On Wednesday, I held the first of two events at the Hay Festival: PANDAS, DOUGHNUTS, AND THE QUEEN’S HANDBAG.
During the event, I read PLEASE MR PANDA, and the audience were just as perplexed as Penguin when Mr Panda suddenly retracted his offer of doughnuts. But a few pages in it soon became a apparent to some children (and adults) that there was a method to Panda's madness.
After reading PLEASE MR PANDA, we chased a rogue swan all over the UK with a bevy of bobbies in THE QUEEN'S HANDBAG. This was my very first reading of the book (the sequel to THE QUEEN'S HAT, to be published by Hodder Children's in October) at a festival.
On Wednesday evening, I joined Eddie Butler, Moira Young, Tiffany Murray and Hannah Grace in the BBC TENT for The Arts Show, presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas. Eddie Butler, the BBC's voice of international rugby, spoke of his new novel, The Head of Gonzo Davies. Moira Young explained how one of the novels in her Dust Lands trilogy is to be made into a film by Ridley Scott. Tiffany Murray gave us a glimpse into her life through her novels, and I spoke a little about how being colour-blind has influenced my work. Live music came from Horizons artist, Hannah Grace, with her own composition, Broke. You can hear the radio show by following this link: http://iono.fm/e/176614.
My second day at Hay was all about BETTY GOES BANANAS. We all screamed, kicked, cried and sniffled our way through Betty's first book, and then we beeped, honked, and barped our way through Betty's second book: BETTY GOES BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS (which is out in a matter of days).
Some personal highlights of the festival came from chance encounters with friends and familiar faces in the green room.
Thank you, Hay. And thank you to my wonderful publicists, Caitlin and Hattie, and Hay's Matt for keeping me hydrated during the book signings.