Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hurrah for Braw ...

Here's some good news - Ely Plot is the Braw Book of the Month for April, for the 8-12 age group! If you don't live in Scotland, Braw stands for Books, Reading and Writing, and it's part of the Scottish Book Trust. To find out more about this Very Good Thing, click here.

I'm pretty much set to leave on Tuesday for Edinburgh, then on to Ely and Cambridge. Feeling exciting, though the usual pre-talking-to-people-about-my-books nerves are getting in the way a bit. But this time next week the Ely Plot tour will be done and I can become Zen-like and chirpy again.

And that's all I've got to post for now, other than to say, "Wish me luck!" and "Keep on with your book-spotting!"


P.S. If you watch the little animation at the top of the page on the Braw site, you'll see The Big Book of Dragons come up! (It's a bindup of The Bad-Tempered Dragon and 2 other books about, um, dragons.) I do love Braw ...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Wet Wild Wicken Fen

I found out this week that one of my events in the Ely Plot tour has been changed - it's now going to take place in Wicken Fen! Well, not actually in the fen, as this would involve more mud than sense, but in the Visitor's Centre. Why am I so excited about this? Because Wicken Fen is the last bit of that part of the world that hasn't been drained, planted, built on ... (I'm not an idiot - I know that that means it's been managed cleverly and creatively for yonks - Go National Trust! - but you get the idea) - and that means it's the closest I'm likely to get to SEEING WHAT PIP SAW every time he woke up in the morning, or went to empty the eel traps, or punted off with Brother Gilbert to visit a sick peat-digger or a reed-cutter with the ague.

It's going to be great!

Ely Plot sitings - Borders in Dundee has come up trumps (and they're always really nice to me when I go in there - they give me coffee!). One of the Waterstones in Dundee had some, which they've said they'll put on the 3 for 2 table - YES! The other one is waiting on delivery. Shops in St Andrews, well, not yet, but I've been promised give-away Ely Plot bookmarks from the publisher, and once I've got those in my hot little fist, there isn't a bookseller on the planet who'll be able to resist me.

Keep looking, my spies, and report back! I look forward to hearing from you. Joan.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"How to Survive the Hols"

That's the headline for The Times' roundup of new kids' books, with a subtitle as follows:

"From an adventure with a gargoyle to Anthony Horowitz's latest, Amanda Craig selects children's books for Easter"

Scroll down a bit and you get to the cream ...

"Younger readers continue to get short-changed by fiction, and apart from Joshua Doder’s new
Grk adventure coming out next month there is little new that’s good for 7+. An exception is Joan Lennon’s The Ely Plot (Andersen Press, £4.99, offer £4.74), first in a series called the Wickit Chronicles, about an orphan in a Fenland monastery who makes friends with Perfect, a gargoyle. Together, Pip and Perfect foil an assassination attempt on the young king before using both marshes and gargoyle powers to escape. Consistently lively and charming, it’s one to look out for."

And then there's Kathryn Ross' roundup for The Scotsman, which includes this finely-crafted paragraph:

"Joan Lennon's second novel, Ely Plot (Andersen Press, £4.99) is a fast-paced, medieval thriller set in the Norfolk Fens. Pip has been brought up by the monks in Wickit monastery. His life is happy if uneventful until he meets Perfect, a tiny walking, talking stone gargoyle who takes up residence in the hood of his tunic. When Pip and Perfect overhear a plot by two noblemen to kill the young King Arnald they find themselves on the run with a rather ungrateful 14-year-old king in tow. This is a pacy, witty read, the first book in The Wickit Chronicles."

I have to admit I don't actually read newspapers a lot, but this sort of thing could really get me to change my habits!

And that's all for now from the Happy Narcissist.