night of wind, rum and steampunk

On the way to Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road, I spotted this window display, which sums up steampunk festivities pretty well.

First stop, a signing by Philip Reeve of his Mortal Engines quartet, with me drawing for the people in the queue and occasionally signing Vern and Lettuce. Philip just LOVED the drawing I made of him…

It was fun seeing how many people had brought along first editions and versions with lovely covers. These were my favourites, I wish they’d do a reprint of them.

Surprise visitor! The amazing Dave McKean (The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, Mirrormask, loads of other fine stuff). Hurrah!

And I was chuffed to meet teenage blogger Rhys Jones, who runs a website that reviews Young Adult novels called Thirst for Fiction. Here’s Rhys’s write-up of the evening.

I’ve recently referred several young friends to Rhys’s blog because it’s an excellent way to immerse themselves in the book world, get publishers to send them free books and invitations to events, meet other writers and study the craft of writing. I used to review books for Write Away and I found being an official reviewer a real door opener. Blogs are free and easy to start up, all you need is time to do it.

After getting hit in the shins by tumbling, airborne cardboard boxes on the road, the next stop was Blackwell’s bookshop for a Steampunk Evening! And that meant COSTUMES.

…And Plarchie the giant squid! The party had a stellar cast list, including (from left) Chris Riddell, Paul Stewart, Philip, Lauren O’Farrell and Alex Milway.

Look, it’s Philip with China Miéville!

I met China earlier this year at the Heffers Sci-Fi Evening in Cambridge, which is also where I met Sophia McDougall, shown here with a fan holding a copy of Romanitas.

Plarchie was a real groper during the evening, just couldn’t keep his tentacles to himself.

Gary Northfield made some excellent steampunk watercolour pictures on the night.

Chris Riddell, Paul Stewart, Philip Reeve

Philip and Heather Kilgour

I was very impressed by Heather’s hairdo, which she managed to assemble without even having a mirror to hand! But she had to be careful about leaning back suddenly with all that weaponry in her topknot.

Gary gets ‘tache tips from Vincent Shaw-Morton.

Here’s Max Edwards, who was a little nervous at turning up by himself, but who had a great time and came away a blogger. Here’s Max’s first blog entry about the evening.

Thanks to The Kitschies award organisers, Kraken rum for the tipples and all the writers and illustrators who made an effort to come along on that windy night!
Edit: You can read Philip Reeve’s write-up about it over here on his blog!

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