Happy New Year! I hope you've had a good Christmas? I seem to have gained the equivalent weight of a tin of Quality Street on each thigh.
Because I don't already have enough to do what with dieting, exercise and several books to finish, I thought I'd give my website a bit of an overhaul. Apologies for any bits of code that I've left visible, or any gremlins still in the works. I'll get round to a good old spit and polish when I get time.
This year sees the publication of, I think, at least five new picture books from me. But I may have miscounted... Tooth Fairy in Training with Briony May Smith for Walker, The Pawed Piper with Chinlun Lee for Walker, Happy Birthday to You, Princess and Happy Birthday to You, Pirate, both with Vicki Gausden for HarperCollins and Do The Dinosaur with Rosalind Beardshaw for Egmont.
The Ten Fat Sausages had another outing this weekend. I was thrilled to be invited back to The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival for a third time.
It's such a wonderful festival. I love the 'village' site at Montpelier Gardens. Even on a soaking wet weekend it's beautiful and there are plenty of brilliant venues to visit and enjoy.
The Ten Fat Sausages are back on the road! I had a wonderful time revisiting the Henley Literary Festival.
Those Gower Cottage brownies - mmm, mmm! Thanks to all who came along and to the festival for making me and my family welcome.
Huge thanks to Harriet Dunlea at Andersen Press who has been a legend organising all my events. Best of luck in your new role, Harriet. Me and the sausages will miss you!
What a crazy summer. Eleven weeks ago I posted a first draft of #OnlyOneOfMe online, hoping - but not expecting - to find a way of getting Lisa's book published.
Getting published is never easy. Publishing a picture book (two, in fact!) in such a short period of time is pretty much miraculous, and it's been an absolute pleasure from start to finish, thanks to the team behind it.
Thank you a million times to our artists, Catalina Echeverri (who worked while juggling other deadlines and moving house) and Tim Budgen (who worked while juggling other deadlines and on holiday), Peter Gill and the team at Graffeg - Damon, Daniel, Hazel, Joana, Matthew, Megan - hope I got everyone! (Peter said YES at first sight and his team have gone above and beyond in delivering the books, a website and a whole lot more besides), James Catchpole (who pulled more strings than Mr Geppetto),
Last but by no means least I want to thank Lisa Wells for being an absolute smasher. Through regular chemo, ongoing pain, feeling like crap and getting abuse from strangers (believe it or not), she's stuck to her guns to see this project through. She's an incredible person and a dream of a woman to have as the public face of #OnlyOneOfMe. The book would simply not exist without her drive to stick two fingers up to cancer. Eff you, cancer. LONG LIVE LISA!
[caption id="attachment_3785" align="alignright" width="225"] Beautiful flowers - thank you, Walker Books![/caption]
The #OnlyOneOfMe book trailer is here - huge thanks to Hazel Guppy at Graffeg for putting this together, along with the website - where you can pre-order as well as nominating a charity to receive one of 800 crowdfunded copies of the book. What are you waiting for? Visit onlyoneofme.co.uk and nominate as many charities as you like!
It's been non-stop behind the scenes at #OnlyOneOfMe - and non-stop limelight for Lisa. For those who missed it, Lisa was on Radio 4's Woman's Hour yesterday. The interview comes at about 20mins in, you can listen on iPlayer, at time of posting.
Lisa really appreciated the opportunity. It was an excellent but tough interview for her to do. Not only was she mid-chemo but she was feeling floored by the death of kindred spirit, Rachael Bland. It's impossible to say anything adequate about Rachael here - or indeed about Lisa and others in their situation. People who generously and selflessly open up about their experiences are helping others in so many ways. The OOOM team sincerely hopes Rachael found a publisher for her memoir in time to know about it.
Catalina and Tim have delivered final art for#OnlyOneOfMe! Those two deserve a pat on the back, standing ovation, Mexican wave, medal and quite frankly a holiday. Now it's over to the brilliant team at Graffeg to design and artwork it ready for print.
I can't wait for you all to see it. It's such a top quality picture book you would honestly never believe it came together so quickly. Incredibly, you don't have long to wait.
Both the Mum and Dad versions of #OnlyOneOfMe will be widely available to buy from 12 October 2018. You'll be able to buy a copy in high street bookshops such as Waterstones and WH Smiths, online through Graffeg and Amazon and at independent bookshops throughout the UK. You'll also be able to borrow #OnlyOneOfMe from your local library.
The first print run is limited. We expect high demand and hope to be re-printing before too long. Don't miss out - pre-order a copy NOW!Preorder DAD VERSION from Graffeg
Preorder DAD VERSION from Waterstones
Preorder DAD VERSION from Amazon
Preorder MUM VERSION from Graffeg
Preorder MUM VERSION from Waterstones
Preorder MUM VERSION from Amazon
I recommend popping to your local indie book store and asking them to order you one in. Should you need them, here are the ISBN numbers:-
This is definitely more of an uplift than an update. First, news from the team in brief...
I wanted to tell you all how incredible everyone working on this project has been.
Lisa has been creative, energetic, influential, honest, inspirational, funny, generous, warm hearted - all while learning skills in a whole new industry AND dealing with chemo and stage four cancer. Oh, and did I mention raising two young kids? Hats off to a wonderful woman. I really hope she manages to get another book in the offing while she's with us. There's always room on the shelves for writers with heart.
Catalina Echverri and Tim Budgen have been the most incredible illustrators. They've worked like troopers to meet an insane deadline, and are set to finish early in huge style. Their work speaks for itself, but what we never see in a finished book is what went on behind the scenes. Cata and Tim have been receptive to direction, changes and evolving ideas - all the while finding the spirit and energy to bring their own wonderful ideas to their work. #OnlyOneOfMe has been a challenging project emotionally and physically. This pair have risked exposing any (perceived!) weaknesses in a very public way. I hope they both feel strengthened by the incredible things they now know they're capable of. They're the nicest human beings. I will be forever grateful to them and I can't wait to work with them again in the future - hopefully at a more relaxed pace!
James Catchpole is a legend. But I suspect most of you already knew that. If you're a talented new author, please don't submit your work to him? I really do want him all to myself.
Peter Gill an Graffeg: Your support has been incredible from the off. Thank you for seeing the potential in Lisa's book and for making it become a reality. You and your team are doing an incredible job and making the most beautiful book.
Thanks to Emily Lamm at Orchard Books for her editorial guidance on the logic and flow of the text. Thanks also to Dee, Maria and Tanya at Walker for additional support, meeting space and crisps! We love you.
Thanks to the team at WHY We Hear You for advising and guiding us along the way.
And finally, thanks to every one of you who has shared, donated, auctioned art and cheered us all along. We're almost there! News on how, when and where you can buy the book will follow soon.
Happy Monday, all! Thanks so much for your continued support, it means so much. Here's what's in store for - and from - the #OnlyOneOfMe team this week...
Hi folks - here's a brief(ish!) rundown on what's been happening over the past few days with the #OnlyOneOfMe team...
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR DETAILS OF WHEN, HOW AND WHERE YOU CAN BUY A COPY OF #OnlyOneOfMe!
Michelle Robinson is a