Monday, 22 April 2013

Hoo Kids Fest 2013

I was delighted to be invited to do an event at the second Luton Hoo Kids Festival last Sunday.
There was rather a spectaculary stellar line up of authors and illustrators and it looks like this is shaping up to be a big regular happening.
I knew it was going to be a good day when I bumped into the always amusing Phillip Ardagh  on the train. As usual he was showing off his otter and weasel collection

 You could tell from the entrance that it was going to be a pretty elegant do...

and it was!

The high wall surrounding the garden was designed to keep beasts out, but it wasn't doing a very good job, as any Beast Quest fan would testify...

 Unfortunately I missed David Melling with Hugless Dougless and James Mayhew (who helped launch the first festival last year) and Clara Vulliamy do their thing but thank God I managed to check out the cakes made by James Mayhew's wife at the 'Buns and Bunting' stall...
I really enjoyed my event, there was a great turn out and it was certainly lively. There was a rather spectacular heckler who ran up, hit me and then ran away giggling...several times. All in a days work and it keeps me on my toes.

And there was much wonderful creating of animal characters.
 Like this sad lion

 It was very good to see Nick Coffer there with his brood, he had interviewed me on BBC Three Counties Radio earlier. He also does the very popular blog
Unfortunately I was on at the same time as Philip Ardagh and Alex T. Smith so I missed their events.
Although they were in the book signing tent at the same time, along with the talented Jackie Morris . Here's me signing a book for someone who would rather just be eating his ice lolly, with Alex and Claude in the background.

But the highlight of the day, for me, was seeing Lauren Child and Cressida Cowell talking together about writing, drawing and friendship. I was going to describe them both as thinking man's crumpet but  decided not to as it might be offensive.
I was moved and a bit envious of their life long friendship and fascinated to hear that the voice of Lola of Charlie and Lola is that of Cressida's children (one for each series!) It was very inspiring: How Cressida was dumped on an uninhabited island as a child (hence Viking resourcefulness!). How Lauren doesn't plan her Ruby Redfort books- she still hasn't decided who the baddie is going to be!
It really was a magical day, thank you to Orchard books for supporting me there, particularly Fritha Lindquist and Sarah Mays for all their wonderful help.

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