My new book was published last week: Hope Jones Saves the World is available in bookshops everywhere, and I will be travelling up and down the country, visiting schools, speaking at festivals, talking about climate change and plastic pollution…
That was the plan, anyway, but of course the reality is very different: bookshops and schools are closed, festivals have been cancelled, and I’m hunched over a page of sums or searching for grammatical mistakes in a text, home-schooling my own children.
Somehow, among all the lessons that I’ve been giving them, my daughters have found time to make a book trailer for Hope Jones.
The second Hope Jones book will be published in 2021. Let’s hope the world is back to normal by then – or some new version of normal, anyway.
Last week, I talked about my new book to an audience of schoolchildren – the first time that I had spoken about Hope Jones Saves the World.
I visited two schools in Bolton with the brilliant Rebecca Patterson, author of one of my favourite picture books (My Big Shouting Day). We share a publisher – Andersen Press – who had arranged for us to do this event together, celebrating World Book Day.
Andersen had released my new book early in Lancashire; it was great to see Hope Jones Saves the World in the hands of readers. The rest of the country will be able to read it in May.
A few days ago I got an email from a reader named Nico:
Hi Josh I really like your Grk series and I would be really EXCITED about more!
I wrote back to him, but my reply bounced. If you’re Nico, please do write to me again, but give me your correct email address this time.
I’ll answer Nico’s question here anyway. As you’ll know if you have read the Grk books, each of them is set in a different country. I had a dream that Grk might travel to every country in the world, although that would mean writing 196 books. And perhaps he would travel to the moon too, like his fictional ancestor Snowy, bringing the total up to 197.
But at the moment, my time is taken up with the Dragonsitter instead, so I don’t know when, or if, I will ever return to the further adventures of Tim, Grk, Max and Natascha.
I’m sitting here with Steve Davies, famous children’s writer, building my new website. I would post a picture, but I don’t know how to yet. Soon, soon… Anyway, if you visit my website and it’s all a mess, you know why.
I’ll be doing two events at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday 7 October. In the morning, I’m running a workshop on writing adventure stories – full details here – and in the afternoon, I’ll be in discussion with Anthony McGowan and Andy Briggs:
Sunday, October 7, 2012 4.45-5.45pm
If you love adventure come and meet three amazing writers of action packed stories. Anthony McGowan has re-imagined the classic Willard Price animal adventures for a new generation of readers in Leopard Adventure, Josh Lacey’s (Josh Doder) latest Grk story follows Tim and his beloved dog Grk to Italy in Grk and the Phoney Macaroni while Andy Briggs traces Tarzan’s footsteps in search of the world’s most deadliest hunter and a kidnapped ape in The New Adventures of Tarzan: The Jungle Warrior.
Two more reviews of the Dragonsitter. The first is from the Telegraph and is by Martin Chilton:
The Dragonsitter, based around a series of emails that ping back and forth between Edward Smith-Pickle and his Uncle Morton Pickle, is short, sharp and funny. The story is by Josh Lacey – also known for writing the excellent A Dog Called Grk series under the name Joshua Doder – is about the pickle Edward and his family get into when they agree to babysit a dragon.
The illustrations by Garry Parsons add to the fun as the dragon causes mayhem, eating everything from cold spaghetti to the pet rabbit Jemima. The emails get ever more frantic (one has the subject headline URGENT!!!!!!!!) as Edward pleads: “You could have warned us about his poo. It smells awful.”
All turns out well and, as with so many situations in life, chocolate provides the answer.