oxford university press summer party

Okay, I’ve kept very quiet about this book with Oxford University Press, When Titus Took the Train, written by Anne Cottringer. But when I went to the Summer Party last night, they had it proudly displayed on the wall, so I guess the word’s out. Now we need to sell lots of foreign co-editions, so if you live anywhere other than Britain and want to publish this book, do get in touch with OUP!!! (Spread the word!)

It’s fab, here are a couple sneak peeks. I love the little Titus character, he’s loosely based on my DFC comics friend Woodrow Phoenix, who told me he couldn’t be separated from his cowboy hat when he was a teenager, even wearing it to Germany on a school exchange programme.

The book has a swish modern train, bandits, a fearsome dinosaur, lots of Titus’s creative scribbling, what more could you want?

My studio mate Gary Northfield gave me some help with getting ideas for how to draw the dinosaur, so I call it ‘Derek the Dinosaur’ (after his Derek the Sheep).

The OUP offices are amazing, they look like one of the grand old colleges on the rest of the campus with their tall yellow stone columns. So I was really hoping they’d hold the Summer Party out on the grass in the gorgeous cloistered courtyard. But this is a British Summer, so it was not to be. But there was free-flowing Pimm’s and lemonade, so it still felt somewhat seasonal.

Korky Paul, Anna Currey, me, Layn Marlow, Steve Cole

I had a good time, even if all the name-badge checking everyone was doing was slightly overwhelming. So I was so glad my dear friend and critique group member Layn Marlow was there, along with my book’s author, Anne Cottringer, and my fab publisher David Fickling (he used to work at OUP).

One of my favourite writers, Geraldine McCaughrean – I ADORE her novel, The White Darkness – and fab illustrator Ian Beck

With Layn Marlow and When Titus Took the Train writer Anne Cottringer

With two-time Carnegie Medal winner Berlie Doherty

The Astrosaurs guy Steve Cole was a good laugh. Here’s him in his sobre black jacket (but with Vern pin!) and in the second photo, when the Pimm’s kicked in and clothes started coming off all round the room. Whoo! He’s going to be at the Bath Kids Lit Fest the same day as me, good times ahead. XD

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