Well last week ( 2nd August if you want to put it in your diaries!:-)) it was my birthday and I had a lovely weekend being whisked a way for an overnight surprise by my fiancee. She took me to Alton Towers for two days of rollercoasters and log flumes and being flung upside down and around and around on terrifying rides. We stopped in the hotel there which was so much fun as it's full of quirky features and little oddities (such as a magic mirror in the bathroom which tells you how lovely you look when you stand on a special tile on the floor). I got very over excited by it all and we were in the park at 8.30 am on the second day waiting to ride the rollercoaster called RITA (my favourite!)
I came home and pretty much everyday for a week the postman bought me parcels full of exciting things - proofs of front covers for books I'm working on, advance copies of books I've illustrated and all sorts of other things besides. But most exciting of all was my very own toy CLAUDE!
Claude is my new series of fiction for 5-7 year olds and the first title publishes in Jan 2011. I had heard about this toy that the publishers Hodder have had made and I had seen little photos of him but I thought I would have to wait until I went in for my next meeting with them to have a squeeze of the real thing. I think my editor and art director there got the idea that I was VERY OVEREXCITED about this and decided to send me my very own version. Apparently he is just a prototype at the moment and there a few design tweaks to be made, but to me he is P.E.R.F.E.C.T and I love him!
In the second pic he is making friends with one of my dogs - Bella Boo. She liked him but was a little miffed that he had come to sit on her special pillow. ( needless to say the other two dogs were interested in him and he has now had to be moved well out of the way to a HIGH SECURITY shelf in my studio.
I can't tell you how pleased I am with him and how brilliantly odd it is to see one of your illustrations be transformed into something 3D and cuddleable!
The second exciting Claude thing I received was from the lovely Emma in the Hodder Marketing department who sent me the adorable photo of some sample pages of Claude all tucked up in a giant Sir Bobblysock ready to go to reviewers and booksellers so they can get a sneaky peak of Claude before he hits the shops.
I hope people liked him and, more importantly, I hope he behaved himself!
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