Welcome to our UK Random House Children's Publisher’s blog. You'll find behind-the-scenes talk from us, our authors, illustrators and events... and news on the latest cakes from the publicity department!
So what have you learnt this week that you didn’t know before? Well, as it happens quite a lot!Last week was Week ONE of the Northern Childrens Book Festival. This year the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary, which is quite an achievement considering the political backdrop of major spending cuts throughout the North East.
By Simon Rae
I wish there were some! There may be, of course; but if so, they’ve been very well hidden.
Actually, I’m not big on family. I come from a very small one – just me and my parents. My father was an only child too. His father was an old(ish) man when Dad was born and died when he was a young boy. His mother (my grandmother) foolishly sent him away to a boarding school in London. I, too, was sent away at a young age, which cast something of a shadow over my relationship with both parents.
Being an only child is often a talking point.
You tend to be pitied on the one hand, and blamed on the other – pitied for your solitary childhood (overlooking the hordes of small boys you shared day-rooms and dormitories with during term), and blamed for what is perceived as a self-centred (if not downright selfish) approach to life.
Of course, if you are an only child, it’s all you’ve ever known. …
By David Wyatt
I’ve always avoided using family members as characters in my work for fear of being found out; it would be awkward (for example) if uncle Derek discovered the evil Goblin king in a particularly grotesque illustration was based on him.
Friends, on the other hand, are fair game. …
By SF Said
For this round of storyblogs, we’ve been asked to respond to Siobhan Dowd’s novella THE RANSOM OF DOND. Given that Siobhan died so tragically young, and the book deals with the subject of death, I thought I’d use this post to talk about that subject – though it’s one people don’t normally like to talk about. …
We are delighted to announce that THREE fantastically funny RHCP titles have been shortlisted for this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize!
The wonderful Do Not Enter The Monster Zoo by Amy Sparkes and Sara Ogilvie is shortlisted in The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under category.
In The Funniest Book For Children Aged Seven to Fourteen category, both My Parents Are Out Of Control by Pete Johnson and Fish-Head Steve by Jamie Smart made the shortlist.
Congratulations to our brilliant authors!
Posted by Philippa
It’s a curious thing this business of having been around publishing for rather a long time. Along with the usual manifestations of the passing years come the puzzled looks from younger colleagues when one mentions working before the advent of the internet, personal computers and even faxes. And then there are references to cultural icons they’ve never heard of.
True, I’ve usually never heard of the so-called ‘celebrities’ which dominate the current ‘reality’ TV they all seem to enjoy, but the blank faces I got when I mentioned how excited I was that Steeleye Span’s latest album was based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel, Wintersmith surprised me. How could they not know the folk-rock band whose All Around My Hat was a UK chart hit (got no 5 at a time when being a chart hit really meant something), or whose Gaudete is a Christmas perennial? …
It was fascinating to hear Anne Fine talking at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival about the links between her latest novel, Blood Family, and her 2010 novel, The Devil Walks. I knew they were connected, of course, but not how closely. Both are told from the viewpoint of a young boy who has had, for different reasons, what is sometimes called a ‘difficult’ start in life, due to neglect or abuse. However, The Devil Walks is a gothic horror, set firmly a long time in the past, whereas Blood Family is entirely in the present day (very present, as we can tell from recent news headlines).