It's not even been two years since my first book, THE QUEEN'S HAT, was published, and, already, I've just finished my TENTH author-illustrator picture book. Here's a list of my 10 completed books, in order of publication in the UK:

Reading Betty in Hackney schools for Pop Up Festival.

Reading Betty in Hackney schools for Pop Up Festival.

A spread from 'THE QUEEN'S PRESENT'. Yes, she visits China (and other countries) on Christmas Eve, in search of the perfect present.

  • THE QUEEN'S HAT (Hodder)
  • BETTY GOES BANANAS (OUP)
  • PLEASE, MR PANDA (Hodder)
  • BETTY GOES BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS (OUP)
  • THE QUEEN'S HANDBAG (Hodder)
  • GREEN LIZARDS VS RED RECTANGLES: A STORY ABOUT WAR AND PEACE (Hodder)
  • I'LL WAIT, MR PANDA (Hodder)
  • MONSTER IN THE HOOD (OUP, June '16)
  • THE QUEEN'S PRESENT (Hodder, Oct '16)
  • THANK YOU, MR PANDA (Hodder, Jan '17)

But writing and illustrating books is only part of my job as an author-illustrator. Some people tend to think that I sit at home all day drawing and writing. This couldn't be further from the truth. I probably spend about half of my 'work time' drawing and writing. The rest of the time I'm out and about holding events up and down the country and sometimes overseas. Also, a great deal of my time is spent carrying out mundane administrational tasks. Sometimes I can spend a whole day filing receipts or responding to emails or organising my schedule.

The past 22 months have been jam-packed, but the last few months have been especially busy, and, unfortunately, I came down with a horrible flu virus last week. It was probably my body's way of telling me to stop! And it did make me stop, which sadly led to the cancellation of a few of my author events. Fortunately, I'm feeling a little better now, and this week I've been organising the year ahead. As far as school events go, I'm pretty much fully booked now until October.

I'm currently working on a brand new book, which I'm super excited about because it's so different and it explores relatively unchartered territory. 

It's been a while since I updated my blog with photos, so here are a bunch of photos from the past month. Somehow, I've managed to juggle 30 events along with the completion of my 10th picture book. I've travelled to the Lake District for Beatrix Potter's 150th anniversary, I've been all over the place for World Book Day week, I took BETTY GOES BANANAS on the road, and I even travelled to Beijing.  

Mr Panda in Beijing. 

Mr Panda in Beijing. 

Betty on the Great Wall.

Betty on the Great Wall.

Drawing Mr Toucan for Salisbury Library.

Drawing Mr Toucan for Salisbury Library.

Reading in Salisbury Library.

Reading in Salisbury Library.

Some budding artists drew Mr Toucan.

Some budding artists drew Mr Toucan.

Drawing the Monster from the yet-to-be-published MONSTER IN THE HOOD at a BETTY GOES BANANAS pyjama party in Salisbury. 

Drawing the Monster from the yet-to-be-published MONSTER IN THE HOOD at a BETTY GOES BANANAS pyjama party in Salisbury. 

The French edition of BETTY GOES BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS arrived last week.

The French edition of BETTY GOES BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS arrived last week.

All set for an event in London.

All set for an event in London.

Roly's Fudge in Salisbury kindly gave me some BETTY banana fudge.

Roly's Fudge in Salisbury kindly gave me some BETTY banana fudge.

Delicious!

Delicious!

Pyjama Party

Pyjama Party

MONSTER IN THE HOOD isn't out in the UK until June, but that didn't stop me from reading it during my BETTY tour with OUP.

MONSTER IN THE HOOD isn't out in the UK until June, but that didn't stop me from reading it during my BETTY tour with OUP.

They loved it - phew!

They loved it - phew!

Roly's Fudge

Roly's Fudge

Visiting schools in Hertfordshire.

Visiting schools in Hertfordshire.

Burdett Coutts School in London named one of their chicks after me (back, right)!

Burdett Coutts School in London named one of their chicks after me (back, right)!

With Philip Ardagh, Tracey Corderoy and Benji Davies at Wray Castle. It was The National Trust's very first children's book festival. 

With Philip Ardagh, Tracey Corderoy and Benji Davies at Wray Castle. It was The National Trust's very first children's book festival. 

I couldn't resist. 

I couldn't resist. 

For the National Trust event, I stayed next door to Beatrix Potter's house.

For the National Trust event, I stayed next door to Beatrix Potter's house.

Exploring the guest house with Sophy Henn. 

Exploring the guest house with Sophy Henn. 

The National Trust's Book Shop

The National Trust's Book Shop

Wray Castle

Wray Castle

Gill Lewis, Philip Reeve, me and Sarah McIntyre, at the World Book Day Roadshow

Gill Lewis, Philip Reeve, me and Sarah McIntyre, at the World Book Day Roadshow

Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre, Steven Butler, Gill Lewis, me and Megan Rix (and Bella).

Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre, Steven Butler, Gill Lewis, me and Megan Rix (and Bella).

Signing books for the World Book Day Roadshow

Signing books for the World Book Day Roadshow

The Japanese edition of GREEN LIZARDS VS RED RECTANGLES arrived last week. 

The Japanese edition of GREEN LIZARDS VS RED RECTANGLES arrived last week. 

I attended a fundraising event held by The National Literacy Trust and Boots, where I picked up Zookeeper Zoe, a book to help children with their sight. 

I attended a fundraising event held by The National Literacy Trust and Boots, where I picked up Zookeeper Zoe, a book to help children with their sight. 

The fundraising event was a smart affair. Many photos were taken by the official photographer. I took one quick snap before leaving my London hotel room. A blue suit and bow tie, with brown brogues (not pictured).

The fundraising event was a smart affair. Many photos were taken by the official photographer. I took one quick snap before leaving my London hotel room. A blue suit and bow tie, with brown brogues (not pictured).

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony