Socks and Ties and Underpants – A Father’s Day Story by OUR HOUSE author Tom Easton

On Tuesday after school Mummy banned us from using screens and made us all go out into the garden. We didn’t really mind. No-one wanted to watch TV anyway because William D had sat on the remote that morning and somehow made the screen go orange and we couldn’t turn it back.
“It’s Father’s Day on Sunday,” Mummy said as I wandered past the kitchen door. “Go and ask Daddy what he wants.” Continue reading Socks and Ties and Underpants – A Father’s Day Story by OUR HOUSE author Tom Easton

Piccadilly to publish new title from Mark Lowery – LEAPING DOLPHIN

 

Senior Commissioning Editor Matilda Johnson has acquired World English language rights for middle grade standalone LEAPING DOLPHIN, plus one more unnamed title from Mark Lowery. Rights were acquired from Gillie Russell at Aitken Alexander Associates in a flurry of international pre-empt deals. Rights have also sold to Rowohlt in Germany; Van Goor in Holland; Pocket Jeunesse in France; de Agostini in Italy and Planeta in Spain. LEAPING DOLPHIN will publish as a paperback original with proofs available in 2017.

LEAPING DOLPHIN is a special and powerful story, from rising star Mark Lowery who was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize twice for his previous novels SOCKS ARE NOT ENOUGH and PANTS ARE EVERYTHING. His Roman Garstang Disaster series with Piccadilly Press includes THE JAM DOUGHNUT THAT RUINED MY LIFE and the upcoming release THE CHICKEN NUGGET AMBUSH, plus two more titles scheduled for 2017.

THE JAM DOUGHNUT THAT RUINED MY LIFE - Mark Lowery - ROUGH Jacket

This latest acquisition marks a change in tone for Mark, with a focus on family, grief and brotherhood, in a touching story which retains Mark’s delightful pace and humour whilst bringing an extra layer of emotional depth through the main character’s poetry which is scattered throughout the text.

Mark Lowery said:

“I’m delighted and excited that my new book, LEAPING DOLPHIN, will be published by Piccadilly Press. The reaction to the story so far from across Europe has been wonderful and very humbling. It appears to have struck a chord with a lot of people and I can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.”

Matilda Johnson said:

“I immediately fell under the spell of the characters in LEAPING DOLPHIN and Mark’s writing is wonderfully confident, warm and affecting. The Roman Garstang Disasters are pitch-perfect comedies, and this new story confirms Mark’s talent as a very special writer indeed.”

Mark Lowery grew up in Preston but now lives near Cambridge with his young family, where he writes and works part time as a primary school teacher.

For more information please contact Rosi on rosi.crawley@bonnierzaffre.co.uk

OUR HOUSE by Tom Easton

Our House Graphic 1

The crazy, awesome Our House by Tom Easton is out today! To celebrate, we’re creating paint names from the first letters of our first and last names. If that sounds a little bonkers then we can assure you that it’s befitting of this eccentric and utterly loveable book!

Want to know what we mean? Take a look for yourself: Our House

Tweet us @PiccadillyPress with your crazy paint names & the hashtag #OurHouse

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Flying Fergus – hear from Clare Elsom, the illustrator!

Clare Elsom head shotBikes?! When Piccadilly first approached me, that was my first thought. Ask any illustrator. Bikes, (along with horses and hands, for some reason) are a tricky business.

But then . . . I read a few snippets of Fergus. I was told about his freckly, knobbly-kneed, big-hearted charm. I fell in love with Chimp. I adored feisty Daisy. I couldn’t wait to hear more about this heart-warming story. I really, REALLY wanted to illustrate Fergus and his fantastical worlds.

So I quickly embraced my new life as a crazy Pinteresting-scrapbooking-sketchbooking-bike-drawing woman:

bikes_clare Elsom

Creating Fergus, his family, and the rest of the gang was quite a smooth process. There are a fair number of characters in the books, but Chris and Joanna had given me some great descriptions to work with. I tend to read and re-read character descriptions, then let them wander around my head for a few days. Then I begin sketching different designs. In this instance, Fergus and friends began to spring quite easily onto the page. Here are some of my sketches:

characters Clare Elsom

And here are some finished characters from the books:

final characters clare elsom

After everyone felt happy with the characters, we started on the cover. Jet, the fantastic art director, had some super ideas and we worked together to create a vibrant, punchy style for Fergus. We played around with some different type and character poses for the first two covers:

cover ideas

Soon we’d decided on some consistent elements such as bright colours, a bold hand-rendered title and a subtle tyre-track print in the background to give the series a strong look. Here are the first two finished covers:

Book cover reveal

As for the interior illustrations, the stories allow me to create energetic, funny, character-filled images. Right up my street! So far, my pencils have scribbled fantastic friends, crazy castles, scary serpents, marmalade sandwiches, jet boosters, villains . . . and a good splattering of mud. And that’s just the first two books. I can’t wait for more!

Fergus and Daisy

FLYING FERGUS is a new series of children’s books by Chris Hoy and Joanna Nadin, illustrated by Clare Elsom.

THE BEST BIRTHDAY BIKE and THE GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE are out now and available to buy here: http://amzn.to/1RZczJO                                                                         or here: http://bit.ly/1MPEf1r

Piccadilly Press Acquires Middle Grade Garth Nix Novel FROGKISSER!

Garth Nix

Piccadilly Press is delighted to announce that Garth Nix will be joining the imprint with a new middle grade novel, FROGKISSER! which will be published in Spring 2017. Emma Matthewson, Publishing Director for children’s fiction at Bonnier Zaffre acquired UK and Commonwealth volume rights including audio and eBook (excluding Canada and ANZ) from Antony Harwood of Antony Harwood Limited in association with Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

FROGKISSER! is a wry take on the classic fairy tale of a princess kissing a frog, with magic and humour along the way. It will publish as a lead title on the Piccadilly Press list, whilst Garth’s Old Kingdom sequel for older readers publishing this Autumn, GOLDENHAND will remain on the Hot Key Books list.

Garth Nix said:

“FROGKISSER! is one of those novels that just bubble out of the imagination and demand to be written all at once and won’t permit anything else to get in the way. I am delighted that my various publishers have all responded to the book with as much exuberance as I felt while I was writing it.”

Emma Matthewson said:

“FROGKISSER! is a wonderfully warm and funny tale brimming with humour, and races along with Garth’s impeccable storytelling. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to publish this younger fiction from Garth on the Piccadilly Press list, alongside his Old Kingdom titles on the Hot Key list.”

Executive Director Jane Harris said:

“Garth is such a fantastic storyteller, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to publish a younger story from him, and with our Piccadilly Press and Hot Key imprints, it is very exciting to be able to cater for our authors who write for children of all age ranges, as we view this as an integral part of our author care.”

The book will publish simultaneously with Allen and Unwin in ANZ, and with Scholastic in the US.

Garth will visit the UK for a promotional tour for his Hot Key Old Kingdom title GOLDENHAND in the Autumn. Pitches are now welcome for events.

For more information, please contact PR Manager Rosi on rosi.crawley@bonnierzaffre.co.uk

Team Fergus

team fergus
Joanna Nadin (far right) with Sir Chris Hoy and Flying Fergus illustrator, Clare Elsom

As a career, being a writer has its advantages: you get to work when you want; you get to wear what you want, whether that’s pyjamas or a ballgown (and I’ve worn both to work in); and best of all you get to spend days on end pretending to be other people, in other places. But writing books is a solitary job, and can be a lonely one. I get to be in charge of everything, so there’s no arguing, but there are also missed opportunities too. Quite simply, there are times when two heads are better than one. Flying Fergus is testament to this.

Book cover reveal

From Chris’s initial idea – “a sort of Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang with a bicycle” – to the finished stories, Flying Fergus is entirely a product of teamwork. We spent hours talking about how books and bikes offer a similar escape from the humdrum of daily life – something we had both experienced. We talked about how Chris had got his first bike from a second-hand junk shop, painted by his dad to look like the BMX he’d dreamed of. We talked about how we both wanted to get across a message about achievement being about hard work and teamwork, rather than being born with rare talent and becoming an overnight success. Chris sent me off to research Graeme Obree, the world record-breaking cyclist who built his own bike out of washing machine parts and I suggested ways to use the information I learned. We thought up names, and borrowed some from Chris’s family and cycling friends. We mapped out the almost-Edinburgh city that Fergus lives in, based on Chris’s childhood home. We dreamed up which Wacky Races-style gadgets you’d have on your bike if reality was no obstacle. Together we came up with two worlds, a complete cast of characters and a whole series of adventures centering on one very ordinary nine-year-old boy: “Flying” Fergus Hamilton.

Fergus himself is partly me – a small child who spends a lot of time on their own, reading and imagining a life where they have fantastic adventures – but mostly Chris – a boy who dreams big but works hard, who knows the smallest success can mean bigger things in the long run, and who understands that without an incredible team, success is almost impossible, and certainly not half as much fun.

Joanna Nadin – co-author of the Flying Fergus series

Click here to read an extract from Flying Fergus: The Best Birthday Bike

Flying Fergus Takes Off

chrisblogphoto.jpg

It’s a big day here today at Piccadilly Press, when we can finally unveil to you THE BEST BIRTHDAY BIKE and THE GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE, the first two exciting adventures of an ordinary nearly nine-year-old boy with an extraordinary imagination.

Flying Fergus is Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy’s brilliant series of books about a bike-mad boy, Fergus Hamilton, and the amazing adventures that happen to him when the pedals on his bike spin backwards.

Here’s Sir Chris himself to tell you all about it.

Hop on over to the Flying Fergus website  for more and check back on the Piccadilly blog as we share some more behind-the-scenes looks at creating the characters and Fergus’s world.

New November Books!

Christmas is coming soon and this month we’ve got lots of heartwarming books for you. Watch the video below to find out more:

November Covers Piccadilly

NOT BAD FOR A BAD LAD by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman
LILY AND THE CHRISTMAS WISH by Keris Stainton
TESTING TIMES FOR TABITHA BAIRD by Arabella Weir

Head over to our Twitter @PiccadillyPress for a chance to win all 3 titles!

Brenda Gardner steps down from Piccadilly

After forty-three years in the industry, Brenda Gardner, Publisher of Piccadilly Press, has decided it is time to step back and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.  Brenda set up Piccadilly Press in July 1983 and the company was nominated three times for the IPG Children’s Award. Piccadilly Press won the award in 2009 and Brenda won the Pandora Award in 1999.

Brenda is known for giving many authors their start – Louise Rennison, Malorie Blackman, Cathy Hopkins to name but a few, and she also published many high profile authors such as Anne Fine,  Helen Cresswell, and  Jeanne Willis.

Brenda leaves Bonnier Publishing Fiction at the beginning of July and a party will be held to celebrate her many successful years within the industry the same month.

Brenda Gardner commented: –

“I have truly enjoyed my time in children’s publishing and would like to thank all of our authors, illustrators and everyone who has contributed to the success of Piccadilly Press over the years. With the 2013 sale of Piccadilly Press to Bonnier Publishing and the recent formation of a dedicated Fiction Division, I feel Piccadilly Press has a good home. Piccadilly Press has renewed energy, dedicated editors and staff and a new editorial direction and I’m looking forward to watching its future development.”

Richard Johnson, CEO of Bonnier Publishing said: –

“Brenda has been a consummate professional and her contribution to children’s publishing has provided thousands of children with great stories that are still being read today. We wish Brenda well for the future and look forward to joining her in celebrating what has been a magnificent career.”

Suzy P is going on Tour!

Calling all fans of disaster-prone teens, hot chocolate with marshmallows and of course, the coolest band on planet earth, The Drifting. Suzy P and author Karen Saunders are going on a blog tour! Wahoo! All dates and venues (blogs) will be announced soon, watch this space for more information coming your way very soon.

There will be dancing, there will be playlists, Suzy will have advice for you on how to live a disaster-free life… well, almost, completely disaster-free would just be boring! And of course there will be copies of the brand new book and last in the series, Suzy P, Forever Me to win and a very exciting giveaway involving pizza. Yep, you read that right, free pizza!

To whet your appetite here’s a sneaky peak at the final book in the Suzy P trilogy, read a sample here:

suzypforeverme

If you haven’t had a chance to read the first two books in the series then here’s a sneaky peek at them too! 97818487729609781848773691

And here’s some very useful advice from Suzy herself.

suzyptips