After my last post, someone said to me – in a friendly way – that they were surprised to see me jumping on the dystopian bandwagon and wasn’t that kind of over already anyway?
Me being myself, my first thought was Hmm, I wonder what a dystopian bandwagon would look like? Would the wheels be falling off? What would they be made of? Where would it be going and would you need a ticket to ride?
Me still being myself, my second thought was Actually, where does that idiom come from, anyway? [For those interested, Theodore Roosevelt, apparently]
Finally, I laughed. Because the thing is – writing-wise, I’m completely incapable of jumping on any moving vehicle. On any moving anything, actually. Including, probably, snails.
Back in May, I mentioned that I was diving into revisions on a new book. Back then, my working title was “Set In Stone”, but that has since been set aside in favour of something more fabulous, about which more later. I probably should have known better than to tempt fate with such a dogmatic title in the first place. My next WIP is going to be entitled, “Don’t Change a Word”.
The last few months have seen me dipping in and out of that manuscript as needed, in the midst of various other bits and pieces including Book Week and its many joys.
Just yesterday, I moved the latest draft off my desk and back onto my editor’s. There is more work to be done, but with each round, the scale diminishes. Eventually the spiral of revisions will narrow to the finest of points before finally disappearing, and the book will move into the hands of others.
So in my last post I was gleeful over reader letters that had arrived in the mail. Today, there is more postal goodness, though of a different kind.
This morning, the white van roared up my driveway (FedEx – it always feels American somehow when it’s FedEx, doesn’t it?) to disgorge this:
Audio books! I have audio books! Unabridged. 4 Compact Disks. Approx. 4 Hours, 10 Minutes. The school run will never be the same.
At least that’s what the shops seem to think. Personally, I wish they would hold off just a little longer, or possibly entirely.
But this year I can hardly complain because I seem to have become part of it in some small sense. Because despite having only just recovered from the launch and associated promotional madness of “matt new book” (aka Ten Tiny Things), I am here to announce the publication of my latest shiny new book, which is decidedly and inescapably Christmassy.
It’s called Wreck the Halls, and it’s my latest contribution to Walker Books’ Lightning Strikes series. It seems I have accidentally written a trilogy of sorts, as this is the third book to feature the adventures of the hapless Nathan, Ronnie, and Weasel, who readers came to know and roll their eyes at in Going for Broke and The Big Dig.
… about the Ten Tiny Things launch.
1. It was held in the State Library, at “The Place”, to which all visitors are greeted by a welcoming book-themed cow.
2. It featured many foods of the tiny variety – sushi, tiny teddies, and other teeny delicacies. In keeping with the theme, we understand they were gone in the tiniest blink of an eye.
3. Award-winning illustrator and known rabble rouser Frané Lessac launched the book with a DIY rocket launcher, propelling it unwittingly into the arms of Meg’s daughter, the original inspiration for the book.
Or at least one thing. Specifically, this:
It’s my new book, The Truth About Penguins. And my old book, The Truth About Penguins.
Confused? Don’t be.
If you look closely, you can see differences in the two books – in size, font, and other small elements to do with presentation.*
I’m delighted to announce that The Truth About Penguins will be out in paperback in December, just in time for Christmas. It’s lovely to see my work getting a new lease on life like this, and I can only hope the new format helps it find its way into the hands of even more readers over the coming months.
* For the eagle-eyed reader, there is another crucial difference. If you have access to both copies, the last page of text will reveal all.