Book launch in Solva Woollen Mill

For some years now Solva Woollen Mill have been a fantastic supporter of my work. They not only sell my books, they also work to sell signed copies of the books online and post to anywhere in the world. They also do fantastic book launches for me, like this one for Song of the golden Hare.

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Something About a Bear is being published in October. Cat Walk ( the book that is probably closest to my heart) is being published in September. Solva Woollen Mill will be holding a joint book launch for both publications on 24th September ( with pre publication copies of Something About a Bear on special early release from the warehouse) 4 pm – 7.30pm.

SAABbook Marysbro

September is a beautiful time to visit Pembrokeshire. It is quiet. There are still seals around and porpoise. The weather is usually brilliant and the sea as warm as it is going to get. If you can come do come. Bring a bear. It will be a grand occasion, and much fun will be had.

The launch will be from 4 pm-7.30pm, so you can come straight from school or have a quick bite and then early evening trip to the Mill.

There will be a chance to pre-order both books form Solva Woollen Mill, and even if you are coming to the event it is a good idea to pre-order so that Anna has some idea of numbers. We only ran out of books one year! As ever, an incentive to do so, for each copy of Something About a bear ordered or bought on the day from Solva Woollen Mill the buyer will get one ticket. ( One ticket, one book) Each ticket will go in to a hat and when the draw is done the winner will get this small painting ( 8 x 14cms) of Mary Bear’s Little Brother. He’s a Spectacled Bear from South America, a short faced bear.

 

For all pre-orders of Cat Walk there will be a ticket to win a rare print of the front cover photograph signed by me. Again, one ticket per book and Solva Woollen Mill will ship anywhere in the world. They now have a facility on the website that allows person messages to be added.

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It has been such a busy  year for Frances Lincoln. There are now 4 mini books available ( just small versions of I am Cat, Lord of the forest, The Snow Leopard and Ice Bear as well as note cards and notebooks.) Best of all are the wooden jigsaws, made in the UK by Wentworths.

atmill puzzlesatm

Have a browse around Solva Mill’s website if you can’t make it to the launch. Anna has a wonderful eye for beautiful things. And if you can come be sure to bring a bear so that we can get a photo of Mary with as many friends as possible. Mary has a growing gallery of photos of ‘Mary with…..’ and becomes more famous with every day. Her recent appearance in in The Guardian online is her attempt to help save libraries by getting as many people to join as possible.

saabatsm atm

Please share this post, spread the word about the launch, and leave a comment on this post. On the day of the launch I will pick a comment at random and send the person one of the mini jigsaws from Wentworths and a few postcards and bits and pieces by way of a thank you.

 

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Prowl

Prowl through the memories and imaginations of readers around the world. Nighteyes. One of my favourite fictional characters, born from the pen of the wonderful Robin Hobb, whose latest book, Fool’s Assassin is published in August.

Fitz and the Fool. Everything I could ever have wanted from an addition to this brilliant series, and more.

nighteyesgold

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Doodling.

Doodling on prints for various people. Thinking about gallery. Facebook no longer works well for me as an online gallery, so watch this space for something more ‘user friendly’. New book by Robin Hobb working very well as a paper weight.

prints3 prints2 prints1

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Judge a Book by its Cover

I first met Shadow of the Wolf over supper in London. The day had been long, school talks, and exhibition opening. At the exhibition I had been interviewed by Matt Imrie. During the course of conversation I asked what he was reading and he pulled from his bag Shadow of the Wolf. Even then I wanted to steal it. Put it in my bag and run from the restaurant. “Forget everything you’ve ever heard about Robin Hood”……. Yes, and run from the restaurant into the London streets….

A week later at Art in Action Richard Collingridge starts to set up his stand and unpacks a box of books for which he has done cover art. There on the table, Shadow of the Wolf. Again I get the chance to pick it up, hold it, turn the pages, but… it’s the only one he has and we arrange to do a swap at the end of the show. I give him East of the Sun, West of the Moon and it feels like a poor exchange and then I wait.

Richard reminds me of me when I was younger. He works long and hard crafting images and his covers are many that have shone out from the bookshelves over my time wandering through indie bookshops. Beautiful, strong covers. And his book, When it Snows, is just beautiful too. Elegant, simple, spare prose and beautiful illustrations. He has that hunger to make marks on paper, but far more skill than I ever had.

sotw

 

So, now. The past few days I have been reading. Half way through the book I found myself trapped this morning in its pages. Magic. If you love Alan Garner, Mythico Wood, wild gods and wild places then read Shadow of the Wolf. Reading this book takes me back to that place in my teens where a book carried me away from all the worries of the world and the chaos in my head to another place. If you love Robin Hobb, then this has a similar taste and feel of entrapment in text. Breathless. Hunting. Wild. Magic.

Borrow it from the library, order from your local indie bookshop.

 

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Let me tell you something……

…something about a bear.

Something About a Bear is my next book, due to be published in late September. It is where Mary was born, so I decided to read it to Mary, in my studio, while I was waiting for paint to dry. So, get a cup of tea, pull up a chair, quietly now, and listen……

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Beneath the ceiling of the sea

We walked to the sea through fields hot and scented with clover. And the sea lazy lapped the shore. Cool water, no swell, clear. I walked out from the land. The cliffs splintered the sea’s surface with golden glows, reflected. And beneath the ceiling of the sea a tiger was hunting.

under2 underspacecreature jellyfish tigerhunting jellyfish2 patterns magic closeup

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A day off, then back to the drawing board.

On Wednesday I went on a course, in a wood. A spoon making, bush knife course. A day off.

knivesspoons listening

First there was a talk about knife safety, then sharp instruments were handed around and different cuts were learnt.

makingfs feathersticks snacking

Snacks happened, and tea. We were taught how to make feather sticks to start fires.

Mary likes Welsh cakes. She came to watch. Panda snuck in the bag too.

Kevin showed us how to make a willow whistle. Mary and Leopard loved the whistles.

whistlemaking whistle

In the afternoon spoon blanks were cut and whittling happened and there was an atmosphere of relaxed sunshine banter and wood chipping.

cut battening concentration nortypanda

Kevin gave me a spoon, but Panda stole it. A long elegant greenwood spoon of small beauty. Later I used it to make supper.

Astrid and David whittled away, though David was obviously a little shocked by Panda’s language. Astrid and Kevin talked spoons.

spoontalking

Bushcraft courses are held at Trellyn Camping and Kitewood Woodland Camping during the summer. Both sites are beautiful, with butterflies, dragonflies and birdsong.We were also blessed with sunshine.

Now, back to the drawing board, painting a wolf and more. It is time to move into a new book.

hobbses nighteyes

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If…..

If, while out walking, you find a feather on your path and feel inclined to do so, would you please send it to me. I need to make some wings for someone so that he might fly.Please send all feathers to me C/O Solva Woollen Mill, Middlemill, Solva, Nr Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6XD. By return of post I will send a card with the shortest of short stories written on it, each one original.

Many thanks.

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Library Cards

I was asked last year to work on designing twelve library cards for four London library authorities. Despite being far too busy I said yes. Who wouldn’t. Twelve credit card sized images. Twelve small keys that unlock a whole world of books. Twelve cards that encourage people to join the library.

So far three of the images have been made into cards and I have just completed the artwork for the next three.

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BrtlIWOIQAAcP7j BtYoR7NIAAAnngf BtTiI3uCIAAWYdf

The brief: whatever you want please, as beautiful as you can.

The cards are for Harrow, Ealing, Croydon and Hounslow.

Join the library. Here’s how.

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Morning, sea-salt calling.

Waking to early morning slant of light. Sea-salt calling. Coffee, reading, then slip away to the edge of the land. A sea so blue. I walk in and cool water welcomes my fractured mind. Light splinters in the dancing ripples. Further out a raft of gulls, a yacht,  anchored, islands. Behind me, the land, lifting waves catching sunlight in their restless turning. Gentle. Salt sea, weightless, cool arms wrapped around. Soul full.

Home to paint.

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