Pakistan, so it was always important to me that my children – brought up in Scotland – had an understanding of that part of the world.  Along with my memories, photos, films and two special visits, I shared my love for those countries through books.  As August 15th this year marks the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence, Barbara suggested I write a post about my favourite India books for kids and teens.  There are squillions of great titles out there, but these are the much-enjoyed books still on our shelves and available in the UK.  Listed roughly in order of reading age.

 

Image result for mangoes and bananas bookMangoes & Bananas, The Sacred Banana Leaf & The Great Race: Nathan Kumar Scott

Nathan Kumar Scott (http://www.nathankumarscott.com/my-books) is an old school friend who has written a series of picture books based on Indian folk tales, each title drawing from a different form of folk art.  The results are exquisite books with enchanting stories.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mangoes-Bananas-Nathan-Kumar-Scott/dp/8186211063/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848817&sr=1-3&keywords=nathan+kumar+scott

 

Image result for One grain of riceOne Grain of Rice: Demi

This book was a gift to my sons from a former teacher of mine and is sub-titled “A Mathematical Folktale”.  It’s an adaptation of a traditional Indian story that uses a girl’s clever plan to explore both maths and morals.  It’s also beautifully illustrated in a style drawn from Moghul art.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Grain-Rice-Mathematical-1997-03-01/dp/B01K13KL6I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501847985&sr=1-1&keywords=one+grain+of+rice

 

Ancient Civilisations – Indian Myths: Shahrukh Husain & Bee Willey  This is a collection of tales from India’s rich store of mythology with vivid pictures and a helpful glossary.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indian-Myths-Stories-Ancient-Civilisations/dp/0237533766

 

Indian Tales, A Barefoot Collection: Shenaaz Nanji & Christopher Corr  “The trip of a lifetime!” the book announces and so it is, with brightly coloured maps, stories and information from eight regions in India and a long list of sources at the back.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indian-Tales-Collection-Shenaaz-Nanji/dp/1846860822/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848238&sr=1-1&keywords=indian+tales+barefoot+collection

Image result for Amazon the jungle books by rudyard kiplingThe Jungle Books: Rudyard Kipling – We all know the wonderful Disney film, but how many of us have ventured with Mowgli and his animal friends through the pages of Kipling’s books?  I can guarantee a wild time!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Jungle-Rudyard-Kipling/1856132536/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848677&sr=1-4&keywords=the+jungle+book

 

The Village by the Sea, Anita Desai  I taught this poignant story of poverty and courage to my S1 English class in India many moons ago and fell in love with it.  By a Booker prize-winning author, it is strong writing that will draw readers close to the characters and the dilemmas of their lives.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Village-Sea-Puffin-Anita-Desai/0141359765/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848616&sr=1-1&keywords=village+by+the+sea

 

The Wheel of Surya, Jamila Gavin This is the first of a trilogy that begins with a brother and sister in India when their lives are splintered by Partition in 1947 and they end up on a boat to England.  I read it to my sons on a visit to India when they were 12 and 10, and we were captivated.  The other books in the series are The Eye of the Horse and The Track of the Wind

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wheel-Surya-Trilogy-Jamila-Gavin/dp/0749747447/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848901&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wheel+of+surya

 

Malgudi Days, R K Narayan  I first discovered this glorious little collection of stories when I taught S4 pupils in Kathmandu and have returned to it many times since.  Short and deceptively simple, they are full of wisdom, humour and deep humanity.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Malgudi-Days-Astrologers-Lawleyroad-Classics/dp/0143039652/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501848739&sr=1-1&keywords=R+K+Narayan+Malgudi+Days

 

Narayan said of India that ‘the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character and thereby a story.’  Which is good news for us, as we need only to dip into one of the many brilliant books from India to meet those characters and enter their stories.  Join me there!

 

Image result for a house called askival

Merryn Glover is a writer of fiction and plays with work widely anthologised and broadcast  on Radio Scotland and Radio 4.  She has also worked as an English, drama and dance teacher and currently spends two days a week in a high school library, loving the magic of bringing books and kids together. 

Her novel for adults (and intelligent older teens), A House Called Askival, is set in north India and spans 70 years of history, including the cataclysmic events of Independence and Partition.

Links: A House Called Askival http://www.merrynglover.com/askival-2/

Website www.merrynglover.com