Having finished the artwork for the Kids Need to Read calendar in the USA now all I have to do is complete the art for A Song of the Golden Hare on time. This will involve working 7 days a week and all through Christmas. As a result I have decided that when I finish the artwork and hand it over I am going to take what I believe is called a ‘Gap Year’.
During this time I am going to work on paintings, on developing my skills with wood engraving, have the odd day here and there learning, playing with silver too. I am going to go and watch hares, find someone who can teach me to play with rock, and I am going to write.
And I am also going to wander around Britain promoting my books and reading to who so ever will have me. And this is where my friends in the blog world and on facebook can help. What I am proposing to do is to travel, from Orkney to Cornwall doing readings and working in schools and with independent bookshops. I will read to play groups, women’s groups, men’s groups, Women’s Institutes, Rotary Clubs, book groups, even private dinner parties if there are 20 or so people, for groups of friends in village halls, in zoos, in libraries, in theatres, in galleries, in taverns and halls all over the land and at the end of the evening I will pass around a hat for contributions towards travel expenses. At each event I would like a local independent bookshop to be involved to sell books.
I am happy to work in schools, but this will be for a fee and again I will only come if the school send out letters in advance and work with an independent bookshop to build sales before hand and have an after school event with parents and children where books are for sale.
So, if you have a few friends and fancy making a lovely meal, and having stories read to you afterwards, or maybe have in mind a celebration where tales can be told and books can be read, or if you have a creative writing group and want a speaker get in touch with your local independent bookshop and talk to them about whether they are interested, then get in touch. It will be a serious challenge with logistics. I am fairly certain that a trip to Cornwall is on the cards and I know that I will be wanted in the Lake District, and I will start by making my way to Bishops Stortford in February, via Cover to Cover in the Mumbles. What happens after depends on my friends in the blog world and on facebook, so please help me to spread the word, copy this blog post, tweet it, link to it from your facebook pages.
I have a novel coming out in February, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and I am Cat is out now. I will be traveling by dragon, I will be bringing a tiger and now and again there will perhaps be a dog or a cat and maybe a drum.
And when I am not traveling around I will be happy in my studio, painting and thinking and writing and engraving.