Monday, November 23, 2009


Spent a delightful afternoon at Wexworlds Sci-fi and Fantasy Fiction Festival yesterday. Driving force behind the three day event, the first of its kind in Wexford, Ireland, was Eoin Colfer who was officially listed as its patron, while James Bacon was the organiser backed by a volunteer team. (Eoin tells me he's currently working on another of his fabulous Artemis books, incidentally — something virtually every kid on the planet is eagerly waiting for.)

The town was buzzing when Jacks and I arrived. A lot of the emphasis was on allowing readers to meet up with their favourite authors and I lost no time in beelining a few of mine. Apart from Eoin himself, there was my old mate Andrew Donkin who'd flown in from the U.K. to talk about the graphic novel adaptation of the first Artemis Fowl book and there was another old friend, Dave Donohue, author of the Speazelbud books, giving the kids one of his fantastic backwards spelling performances. But I also had the pleasure of meeting for the first time Michael Carroll, who was mobbed by fans of his New Heroes books, Oisin McGann, who's just published The Wisdom of Dead Men (great title!), Ian McDonald, who must be positively embarrassed by the number of major science fiction awards he's won, Bob Curley, who both creates, publishes and sells comics, and Sarah Rees Brennan (no relation) who's just started to hit the headlines with her first fantasy novel, published last June.

I must confess I wasn't looking forward to my own small contribution to the show. Last time I did a book signing in Wexford only one person turned up... and I was married to her. But this time my adorable agent (Sophie Hicks of Ed Victor Ltd) had gotten involved and Byrnes Bookshop was packed, so I talked and read and signed like a Trojan, then went off to White's Hotel for tea and a panel discussion on sci-fi career guidance. Great fun. I hope they do it all again next year. (And invite me back.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shadow Project looms on the horizon

The HarperCollins publicity machine has started to grind into gear for my new book The Shadow Project which has an official publication date of January 2010, but will actually be in the shops just after Christmas, 2009. So far, I've shot a three-minute video for the book itself and made a lengthy podcast. HarperCollins then selected the book for their Awesome Adventures promotion, so I recorded another podcast by phone and made another video, using something called a Flip camera which they sent me. (Dinky little thing and quite idiot-proof.) Not sure when the actual promotions will start, but close to publication date would make sense.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the book has already become a Junior Library Guild selection. The Guild sent me a gold certificate 'suitable for framing' and a lapel badge, which I thought was very sweet. They mentioned that Guild selections, often made before publication, might be seen as a bellwether of future success. I'd never heard the term 'bellwether' before but I looked it up and hope they're right.

Tomorrow I have to do a reading at the first WexWorlds sci-fi and fantasy festival in Ireland. Won't be Shadow Project, unfortunately, since it's a U.S. publication and not available this side of the Atlantic (yet) so I'm planning to do sections from the Faerie Wars series. Talking of which, The Faeman Child, now retitled The Faeman Girl, is almost finished. Faeman is a stand-alone novel set in the Faerie Realm tracking a particularly tricky adventure of Princess Mella, the only daughter of Henry and Blue from the previous Faerie Wars books. Bloomsbury U.S. have already started working on the cover: they're hoping to publish in autumn, 2010.