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!

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