Dubai

I’ve recently returned from a fabulous celebration of books in Dubai, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. It was a magnificent week of literary delights.

The festival has a great atmosphere; everyone wanders around, chatting to one another, browsing through piles of books in the shop, and talking about writing.

I had never been to Dubai before, and I enjoyed seeing that intriguing city, but the highlight of the festival was undoubtedly meeting so many interesting readers and writers. Here are two of them, Philip Ardagh and John Dougherty.

Alongside all these meetings and conversations, and going to various fascinating events, I did several sessions about my own books.

I led a creative writing group of twenty children and adults, who created some very imaginative stories. I travelled to the English College and talked to the Years 7s. I spoke on a panel with Klaus Flugge, publisher and owner of Andersen Press, and two legendary illustrators, Michael Foreman and Satoshi Kitamura. Thanks for @NotCoolHolmes for the photo:

And on the last day of the festival, I did a Dragonsitter event; thanks to @JanLaurent for taking this picture:

Alongside all these literary endeavours, I managed to find time to sneak out of the hotel and have a closer look at the tallest building in the world:

 

And I took a trip to the desert: if you look very closer at these white cars, you might be able to spot a few famous authors…

 

Also in the desert, I rode a camel:

 

And I got the opportunity to hold a falcon named Ziggy.

 

I did tell her about Ziggy the dragon in the Dragonsitter, but she wasn’t terribly interested.

 

A day in Derbyshire libraries

The librarians of Derbyshire invited me to their fine county last week to talk about my books and launch their Summer Reading Challenge.

I spent the morning in Chesterfield library and the afternoon in Ilkeston.

 

 

The first photo shows me with Councillor Dave Allen and some pupils from Abercrombie school; the others are from Chesterfield and Ilkeston libraries.

More on the library’s pages:

https://www.facebook.com/DerbyshireLibraries/photos

https://www.flickr.com/photos/derbyshirelibrariesheritage/
http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/services/children_young_people/summer_reading_challenge/default.asp

The Dragonsitter’s Island

The 4th Dragonsitter book will be published at the beginning of March.

Garry Parsons and I are going to be doing several publicity events together, including the Imagine Festival on the Southbank on Saturday 15 February.

 

 

In The Dragonsitter’s Island, Eddie, Emily and their mum travel to Uncle Morton’s island in Scotland.

They’re just supposed to be looking after his dragons while he’s in Outer Mongolia, but they soon discover that the island is full of surprises….

Another Dragonsitter review

“Full of fun, this is a perfect first chapter book for boys and girls alike.”

“Josh Lacey’s comic tale of Eddie, who has been left in charge of his Uncle Morton’s dragons over the holiday, would make an ideal Christmas gift for a new reader. Once they start reading the slim book – perhaps on Boxing Day, too – any child is sure to be hooked.”

Many thanks to Books for Keeps for their lovely review of The Dragonsitter’s Castle

Full review here:

http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/issue/203/childrens-books/reviews/the-dragonsitter’s-castle

Dragonsitter events in London and Winchester

I’ll be doing a couple of public events over half-term, both of them with Garry Parsons, the illustrator of the Dragonsitter.

I’ll be reading from the books and Garry will be drawing dragons, eggs and all kinds of other stuff too.

On Wednesday 30 October, we’ll be at the Wessex Children’s Book Festival in Winchester. It’s at the Discovery Centre at 2.30. Full details here.

On Thursday 31 October, we’ll be in London – we’re at the Storystock Festival at the Bush Theatre. That event is at 2.30 too. Details here.

Please come along if you can – these events are great fun.

And here’s the cover of the new Dragonsitter book, which is published this month: