Last week I was invited to talk at the Nosy Crow Author and Illustrator panel as part of the YLG Conference in Central London.
As the title of this blog post suggests, this was my very first book event and I was rather nervous to say the least.
I am used to talking about Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam with the Nosy Crow team, my students at City Lit and my family and friends, but this was to be the first time I would talk about my experience and designs to a fresh audience.
On top of this, I was in the esteemed company of three very successful and established authors – Tracey Corderoy, Lyn Gardner and Philip Ardagh. The cherry on top of this excitingly nerve-enducing line up was one of my illustrator idols – Axel Scheffler.
Our merry band followed an informative and humorous talk on the future of children’s publishing by Kate Wilson, where we witnessed, amongst other things, the magic of Stories Aloud.
Philip talked about The Grunts series of books whilst Axel drew a fantastic Sunny, one of the characters from said book. They made a terrifically fun and entertaining presentation which was followed by Lyn Gardner who discussed the motivation behind her Olivia fiction series.
Then it was the turn of Tracey and myself. Tracey introduced our characters and her original inspiration behind Shifty and Sam and read, again for the first time, their story which went down a treat – phew! Tracey also debuted her newest, now infamous ‘story sack’ which we will use at all our Shifty and Sam events – cleverly designed as Shifty’s SWAG bag!
I then spoke about my design process and ideas behind the two protagonists and some of their fellow dog cast in the book – it was very strange standing in front of my designs on a large screen but I didn’t spot any mistakes, again, phew!
The audience of librarians really enjoyed our presentations and we had some great chats with them during the Q&A session and beyond.
Being given this opportunity to talk about my first book has given me a taste for future book events and I can’t wait to do more of them with Tracey throughout 2013!
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam will be out in May 2013 – but you can take a look inside now!