The past few weeks have been such a whirl. We have been to Yorkshire, London, Birmingham. And The Lost Words won the Kate Greenaway award, and if I am honest I still can’t quite get my head around that. What an amazing thing it is. And the first ‘Shadowers Award’ too, voted for by the children who immerse themselves in the books.
I need time to think about this, to write about it clearly, but in the meantime something else is happening.
Over the past few months I have been talking to Unbound about a new book, and my back list.
Some will know how Unbound works, but many people don’t. In a way theirs is a very new way of publishing, and in a way it harks back to the time of Dickens, when publishing was done as subscription.
Some of the things I love about Unbound are, they treat books as individuals, i.e. there’s no looking at whether a book will ‘fit with a list’ or where it will ‘sit on the shelf’. Each book is taken on by them on its own merit. Their production values are high. Well, they can afford to be, because each project is bought into by the readers right from the start as the idea is to pledge to buy, a hardback, a signed hardback, a signed hardback with a bookplate and other things in order to fund the printing and publication of that first edition. And every person who pledges will get their name in the back of the book as a thank you.
So, what is The Unwinding? Well, you can hear about it on the Unbound website. It’s going to be, I hope, like a small prayer book, something easy to carry with you. It will contain within its pages many of the paintings I have done over years, some that have never appeared in books before, along with words that I hope will be catalysts for dreaming. I hope to create something beautiful. Indeed, many of the images are already made. These are the paintings I work on in between books. You see working on a book can become very tense. So these images are my unwinding. And there are stories to be teased out of them.
The two images above are two of the most recent, but the book will span about 20 years of painting. In some ways it will echo The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow.
So I need help. Before the book can ‘be’ it needs to achieve its target. If you could share this blog post for me that would be wonderful. There should be a way for bookshops to pledge too. And the first of my backlist to come out will be The Song of the Golden Hare which was nominated for the Greenaway in 2015. It has been out of print for a while now, and I am constantly being asked by bookshops why. But I can’t say why, only that I hope, working with Unbound will bring it back to the light.
So, if you can, please support The Unwinding, by sharing or pledging. There’s a pledge for a bookclub event, and also a visit to my studio, some prints, or the book. And with luck if enough people pledge then it will also be available in libraries.
Here’s the link again: The Unwinding. A book for dreamers.