Monday, 16 November 2015

Scribblemania 112

Happy Publication Day - A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS

In May I received a lovely email from Rafaela Romaya who is the art director at Canongate Books.
Rafi asked me if I would be interested in illustrating a book written by Matt Haig

 At that time I was reading Matt's The Humans and had just read a downloaded extract from 'Reasons To Stay Alive.'  Matt writes the kind of book that leaves you thinking for a long time afterward. The kind that you need to come down from before you can pick something else up. By that I mean, because it's had an effect on you that you want to hang onto and think about for a bit. So I was excited at the prospect of working with him. 

The basic premise, as explained to me by Rafi, was that of an origin myth about Father Christmas. I thought this sounded fantastic and I have always wanted to illustrate a book about Father Christmas.

SO, needless to say I jumped at the chance of this wonderful opportunity and it was down to my lovely agent Penny Holroyde to make the circumstances come together.

                                                                              In June, after a manic and magical couple of weeks with the sketchbook,  I met with Penny, Matt and Rafi and Francis Bickmore who is Matt's renowned editor. The Canongate team are a lovely bunch of people and we had a good chat about the direction the book would take. I was armed with sketches from a my Elf scribble bible (shown here).

Over the next few weeks I worked closely with Rafi, Matt and Francis to pull the images for the book together. I adored working on this book. It's been Christmas since May and I've loved every minute of it.

In case you've never noticed, I don't like too much text on my blogs. I prefer the work to speak.

So...A huge leap forward and here we are on publication day. On Friday I delivered a signed copy to Weetwood Primary School in Headingley, Leeds, where I'm a reading mentor for the next three years.
I read to the children and a little girl came to tell me afterwards that once, she had seen a real elf in the woods carrying presents. This took me right back to the vision of Mr Tumnus dropping his parcels in the snow and to that same magical feeling I had when I found the Narnia books. Hopefully the book will do just the same thing for her and other children. What a thought!

Thank you to all the people who supported this book as I persisted with Christmas cheer on social media throughout the summer  !

Our Book Bloggers and reviewers are so enthusiastic and helpful. We hugely appreciate the time they give up for us. So a MASSIVE Christmas hug goes out to you all. THANK YOU.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Scribblemania 111

I've spent the last couple of weeks on the road with the new books now that Pocket Pirates Book 1 is out. I've been from the North to the South ( of the U.K.) and back again. I've spoken to 'thousands' of pupils and students and signed enough copies of my book to ensure my arm is almost dropping off. 
Highlights: I attended Oxford Read a thon with David Melling and John Foster  thanks to the delightful Anne and John Wattam, aswell as Bath Festival and schools in the south. Back up in't north,  the lovely Leeds School Library services ladies had arranged the Civic Hall for the day before heading on to schools in the area, mid week. 
This week ended with 300 student teachers at Sheffield Hallam University for a 'Read to Inspire' event and another hefty signing session. All organised by the lovely Nikki Gamble from Just Imagine. 
Huge thanks to John and Anne Wattam, John and Gill McLay and the Bath Festival team, the publicity team at Hodder children's books, the amazing Leeds School Library service ladies, Nikki and Neil Gamble at Just Imagine, Rory from Orinoco books who has supported me with book sales and all the amazing schools that were involved.
 Thanks also to all the lovely Book Bloggers out there who give up their own time and support our work and reach people online, sharing our work and events, day in, day out on social media. 

Huge hugs 

Chris X 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Scribblemania 110

Wow, a revelation. I have downloaded the app and I can now blog from my phone. I have officially entered the modern age. Technology, quite literally at my fingertips. 

How shall I celebrate ? Well in true modern, up to the minute and down with the kids kinda styleeeeee ... I shall do a studio selfie ! 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Scribblemania 109


Ahoy there all you surfers of the virtual ocean......

My new series - 'Pocket Pirates' will be hitting the shelves in August and is 
inspired by my life long love of Mary Norton's The Borrowers, 
mixed with a passion for the buccaneering side of life. 
The first book - The Great Cheese Robbery will be available in August 
and I'll be posting again soon with more details of events and signings 
and other nonsense. 

Front cover rough sketch - Book 1

Opening spread - Book 1

The final front cover for Book 1 as it will appear on the shelves so 
don't forget to keep your piratey peepers out for it in the near future. 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Scribblemania 108

                                               Happy Birthday ALICE

Believe it or not, ALiCe in WOndErLanD has never been out of print and is 150 years old this year.
So in celebration I've put a sketchbook to one side to ponder over,  and respond to, this marvellous work of the imagination.
The work will eventually be exhibited this year at Dean Clough Mills in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Keep a look out for more and I'll post as I go along.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Scribblemania 107

I had a lovely time recently up in Scotland at the Borders Book Festival. Over 300 children came to see me and my event was introduced by the very lovely and hugely talented, Vivian French.

I'd never met Viv before and luckily we had chance to have a good old chat beforehand.

Not long after my visit I received a very nice email from a lovely family who had been to my event and wanted to meet me afterwards, but had not had the chance. We had a couple of conversations and it turned out that young Charlie had wanted to ask me if I would draw a picture of Mortimer Keene onto his hard earned pocket money (if you haven't met Mortimer yet check Scribblemania 105).

Last week I received Charlie's spending money, not to mention some VERY impressive artwork by Charlie and Ellie, his younger sister.

Not bad eh !

So... to cut a long story short, here it is. I'll post it in the next day or so.

Hello to Charlie, Ellie, Jenny and Stuart Mackenzie and a big 'get well soon' to Charlie.
Thank you for reminding me how much it can mean to people out in the audience when I'm stood there feeling like I'm just talking nonsense and not knowing whether I'm making a difference or not.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Scribblemania 106

A bit of miniature creative nonsense whilst relaxing on holiday - tiny handmade books - a proper test of my patience - and I have to admit - I'm NOT patient. I'll never do this EVER again. But anyway, here, for your amusement - The Little Book of Scribblemania, The Little Book of Dead Things and The Little Book of Horrors.