Saturday, 3 January 2015

Coming to a bookshop or library near you in 2015!

Some coming attractions

2014 was a quiet year for me publishing-wise. Although several of my previously published books came out in new editions, I only had one new book published, which was Skyboy and other Stupendous Science Stories.

I'm pleased to say that next year will be somewhat busier and I have five (or possibly four and two-thirds) brand new books coming out in 2015. Here's a preview of each of them.

February


A Spot of Bother was illustrated by my longtime collaborator Vanessa Cabban and published by Walker Books. It's a follow up to The Pig’s Knickers and features the same cast of characters including the rather self-centred Pig. In this story Pig is horrified to discover that his spotless appearance has been spoiled by a cherry stain. His friends try to help, but the more they try to clean the spot, the bigger it gets.

This is the seventh book that Vanessa and I did together and I'm extremely sad to say that it will be our last as Vanessa passed away shortly before Christmas. She was a wonderful person, funny, mischievous and forthright, and a terrific illustrator to work with and I will miss her greatly.
Preorder this book on Amazon UK or Amazon US


Published on the same day as A Spot of Bother, Danny Dreadnought Saves the World is illustrated by Martin Chatterton and is and my first book for Egmont's Bananas first reader series. Little Danny Dreadnought is fearless. So much so that his parents are worried about him and decide that he must learn to be afraid. But no matter what they try – skydiving, swimming with sharks, spending the night in a haunted house – Danny remains unshaken. Fortunately, when Earth is invaded by the fearsome Bugulons, Danny's fearlessness saves the day. This story was inspired by the Grimm's tale The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was.
Preorder this book on Amazon UK or Amazon US

Next up is The Clockwork Dragon. This book might only be described as two-thirds new because it’s a reworking of Tom’s Clockwork Dragon which was published in 2008. Unfortunately that book quickly went out of print quite quickly but Oxford University Press decided that the story deserved a second chance and asked me to write another draft which has been illustrated by Weasels and Nuts in Space creator Elys Dolan. Elys has a great flair for whimsical detail and, as well as completely reinventing the dragon, has populated the book’s illustrations with a supporting cast of wonderfully wacky characters. I've already written a second story featuring the book's young heroes Max and Lizzie so, if this book proves popular, they could be back with more clever clockwork contraptions.
Preorder this book on Amazon UK or Amazon US


May

Fast and Furry Racers; The Silver Serpent Cup is also published by Oxford University Press. This book is illustrated by Ed Eaves and the story was inspired by a set of souped-up vehicle models that Ed made for his college degree show several years ago. Ed sent me some photos of the models and suggested that they might plant the seed for a story – which they did. The Silver Serpent Cup is about a no-holds-barred race between a motley assortment of animals in an equally motley assortment of vehicles; cars, planes, boats, submarines – there’s even a tiger racing in a train. We’re hoping it will be the first of a series of Fast and Furry Racers books.
Preorder this book on Amazon UK 

Autumn

And my second book for Egmont's Bananas series, The Emperor's New Clones, should be published some time in Autumn 2015. This story, which is also illustrated by Martin Chatterton, is set in the distant future. Rodney Remus's dream of becoming a professional blasterball player falls apart when young Rodney is chosen as the new Galactic Emperor. Instead of scoring goals on the blasterball court, Rodney has to spend his days at tedious ceremonies and on endless official visits. But then Rodney meets the brilliant scientist Professor Parton whose clever cloning machine offers a way back to blasterball.


I'll be telling you lots more about all of these books on this blog. So watch this space for more details!

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