Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lively Elizabeth Released in The States!

It's 3 short days until Lively Elizabeth hits Stateside! I'm so excited. This has been such a long process with so many different dates attached to it; hugely increasing the nerve-jangling, foot-tapping, brain-exploding anticipation at my end. September 1st is the biggest so far. Having it released over the pond will be a big part of the puzzle fitting into place. And I hope it's a piece that fits snuggly and successfully.

As I'm sure I've mentioned just once or twice before (almost as if it *might* have been playing on my mind!) how the book goes down in The States will very much dictate whether Lively Elizabeth 2 will be made.... And as I already know a little of the yummy craziness that Mara's planned for Lively Elizabeth 2, I really hope that happens! It would be an illustrative feast (hint hint!)

I think we've been really lucky with the US publisher. I've had quite a lot of contact with Albert Whitman, and they seem to be really on the ball, marketing-wise, and darned fine folk too. Considering the book was complete when they set eyes on it, there's been very little necessity to chat to us. However, the fact that they have made good effort to involve us has really eased my mind; knowing that this is a company that goes the extra mile with it's authors and illustrators- even if they're physically gazillions of miles away (yes, my geography is pretty ropey!) I know they'll work hard to look after our Lizzie, and the books new American dust jacket is pretty swanky too!

You can buy Lively Elizabeth directly from the publisher, Albert Whitman. But it should be available from any good bookshop. Please request it at your local shops and libraries too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PLR petition

PLR (public lending rights) allows an author/illustrator a small earning from each lending of their work from a public library (6p per lend). The government want to drastically cut this funding.

There are but a few JKRowling's, Stephanie Meyer's, and Quentin Blakes. Many of us, if not most of us struggle to make ends meet and every penny makes a difference. Please, please show your support of PLR funding by signing this petition.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Off to Londers with Quentin.

I'm off to take Quentin Fox to his first publishers' meeting tomorrow. It's hugely exciting for the both of us, especially as it's not a publisher I've been to see before. (Expect a pending update on my description of publishing house buildings!)

Many people who aren't in the business assume that once you've seen a publisher, things snowball really quickly from there. Well, they can do. You do hear tales of Emily Gravett types that get taken up by the first publisher they contact, and it does all happen almost over night. Sadly, this isn't the norm though. It can take MONTHS for a story to go through the various stages of acceptance or, unfortunately, rejection.

That said, I'm still very hopeful about Quentin as a character. There is a DISTINCT possibility I'm biased, and he's so much fun to draw that perhaps I'm deluding myself, but I do honestly believe he's got things to do and places to be. Although he's receiving a fair amount of interest from different parties, and tomorrow's publisher does so far seem keen, I shall still approach tomorrow with EXTREME caution. Let's hope he doesn't fall at the first hurdle. I'll let you know how Stage 1 of the operation goes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser

Lots to tell you about the exhibition, so will write again tomorrow (when my head's stopped spinning quite so much). Will upload a couple of pics to my Lightbox blog tonight too. (Please remember to 'follow' that to receive regular updates).

Meanwhile, I went to do some life drawing for the first time in YEARS yesterday, and remembered how much I love it. Great fun. And for added enjoyment, this was in a pub too! What better place, eh??

It was run by a chappie called Jake Spicer, who puts on themed events. Ours was Alice in Wonderland, so I thought it'd tie in quite nicely to the exhibition. I have to say, when I got there I didn't think there had been too much effort put in to the theme. The Caterpillar was a lass draped in green sari fabric and the Queen of Hearts had a ruffle around her neck and hearts on her naughty bits! That said, they're a company based in Brighton, and I think the themes they do on their hometurf are a lot more realised by the look of their website.

The standard of the modelling was brilliant. The girls had such poise; choosing beautifully dynamic poses and holding them naturally for as long as necessary. I hadn't really thought about the complexity of poses before last night, but it struck me that the ability of the models was leading to some quite tricky drawing. I found it brilliant and challenging. I doubt I'd ever get bored of drawing the human form anyway, but the same old poses don't push you quite so much. I did wonder about the folk that said it was their first time life drawing though. I think the setting of the pub was a clever one. It gave a very informal atmosphere. I can't imagine anyone felt pressurised, even if the drawing was tough. It meant a lot more people were asking eachother for help and suchlike and that's not something, in my experience, that happens much in a regular class.

I had a great time, and really hope it turns out to be a regular thing.

The first two sets of pics are 2 min poses. Then a 5 min and a 20 min. Personally, I think I'm better at the short poses. I'm not sure whether it's because I'm less practiced at the longer ones, or that I have to be energetic in the shorter ones, but I think a lot of life goes out of my longer poses. That's great though, as I have a solid goal to work towards in future sessions.