a walk in the park with candy gourlay

After my visit on Tuesday to see Francesca Cassavetti, I went for lunch at beautiful Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath and geeked out about books with the amazing novelist Candy Gourlay. She’s one to watch, her book Tall Story comes out this June with David Fickling Books and is SUCH a great read! (Go have a look at the book’s website!)

When I found out David Fickling was publishing my friend’s novel, I went into a total excited fit, and when David asked if I knew Candy, I blurted out, ‘Yes! We’ve even slept together!’ He and my editor looked so shocked that it amused me hugely, so I just left it at that. In fact, we did share a bed when we went to the Bologna book fair in 2008. I just remember being almost ill with tiredness when we came back from a full day at the fair and carousing at the Pink Bar, and when I woke up at 3 in the morning, Candy was sitting up in bed with her laptop, working on her novel. I swear, that woman never stops.

Candy also organises loads of stuff for the British branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, which was really helpful in teaching me about the industry, helping me get a foot in the door, and introducing me to lots of other writers and illustrators. SCBWI used to be an organisation mostly for people who were trying to get published, but we’ve had so many success stories that we’re having to shift our focus a bit to help people who are already getting published.

So after our Hampstead lunch, we went for a power walk to Camden, where we had ice cream at Marine Ices in Camden. I’d never been there, but Candy says it’s The famous ice cream place in north London. (And it was yummy. My other favourite place is just a few doors down Chalk Farm Road, called Inhabitation and they do the best milkshakes ever. I am trying to avoid them because they are too good, especially the lime milkshakes.)

I’m off soon from the studio to meet my fab publicist Alexandra, to go up to Stratford for two days of events at the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, really looking forward to it. (I even just get excited about staying in a hotel, hehe.)

Thanks, Geek Syndicate for the Morris the Mankiest Monster mention on the review of Hi-Ex (another very friendly comics festival!).

Don’t miss Forbidden Planet International’s review of David O’Connell‘s third installment of Tozo. I popped into Gosh! Comics last week and saw all three booklets proudly on display, they looked smashing.

Congratulations to Darryl Cunningham, whose amazing graphic novel Psychiatric Tales just came back from the printer! Go look over here on his blog! (He’s tallguywrites.) I can’t wait to get my copy. It’s a great read as a graphic novel; it’s not cumbersomely ‘worthy’, it’s genuinely gripping but also hugely informative about different psychiatric disorders. This book’s going to be a huge hit both with comics lovers, people who are just starting to read graphic novels, and people who want to learn about mental health issues.
You can buy it here from Forbidden Planet.

Super-talented photographer visioluxus has been taking fun photos of comics babes Lucy Knisley (lucylou) and Erika Moen (erikamoen). Follow her blog to see what’s happening!

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