Monthly Archives: May 2006

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

I think I have, at last, solved the mystery of uploading pictures onto the website. Not only that, but I now have a beautiful Apple computer, which is very wierd after using a pc all this time. We now have more computers than dogs, which does not impress our dogs at all. I hope their picture comes out, or they’ll feel very short-changed. The dogs are Biscuit, on the floor, and Crumble, on the cushion. Crumble is Biscuit’s daughter. Biscuit is slow and venerable. Crumble is just a ball of fur.

I promised that I would try and upload some pictures from my Fabulous American BookTour, so here goes. Those of you who posed have been very patient. Now, I don’t seem to be very good at actually getting these photographs in order, but if you go down the line, these are what they are, and apologies for the terrible quality. I’ll get this digital camera malarkey right one day.
1. Lovely Fairview School in Illinois
2. Signing at Book People, Austin – I’m so sorry the photo is so dark since you were all so smiley
3. Douglas and Audrey Orme-Herrick (they were NOT in the USA but insisted on being in here: if the dogs can be in, so can the budgies)
4. Texas Lone Star Magic in the Middle: Anthony Horowitz, Garth Nix, me, Steven Layne, Sherry Shahan and Rick Riordan. I thought it was magic to be in the same line-up, but my camera definitely went overboard on the magic bit
5. Garth Nix and I at the welcoming Blue Willow Bookstore in Houston – I also compared iPods with Lauren Myracle of TTFL fame – a novelist of the past and one of the present still have the same gadgets
6. Biscuit and Crumble, who will be cross to come below the Orme-Herricks

There are lots more photos which I shall stick on in due course.

I must now decide what we are going to have for dinner. I do wish somebody would invent home-cooked food that cooked itself.

Nevertheless, onwards and upwards,

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Hello! This is the first blog I have ever posted, so please forgive me if it either looks a little strange or bits vanish. I hope that you won’t hesitate to e.mail me with suggestions or ideas it might be fun to discuss.

I’m just back from a splendid 12 day book tour in the US, where I was bowled over by the friendliness of the people and the plumbing. American showers! In Austin, Texas, I had not only a showerhead and jets (pulsating or sweeping, as you chose – there was an instruction book) but a WATERFALL. I almost never emerged.

The tour itself was a whirlwind and the high moments were very many: just arriving in New York, for one, then meeting my wonderful US publishers at Walker and seeing Blood Red Horse and Green Jasper in Books of Wonder, and in B & N on 5th Avenue. For a British author that is a very particular thrill. I also did some shopping … Why are there no J Crew shops in Britain?

Then to Texas, where the welcomes are legendary, to do a Lone Star Magic in the Middle panel with Anthony Horowitz, Garth Nix, Steven Layne, Sherry Shahan and Rick Riordan. That was a moment for me and I tried not to look too star struck. Then to Milwaukee, to another wonderful welcome in the brilliant Harry Schwartz book stores – the kind of stores that make you want to be a writer, just to appear on their shelves, and then to Chicago, which I had never visited before and will certainly do again. More on all these later, including the library where the stars come out, the evening we lost our dinner, my turning from a historical novelist into one who write ‘epic adventures set in the past which may or may not be true’ and how to travel with wigs.

Now I’m off to Aberdeen with my Uncle Frank’s head. If you want to know more about him, try reading How The Hangman Lost His Heart, published by Puffin on 4th May but don’t read chapter 1 directly after breakfast.

Onwards and upwards,

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