Thursday, October 27, 2011

WEREWORLD Rage of Lions Book Tour, November 7th - 11th

A week on Monday sees a new WEREWORLD Book Tour, centering around the release of RAGE OF LIONS this summer. There'll be another tour in January, 2012, to celebrate the release of SHADOW OF THE HAWK. If you're around for any of these dates, do give us a shout and I'm sure we can arrange some kind of signing on the fly ;-)









PM: TEST VALLEY SCHOOL, Stockbridge, Hants







The BAF appearance on the friday afternoon isn't officially part of the book tour, although the awesome Jayde Lynch from Puffin has been able to work this into the schedule. I'll be doing a talk on the development of Frankenstein's Cat from book to screen, in addition to signing Wereworld novels at the event.

Bada Bling!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SCAREFEST and other groovy stuff

A hectic week in the life of the crayonboy culminated in an appearance at the Sefton Scarefest, the brainchild of awesome bookseller Tony Higginson of Formby Books. But not before I hooked up with the groovy chaps from Soap Creative to be interviewed by them for their True Character Series of mini-documentaries. We hooked up at Factory Transmedia and my old chums Mackinnon & Saunders, where the gangs at each studio were super-supportive and helped the Soap boys get plenty of footage for the interview. I'm pictured below with my good chums Brad Eldridge from Soap, and a wee helmeted fellow that you may recognise. You can see all kinds of other characters in the background, including the gang from Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.

Then it was on to Crosby on Merseyside for the author event of Halloween. It was a tremendous pleasure to attend, as I was in the company of the great of feared of young adult horror literature. In addition to the wee hairy fella, there was Joe Delaney (Spooks Apprentice), Phil Caveney (Sebastian Darke), and my muckers from the realms of the tinterweb who I've been chatting to for ages now - Tommy Donbavand (Scream Street) and Barry Hutchison (Invisible Fiends). Of course, no northwest horror event would be complete without Mr Mayhem himself, Jon Mayhew (Mortlock) and we all got to do our sinister stuff on stage.

I'm on the above photograph, although it's hard to tell. That's me going up in flames on the far right, such were the diabolic depths I plunged to in my talk. WHOOSH!
Ah... you can't beat a nice bit of audience participation. There was plenty to go round on the night, with Tommy ensuring the kids came up on stage dressed as monsters, Jon getting them to scream and holler, and myself making them shout out Scarecrow appendages. I know, that doesn't sound scary, but a well-placed parsnip can cause a good deal of discomfort, you know?

As many of you who may have met me will know, I'm the shy and retiring type. But occasionally one needs to grab the attention of an audience, especially when you're trying to get them to jump on board your tale of fantasy and horror. In this instance, we're talking WEREWORLD, which was the centrepiece of my talk.
Occasionally, simply roaring and snarling at an audience isn't enough to encourage them to part with their pennies and buy one's novels. I find a handy alternative the threat of physical violence, dealt out with said books, preferably to the cranium.

Ever the gracious host, Tony made sure we were well fed with the best paninis Formby could muster. Phil, Joe, Tom, Barry and I all held school talks in the afternoon - don't know where Mayhem was - I suspect he was having his nails done. He's so showbiz...

And here's the motley crew, with our ringmaster Tony Higginson watching over us. A tiptop tickety boo night and day which I hope was enjoyed by all and sundry who attended. I also got to meet the rather splendid Bookwitch, who I must thank for some of these photos - pop along to her most excellent blog to hear an impartial, rational review of the festivities. And cheers to Brad from Soap and the lovely Spider and Jenni for the use of their pictures too!
Of course, what better way to end this blogpost than with a snapshot of Jon and I - that's my Dr Evil, by the way. I'm not squeezing out a tommy squeaker, I promise! Both Jon and I have also found ourselves in competition this week - "dust jackets at dawn" - as we both made the shortlist of the Cheshire Book Award, which I launched with the Education Library Services on Wednesday evening in Winsford. It was an honour to be asked along to talk about creative writing with the ELS and enthuse about libraries in general, and I'm sure whoever the kids vote for shall be a worthy winner.

Bada Bling!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Very happy to be working alongside the Warrington Wolves Foundation as they extend their work with children and adults into their new Wolf Den within the club. I'll be patron of the Children's University, and over the course of the year shall be providing workshops into illustration, creative writing and character design. Expect to see players along for the ride too!


The Wolves Charitable Foundation and Gladstone Brookes are proud to announce the opening of The Wolf Den. The Wolf Den is based on the community floor in the North Stand of the Stadium. It offers a unique learning environment for all.

The Wolf Den will offer a variety of educational opportunities for the people of Warrington. It will be the flagship for Children’s University, plus the home of a Radio and Media Training Suite.

As part of the opening, Curtis Jobling - local writer and illustrator - will be running a validated Children’s University session, with local school children, Wolfie and Wolves player Paul Wood.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Big Draw - university and school shenanigans

Back from a busy few days Darn Sarf, visiting schools and libraries in Maidstone and Horsham. The above pic was taken in Maidstone with the delightfully bonkers kids from Brunswick House school - you can see more from my visit here! They also very kindly created a little ditty, modifying the theme song of a character we're all probably familiar with, giving it a hairy twist!

I also visited the University for Creative Arts in Maidstone, as a guest of fab lecturer Jim Walker, tied into the events with local schools and the Big Draw. Speaking with illustration students (and a few animators who'd sneaked in) I covered all my work in publishing and toons, concentrating on the career path I'd taken. Quite simply, there really isn't a prescriptive path one takes in any of the careers I've pursued - dedication, practice, perseverence and a liberal dollop of good luck all play their parts. Hopefully what the students will have come away with (in addition to signed doodles) is the notion that one can make their own luck: there's being in the right place at the right time, but you can put yourself in the right place at the right time.

Bada Bling!