Get lost in a Book - escaping into my own imagination - care to join me...?

 

#LostinaBook 

2017 at Lost in a Book

November at Lost in a Book

22nd November

I'm starting to get festive around here - well if I don't start soon it'll sneak up on me like it usually does...

So what's going on? Well I've featured a festive chapter from Outnumbered by Cats on my homepage. The book is all about how I became outnumbered by cats, but in this featured excerpt you'll see how the Christmas tree was outnumbered by cats too. It was the kittens' 1st Christmas, which is very much like a baby's 1st Christmas except that kittens climb the Christmas tree, all 5 of them - plus Mum... to be fair to the tree it stood it's ground very well...

#LostinaBook #catstory 

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16th November

Getting ready for the first Christmas fair of the season - this Saturday at First Steps nursery at Roko York 10am - 1pm 

#LostinaBook 

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October at Lost in a Book

17th October

 

Time off from painting to make some bookmarks...

#LostinaBook #amwriting  

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September at Lost in a Book

14th September

So what am I up to now?

Well I'm busy illustrating my next book - who knew horses were so hard to draw? Well probably everyone except me, but once I get an idea in my head I just have to run with it...

Not only do I have to draw a horse, but specifically - I have to draw a thoroughbred - and she's a very special thoroughbred, so it has to be right - intrigued...? I hope so...

#LostinaBook 

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August at Lost in a Book

19th August

It's still August - no, really it is, despite the storms and that chill of autumn creeping in. So get out there and read those holiday reads - even if you have to clamp the pages down against the prevailing wind.

(Or you could order a book online, then read it in a comfy chair... just saying).

#LostinaBook 

July at Lost in a Book

20th July

 

#LostinaBook 

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17th July


#LostinaBook 

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11th July

It's raining...

 

One stormy night Basil found that he had a use for the flappy thing after all, but it wasn't what Mr Feed-Me had in mind...

   

From Basil and the Flappy Thing 

#lostinaBook 

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June at Lost in a Book

30th June 

I've spent a lot of time drawing and painting this month. Mostly I've been trying to draw horses legs galloping - and resisting the temptation to hide them behind a hedge or a cloud of dust... trust me, I did consider it! But after some study of photos and watching hoses move, then looking at diagrams of their skeleton and muscles - (yes I went that deep to avoid the hedge...) I think I have a grasp on their legs...

#LostinaBook #amwriting

15th June

Time to think - the luxury of having time to just think is a rare one, but right now no one is meowing, hissing or barking at me to do something else, so I'm sorry but I'm off...

#amwriting 

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5th June

It's June, and it's raining - of course it is...

So how can I help? Well I can't stop the rain, but I could send you a book to read in a bright orange envelope to brighten up your day... 

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May at Lost in a Book 

22nd May

Just drawing horses really...

#LostinaBook 

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8th May

Just mooching around my online bookshop, peeping out into cyberspace at virtual customers flitting about the net, looking for something, but they know not what.

What line do I need to pull to draw these potential customers into my shop...? ...to lure them into a book where they can be truly lost - if only for a while...

#Lostinabook 

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April at Lost in a Book

22nd April

How long does it take to write a book?

People keep asking me this and one of these days I'll think of a very clever answer to stop them in their tracks:

 

  • As long as it needs to... 
  • It depends on the book...
  • It depends how much coffee I drink...
  • It depends how well I fight procrastination...
  • I have no idea...
So take your pick - personally I think I'll go with as long as it needs to, because sometimes characters can be stubborn and refuse to settle into the role you've planned for them, and then anything can happen...

 

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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6th April

Already been out and about selling books,sheep and a sheepdog...

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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March at Lost in a Book

13th March

Pick up a book today and escape into places you could never have imagined...

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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February at Lost in a Book

20th Feb

Do you remember that first book that grabbed you when you were just on the edge of confident reading? The book that took you over the edge into forgetting that you even reading, it just felt like you were magically transported to somewhere else and meeting new friends...

I remember it well, and hope to write books that will do the same thing for new readers who are dipping their toes into new worlds between the pages of a book, because if you dip your toes in enough books, you're going to find that one book that will drag you in and hold a little bit of you there for all time...

#Lostinabook #lovereading #halfterm

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15th Feb

Half Term is creeping up, so here's the plan - I've got Doodle Mayhem on special offer at £3.50 and still postage free - so get the kids reading this half term...

 

First in the Doodle series

Eric would rather doodle than write a story, but when the words start to disappear off the page in front of him, and his doodle starts talking to him, he thinks he must be dreaming.

 

Eric's doodle has come to life, and he's getting bored; he jumps into Miranda's story, where he gets attacked by a rubber, then he's blown off his feet when Natasha sneezes. Miss Roper is getting angrier by the second. How will Eric ever finish his story, when his doodle just wants to have fun, and create havoc?

 

Step into a world where drawings come alive, meet Eric's doodles Iver No-Idea and his dog HB as they cause their own brand of trouble.

46 page paperback

Black & white line drawings

ISBN 978-0-9560232-4-7

Lost in a Book

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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6th Feb

Books packed ready for a coffee morning at Clifton Library in York tomorrow.

I think I'll take some writing along to do, I'm starting to see why writers go to libraries and cafes to get some work done. But I'll have to make sure I don't get so lost in my writing that I don't hear people around me - maybe I should have a bell on the table with a notice saying Please ring for attention - author Lost in a Book

#Lostinabook #amwriting 

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30th Jan

I did it, I found a little chunk of time between looking after animals, and stuff to do, to get some writing done - ah that feels better.

I'm writing a true story at the moment, which ought to be easier than writing fiction, but I'm finding it harder than fiction, maybe because fiction is just me and my imagination flying off wherever it needs to go. True stories involve other people, and an obligation to get it right...

But time is short - not like the puppy who is far from short these days, and needing more and more exercise to keep him happy - time for a walk I think...

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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18th Jan

I had a lovely morning at Clifton Library baby morning yesterday - one of the many events that happens in this busy library. Baby and under 5 's events at libraries are quite a revelation, there's no shushing, just lots of fun and noise - yes noise in a library! as the next generation learn to enjoy books and stories and sing-alongs...

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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16th Jan

January again, new year same issues - write new stuff or try to promote what I've already written... The answer of course is to do both, keep the momentum going and never give up, because giving up is NOT an option...

So what am I writing now? - Well it's a little bit out of my usual knowledge base, it's a horse story. But not just any horse, it's my daughter's horse, who is just too big a character not to be written about. And yes she is a very big horse, I know this because I somehow got talked into getting on her, and it did look like a very long way down... 

#LostinaBook #amwriting 

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4th Jan 

Ever come out of the Christmas season wondering what that was all about..? All the stocking up, and there's still festive food left in January... it's freezing cold and the puppy needs to go for a walk - ok maybe that's just my chaotic life, but I'm beginning to see why writers go to cafes or libraries to write.

...will resume when I have a minute...

#LostinaBook 

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2016 at Lost in a Book

December at Lost in a Book

16th Dec

Ok now you can panic...! It's nearly Christmas, it sneaks up on us the same time every year, but every year it seems to do it a bit quicker.

But the solution is easy - buy books, buy books from me, and I'll pack them up straight away and get them in the post.

#LostinaBook

#Christmasgifts 

13th Dec

Don't panic it's nearly Christmas - but things are starting to run out, I've just tried to order something that was out of stock... arghh how will we cope?

Well if you're wanting a book, you've come to the right place. I still have all my books in stock and ready to post out from my online bookshop 

But hurry - I heard there could be a postal strike next...

#LostinaBook

#Booksonline 

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November at Lost in a Book

24th Nov

My first Christmas event of the season tonight at Knavesmire Primary School, York - Christmas shopping evening 7 - 9pm please come along if you're in the area and take home a signed book, and... I have some exciting new additions to my table.

Or stay snug and warm and order online 

#LostinaBook

Books online 

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22nd Nov

It's Christmas fair season - all the dates are on my homepage come along and say Hi if you're in the area, or browse my online bookshop, take the easy option and buy online and I'll pop your order in the post for you in a bright orange envelope that'll brighten up your day.

 

#LostinaBook 

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7th Nov

It's a secret - apparently - this not to be missed cat book!

Outnumbered by cats is a must for any cat lover, and dare I say it, an ideal Christmas present for the cat lover in your life. It's out there, but it's hiding in the shadows, much like a cat might... it's listed in all the usual places, but with an added 'unavailable' on one of the biggest book sellers... and can be ordered from our supplier on another. Well, I am the supplier and would love to send copies out, I'll even sign them for you. 

 

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2nd Nov 

Don't panic it's November, the season of Christmas fairs and book signings - and this year my books will be at two fairs at once - no I haven't split myself in two, but the librarian at Clifton Library has kindly said that my books can be in their display cabinet for the Christmas fair, while I'm busy elsewhere. But I'll be back at Clifton Library on the first Tuesday in December for the monthly coffee morning.

 

#LostinaBook 

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October at Lost in a Book  

31st Oct

Books packed and ready to go to Clifton Library tomorrow morning - there are a few sheep too, and some wool to knit more. It's that time of year again, a bit of knitting in public to keep up with demand for these little woolly ambassadors who escaped the printed page.

 

#LostinaBook 

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28th Oct

 

Sheep - they're in danger of taking over...

This week I posted my sheep knitting pattern free on my website, then twittered about it, it generated a lot of new followers, seems sheep inspire people to follow...

Not many people have linked through to the website for the pattern though, so maybe they just want to follow like sheep, but not overrun themselves with woolly sheep... 

 

#sheep #LostinaBook #knittedsheep 

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24th Oct

It's coming, we all know it's coming, but some of us are in denial about how much we have to do before the event, to make a magical Christmas - the type that everyone will always remember...

For me it all starts with the Christmas fairs, although as a lot of them are clashing this year, it may not be such a manic time as usual, which is not necessarily a bad thing, given all the other stuff I have to do at the moment.  

But for now - it's half term - book anyone...? 

 

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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10th Oct

Ideas have no sense of timing or order - they just spring into one's head and start running around like unruly puppies. And I should know, I currently have ideas and an unruly puppy to fit into my already busy days.

Why is it that while I was in the final stages of finishing my book, I was brimming with all sorts of ideas to launch and promote it - I even wrote some of them down... somewhere.

Yet now when I need all those ideas they seem to have fled - and ideas for my next book are rampaging around in my head... I guess I'm a writer not a promoter...

So here it is, you know, if you're fancying a new book: 

 

#LostinaBook 

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4th Oct

Why think outside the box - when you can sit in the box and let it become... a racing car... or a castle...

We don't need buzz words and executive toys; all we need is a box and some time to let our imagination run wild.

So stop all this nonsense about thinking outside the box, and jump back into the box. The best ideas need sneaking up on, they're going to run a mile if you're always trying too hard - so get back in that box and bide your time, ideas come out to play when you're daydreaming or thinking about something else.

And if no ideas come to you, or you're too out of touch with your imagination to know what I'm talking about, then read a book - lose yourself in it - go on I dare you to!

 

#LostinaBook 

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September at Lost in a Book

30th Sept

Ok it's Friday and I'm going to ramble, because, well I can...

I've had a good week, getting out there into the real world with my books, talking to people and getting feedback on my books. And the feedback is good, so why is promoting so hard? It seems that a gimmick is needed to grab people's attention, so I have my sheep, which started as a gimmick and now are in danger of taking over... which reminds me, my flock of sheep is getting low again... knitting needles at the ready.

Which brings me back to my conundrum - it's hard enough to grab ideas as they rush around in the wilds of my imagination, without all the other distractions pulling me away from going on a story hunt in my imagination. Because that's what it takes to write a story, deciding which ideas and daydreams have enough substance to  become a book, and then to go after that one idea that will become the next book, and allow the others to run free a bit longer...

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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27th Sept

Had a lovely morning at Clifton Library yesterday, got good feedback on my books, and sold some books too.

Looking forward to visiting Acomb Library tomorrow and joining in with storytime, with my new book:

But What I Really Want is a Box... because when you have a box you can play anything, all you need is a little imagination. Share the story, and get a glimpse into my imagination, and spark your own to see what you can come up with...

 

#LostinaBook

#Storytime 

 

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26th Sept

Just off to the stockroom to gather books together for a baby event at Clifton Library tomorrow 10am - 1pm

#Lostinabook

Lost in a Book 

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23rd Sept

So this is exciting - next week Lost in a Book will be on a mini library tour in York:

Clifton Library on Tues 27th Sept 10am onwards, at their baby morning, where they'll be all sorts of baby related stuff going on.

and

Acomb Library on Thurs 29th Sept 10.30 - 11am at their storytime, where I'll be reading my new book But What I Really Want is a Box 

#LostinaBook 

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20th Sept

Shh... I'm being followed... does anyone else remember a playground game called Peep Behind the Curtain? I'm beginning the think that social media is a bit like it... I ramble on about whatever pops into my head, but mostly, loosely, book related, and people follow me - who are these people, they don't generally talk to me, they just follow...  

I think they all need something - a book maybe... 

#LostinaBook 

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15th Sept

So this is pretty cool - my books are currently on display at Clifton Library in York. It's a very proud moment knowing that I've written and self published a whole cabinet full of books. 

 

I'll be in Clifton Library on Tues 27th Sept doing a book signing at their baby event from 10am onwards:  

 

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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3rd Sept

New Book available now!!  

It's new book launch month, and where better to start than in my own online shop.

Order direct from the author and know that the money goes directly into paying for printing my books - I don't pay to advertise, and I do everything except the printing and binding myself because I believe my money is best spent on getting a quality product that I can be proud to sell

I've got some book signings lined up, the first one being on Tuesday morning 6th September at Clifton Library, York, where I'll also be leaving books in the library display cabinet.

 

#LostinaBook

#Newbook

#booklaunch 

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August at Lost in a Book

3rd August

Well I've done it, my 8th book is newly published!!

I picked my books up from the printers on Monday 1st August, so they are available now, but I'm planning a proper launch in September, and already have 2 book signings lined up. 

I'll post launch info here nearer the time... 

 

 

#LostinaBook 

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July at Lost in a Book

26th July

So this is becoming quite a habit - meet Mr G from my new book But What I Really Want is a Box 

 

 

#LostinaBook

#knittedgiraffe 

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25th July

I had a good morning at Clifton Library Summer Craft Fair on Saturday. I met a lady who'd bought a copy of Doodle Mayhem from me at a Christmas fair, and her grandson had loved the book.

But the part that really made my day was getting an email later that evening from a mum who had bought a book for her daughter. She'd read But I'm Not Sleepy 8 times in the afternoon, and then again when it was her daughter's chosen story at bedtime, and she went to sleep with the little knitted sheep in her cot - it's feedback like that, that makes all the effort worth while.

 

#LostinaBook 

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21st July 

Orange envelopes... just imagine the impact that an orange envelope would make landing through the door standing out against all the other boring stuff...and imagine the excitement when you open the bright orange envelope and there's a book inside...

Yes this is my latest packaging, because I want my books to make a statement when they arrive at your house. My first batch has arrived, I ordered some A5 envelopes for my Doodle Mayhem promotion, and I'm so pleased with them that I've ordered A4 ones for the picture books, so that all my books can be sent out in style.

 

 #LostinaBook 

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20th July

Lost in a Book will be out and about at Clifton Library Summer Craft Fair in York on Saturday 23rd July - come along and pick up a summer read, or a sheep...

I believe there'll be coffee and cakes there too! I do seem to be drawn to events where there's coffee and cakes... there seems to be something about coffee, cakes and books that just goes together.

#LostinaBook 

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11th July

 

I've done it! My new book is finally finished, registered and being printed as we speak - so what next - a launch is needed.

As  a self publisher I wear many hats, today it has been the publisher's hat, which is a sensible hat, one that didn't distract me as I filled in the important forms and figured out codes - but next I get to put on a launch hat - I think it should be fun and attention grabbing - or, given the title and subject, should it just be a box... and a little imagination...?

#LostinaBook

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5th July

I was out and about at a library coffee morning this morning - and I sold... a sheep!

I'm starting to wonder if I should just give in to the woolly side and go into sheep production.

 

At least they're not quite so unruly since I knitted Downboy the sheepdog to keep them in order...

But I have been writing as well - and will soon announce my next book!

#LostinaBook 

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June at Lost in a Book

22nd June

Brainstorming... that's what I need to do...

So...  I looked online for inspiration, only to be shouted at, yes in block capitals no less, that a writer should be writing and not wasting time on social media... well frankly I find that a bit rude, especially after all the hype about online marketing and using social media.

Everything seems to be surrounded by hype these days, hype and buzz words, so I thought I'd have a go at brainstorming, not an easy thing to do on my own in the garden without risking worried neighbours coming to my assistance... as it was, one of my cats was the only one who saw my need for a companion in my brainstorming, and came to sit with me, no mean feat considering he's a wobbly cat whose legs don't always go where he wants them to. So as I looked at Steve looking up at me from the shade of the garden bench, brainstorming seemed like an odd thing to be even attempting.  

And so I had allowed myself to be distracted once again by Steve, when I was supposed to be promoting the book that tells of why he is so special... 

 

#LostinaBook

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May at Lost in a Book

16th May

So... here's an experiment.

It's  Monday - traditionally the most dreaded day of the week. And what else is dreaded? The blank page - so I've opened a new file without a title or even a clue of what I'm going to write, with the intension of publishing the piece before the end of the afternoon... arghhhh!

So, what have I come up with so far...? Well, the first thing I wrote got deleted, then I looked around for inspiration and noticed that there was something navy and white in my  extra hot whites wash - oh no a stowaway sock had somehow  hidden in the corner of a round drum... how does that even work? Who knows, but it obviously needed sorting out immediately - disaster averted and a cup of tea made, right let's get to work... I've changed the font and the size, there, that's better.

So maybe the title should be procrastination...  oh... I don't know how to tell you this but there's another stripy sock in the hot wash - I don't know how that happened, I never miss odd things in the washing machine, or have I stumbled upon an answer to the universal problem of the odd sock? It seems that socks have a will of their own and stowaway in the washing machine to add themselves to other washes.

Ok this is past a joke now - there was a third stripy sock in the whites wash... and what has all this taught me? Well apart from that I need to check the washing machine better when I empty it, I think I need to stop looking around for inspiration, all I seem to find is stuff to do.  

On reflection maybe daydreaming would have been a more productive way to spend the afternoon, delving around in my own imagination where hopefully I won't find any stripy socks, although now they seem to be getting everywhere, so you never know, maybe it's a sign that I should write a story about stowaway socks - oh dear the more I think about it... so if I end up writing about socks I shall blame it on this experiment that I decided was a good idea on a Monday afternoon in May, when I was probably in denial that I should either do some promotional work for my books, or start writing a new one.

Hang on a minute - the main character in my new book has odd socks on, so although they're not stripy, maybe I could pass this off as a promotional piece, and pretend that that was my intention all along, but in truth I find it a bit weird that events and my imagination have conspired to come full circle and all seem interwoven. I wonder what was whirling around in the washing machine when I decided to put odd socks on my character in the first place, and looking around me now, I can see other things that could have inspired my story, but I'm not giving them away today - that's for another day. 

#LostinaBook 

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11th May

With my new book finished and a request sent in for a print quote I'm now planning my promotional campaign, which is going to need a bit of thinking about and planning - so if I appear to be daydreaming in the coming weeks it's because I'm deep in thought, coming up with a new and amazing way of launching a book...

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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3rd May

Just back form another lovely morning at the library, I sold a sheep...

And what new ideas do I have this spring...? Well there's my lovely new range of bookmarks..

Here is one of my books elegantly modeling a ribbon and bead bookmark... 

 

And here is the fun pom pom bookmark, in a variety of colours.

 

#LostinaBook

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April at Lost in a Book

12th April

Just had a lovely morning at the library - there was reading and singing, castanets and pompoms, and then the bubble machine and the giant beach ball came out.

Sometimes change is good - lovely to see the next generation getting involved in books and more... and not being told to be quiet in the library!

...oh yes and I sold some books too :) 

#LostinaBook 

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11th April 

Books, sheep, sheepdog, cats and bookmarks.. oh and busy books, all packed ready for a baby event at Clifton Library in York tomorrow... phew. 

#LostinaBook 

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5th April

Getting my paints out for some finishing touches - but if anyone needs a book I'll be happy to run one out to the post for you, even with the storm clouds gathering... 

#LostinaBook 

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March at Lost in a Book

31st March

Why is it that the closer a project is to finishing, the the further away the finish line seems to be...?

Still a bit more to do on the artwork - but it's getting there... I think...

#LostinaBook 

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22nd March 

It's nearly Easter - which inspired a bunny themed busy book...

 Soft bunny on cover.Ribbons to feel.

Button flowers and pocket holding a carrot for the bunny...

 

 a soft tree...

 ...and back view of bunny with his little white tail.

Only one available in my website bookshop.

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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8th March

Downboy the sheepdog meeting his first sheep before he gets thrown in the deep end with the whole flock...

 

 

But surely we've met Downboy before I hear you say - well... the prototype Downboy wasn't quite to scale, and only worked with some careful camera angles - but now I have one just the right size to take to book signings to keep those unruly sheep in order.

 

What's that...it's just a new elaborate form of procrastination...? Not a bit of it... 

#LostinaBook

#sheepdog 

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January at Lost in a Book

30th Jan

Downboy the sheepdog - now I'll get those unruly sheep rounded up...

 

 

#LostinaBook #knittedsheep #Sheepdog

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26th Jan

I never thought I'd find January too short - but this year I don't seem to have got through as much as I'd hoped, and January is running towards the finish line before me..

The painting has been a lovely excuse to hibernate - well almost, right now I'm hiding in the warm as the wind howls round the house. I will have to venture out later though to buy parts for a broken down washing machine that has left me with a load of sopping wet washing - why does something always happen, just when I think I can get on...?

There's a brand new busy book in my bookshop - a treasure trove of textures for tiny hands to discover...

It's a one off unique book as I make them up as I go along. I empty a bag of fabrics onto the table along with ribbons, buttons and cords, and see what the combination inspires me to do.

 

#LostinaBook #BusyBook #QuietBook #inspirations 

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15th Jan

The painting is going well, the paints have settled down,and although some are still reluctant to open, they can be persuaded...

I find I work best if I manage not to open the laptop, as it contains so many distractions - but do I really need a bumper pack of buttons, or a bundle of ribbon? Well... probably not, but I would quite like some... think of the Easter busy books I could make with those pastel shades, not to mention the bunny buttons - What's that - I'm just procrastinating? Not at all! I'm letting my imagination flow - run riot even... I'm a writer, it's allowed (expected even...)

#LostinaBook

#amwriting 

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5th Jan

Multi tasking seems to have a become a way of life...

January is my time to get stuck into to some writing, and try to hibernate as much as possible. But this year I still have some legless sheep left over from when I ran out of time before Christmas. Added to that I now have a legless bear (which has nothing to do with my writing, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...), due to running out of wool - I seem to be getting another theme going here... But hopefully all the knitted characters will eventually get their legs and I'll still have time to get on with some writing.

So... yesterday I finally brushed off my next book, and brought it out for an airing. I got my paints out, only to discover that paints don't like being shelved for weeks on end. One paint had taken it upon itself to creep out of its tube and run into the tube next to it., several others were reluctant to open at all, with paint sealing their lids on - who knew paint had such attitude...?

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December at Lost in a Book

31st December

Nearly the end of another year, a year that seems to have had quite a sheep theme... 

 

It's strange how things take on a life of their own sometimes, I started out writing cat stories, and then out of the blue wrote a bedtime story featuring counting sheep, that led to knitting sheep to take to book signings, and now I get sheep themed presents from family and friends, and find myself talking about sheep to random strangers at book signings...

So here I am at the threshold of another year, with a half finished book and a bag of legless sheep.. fun times ahead I'm thinking.  :)

 

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8th December

 

Well that was a busy Christmas fair season, the thing with Christmas fairs is that they all come at once...

And what am I left with? Well apart from an aching back from lifting boxes of books in and out of the car, and a little flock of legless sheep - who are now destined to remain legless till after Christmas... very festive.

What I do have is a stock of books for my online bookshop, waiting to be posted out for that unique Christmas present. So, if you're too busy or too tired to hike around the shops, why not give yourself  an easy life and order online.

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November at Lost in a Book

26th November

How do I get myself into these situations...?

I always seem to be rushing to finish something with barely enough time...

 

Ever wondered what 32 sheep's legs on a knitting needle look like...? Well, no, not many people have, and as it turned out this was only 28 legs - so one sheep would have still been legless without a bit more knitting... arhhh

 

But all is well - all the sheep have legs and will be heading out to fairs this week 

And what about that Christmas garment I hear you asking... come on work with me here. Well it's a Christmas poncho, and hopefully I'll add a few more festive bits to it as the season goes on - if I have a minute...

 

#Lostinabook #sheep #Christmas

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20th November

There was a time when getting ready for a fair meant a battle with the printer as I tried to pursued it to print another batch of bookmarks, but now I always seem to be doing emergency knitting...

This time it's the Basils that are in short supply, but I still have some finishing touches to add to my new Christmas garment... no, it's not a Christmas jumper - everyone's got one of those... I'll post a pic of it here after the weekend, but if you want to see what it is before then you'll have to come down to Skelton garden centre, York this weekend.

...oh yes, there'll be books too!

#LostinaBook 

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17th November

Feeling like a swan - a knitting swan... desperately trying to keep up with my imagination.

This is my calm before the storm, even though there seem to be a lot of storms going on around me.

My first Christmas fair of the season was a success, and I only had one minor scarf calamity... There was a time when a scarf was a big woolly creation to keep out the winter chill, but now it seems to have become the must have accessory for every fair, wrapped around at the last minute before battle commences.   

I am known for my scarf calamities, from dunking the scarf in my coffee as I talk to customers, to breaking a chain on my necklace... but I've been doing quite well recently, until, the addition of the Christmas hat!

The hat is obviously an accessory too far - I managed to knock it off with my scarf at the beginning, and again at the end as I was packing up...

How is one supposed to have spatial awareness of a springy hat on a headband? Maybe I'll get better at it as the season goes on - or just accept that hats and scarves as indoor accessories are going to cause trouble...

 

#LostinaBook

Lost in a Book 

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9th November

Christmas seems to be taking over in the shops and on tv and radio already, and on Friday I'm at my first Christmas fair of the season... time to dig out the Christmas hat and round up the sheep.

Skelton School York Christmas fair Friday 13th Nov. 6 - 9pm 

#LostinaBook

#Christmasfair 

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5th November

I'm trying to be a bit better prepared this year to avert a sheep crisis... I have a little flock ready for the start of the Christmas fairs, they're already overflowing into the boxes of books, and there's more to come. I hope stocktaking doesn't send me to sleep - counting all those sheep... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

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October at Lost in a Book

22nd October

Where did the busy books go...?

I've taken my busy books out of my website shop until after my run of Christmas craft fairs. This is to avoid the risk of one being ordered from the website that I've sold at a fair. Because they are unique, I can't just get another one out of a stockroom. So for the time being they will be exclusive to my book signing events.

#LostinaBook

#Busybooks 

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19th October

Fighting technology one day at a time...

It seems that making  a busy book is easier than getting photos onto the laptop. I've managed to get this one here via instagram... it seems my phone is quite happy to talk to instagram, but it's not talking to my laptop, who know why... maybe I need to shut them in a room together and hope they can sort out their differences...  

 

Luckily my sewing machine has been behaving better than my phone and laptop, so this little festive collection is now neatly bound into a Christmas busy book, ready to go to a fair at York's Guildhall on Saturday.

#LostinaBook

#Busybook 

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15th October

The dates are filling up for book signings, the next one being on 24th October at York's Guildhall - I can feel another sheep emergency coming on...

There'll also be some new busy books, I've made a start on a festive one - I would show you the pic of the book in progress, but my phone is refusing to talk to the computer today.

Right, and after all that, I'm retreating into my book in progress for a while to do a bit of tinkering...

#LostinaBook 

 

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12th October

 

What's this? Well it's my latest busy book - now available in my bookshop.

#LostinaBook 

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9th October

Not your usual stocktake... 

Counting books is distracting enough, but when a stocktake involves counting sheep, I'd better be careful...

The sheep continue to be my woolly ambassadors, attracting lots of attention at book signings, and filling up my knitting bag, as well as much of my time - they are a clear example of characters taking over; and in this case they've even escaped the page and taken on knitted form, to rampage about...

#LostinaBook 

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7th October

October has just begun and already I've done two book signings: a fair in York and a coffee morning at Clifton library. I think the countdown will soon be on for when the Christmas fairs start, and when is it acceptable to start wearing my Christmas hat...?

#LostinaBook 

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22nd September

This month is the calm before the storm, no book signings this month, but plenty of planning and preparation going on for the months ahead...

Right now I'm procrastinating when I should be making a poster for one of my forthcoming events... Oh yes and there's that book to finish, sheep to knit, plums to harvest - yes I know plums have nothing to do with my books, but I can see the tree from the window - and they need picking... arghhh!

#LostinaBook 

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August at Lost in a Book

26th August

Am I the only one being kept awake by sheep... ?

Remember these little guys? They were knitted up quickly when I had a sheep crisis recently - I ran out of sheep altogether! 

 

And with a book signing fast approaching there's been a bit of mass production...

First I knitted a bag full of sheep bodies - I just knitted to the end of the ball. But then, ironically the sheep were disturbing my sleep - I kept waking up thinking about all the sheep I had to finish. So yesterday I was batch knitting sheep parts... 

 

If you look carefully at this little flock, some of them are legless - but fear not they all got their legs before they rolled away.

 

Now they just need rounding up, ready to hit the town this Saturday.  

Book signing Belfry Hall, 52a Stonegate, York 10.00 - 16.30 

 

 

#LostinaBook 

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Book Signing - The Belfry Hall is tucked away at 52a Stonegate, York and I'll be there on 29th August with books and sheep and Basils... it'll be like a pop-up-bookshop - with sheep...

#LostinaBook 

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17th August

The scanning went well, and even the picture editing didn't give me too many problems - mainly just removing backgrounds from the illustrations. Book building has begun, inserting pictures and playing around with formatting, then the words will be added - let the magic begin...

#LostinaBook 

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12th August

Building a book... construction has begun. 

Scanning of artwork has begun ready to format into a book. When I'm at book signings I often look at my book display and think back to these early stages when I had artwork strewn around the kitchen table - happy times.

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5th August

Writing back to front... or just lost in a book?

Normally when I write, I write a story first, and then illustrate it - but not this time...! 

It's not the first time I've sat down to write one story and ended up writing something completely different, but that usually happens at the writing stage, this time it happened in a sketchbook.

At the beginning of the year I sat down to illustrate a story that I'd already written and polished, but as I started on the illustrations I just couldn't seem to get them how I wanted, and that's when I started drawing giraffes...

Now it's not the first time I have drawn giraffes, but I hadn't had a story in mind, or book planned. This was an invasion of giraffes from somewhere in my imagination, and suddenly the illustrations were flowing and the story was taking shape. I now have several outlines for this story, and several working titles, but mostly I have a lot of pictures which almost tell their own story, so I'm thinking that this book doesn't need too many words...

This is still a work in progress, and you could say that I'm very happily lost in a book!

#LostinaBook 

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4th August

Coffee morning

 Embedded image permalink

I had a lovely morning at the coffee morning and story time at Clifton Library in York. I remember when libraries were very quiet places, but this morning there was plenty of noise from a new generation of book lovers, getting involved in books and stories

This is my view from the back of my table, enjoying a coffee and biscuits... :)

And what of the sheep crisis I hear you asking...? Well, I managed to get 2 made last night - with a bit of help from my daughter who did the stuffing.

 Embedded image permalink

If you missed all the fun this morning, I'll be back at Clifton Library on the first Tuesday in October.

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3rd August

Sheep crisis:

Does anyone else outside of agriculture manage to have a sheep crisis...? I doubt it... 

My little flock of 6 sheep all went out to new homes on Saturday when I took them to a craft fair at the Guildhall in York, leaving me sheepless for my morning at Clifton Library tomorrow - knitting needles... where are you...? I really should get organised enough to start knitting sheep at craft fairs...

 Embedded image permalink

#LostinaBook #Sheep

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July at Lost in a Book

31st July

Getting ready to take my little bookshop out and about - tomorrow I'll be in York's Guildhall with books, sheep and Basils... it'll be like a popup bookshop! 9.45am  - 5pm

#LostinaBook 

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27th July

It's Monday and it's raining...

...SO OPEN THE DOOR!

from Basil and the Flappy Thing

#LostinaBook 

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24th July

Book signing in the centre of York - Lost in a Book is looking forward to being back in the Guildhall in the centre of York on 1st August at a food, gift and craft fair admission is free, so come on down and check it out - there'll be refreshments available too...

I'd better round up the sheep again... 

 

#LostinaBook

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21st July

Happiness is a box of paints and lots and lots of paper...

The illustrations are taking shape, and taking over, the story seems to keep morphing as the pictures take shape, oh well I'm going with the flow, the story usually changes a little bit as the pictures join the text anyway.

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7th July 

Had a lovely morning at Clifton Library's coffee morning and story time this morning, and sold a book - looking forward to going back next month. 

#LostinaBook 

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6th July

Lost in a Book goes mobile tomorrow at the coffee morning and story time at Clifton Library in York. There'll be books, there'll be sheep and a few Basils... what's a Basil? Well why don't you come down and find out... 

 

#LostinaBook 

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1st July

It's July and we're in the middle of a heatwave! In fact it's so hot that the weather report went into fahrenheit last night - have you noticed how that happens? We pootle along in celsius until it gets really hot, and then we're suddenly in the mid 80s - that's a bit of a leap from mid 20s...!

The perfect day for a spot of painting - illustrations that is, not the house... it's far too hot for that! 

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June at Lost in a Book

25th June

I think June is the new January - you know outside is out there, but you'd rather stay in where it's warm... Maybe I should be promoting A Face Full of Snow...?

#LostinaBook 

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22nd June

Lost in a Book will be out and about on 7th July - at Clifton Library in York from 10.30 - 12 noon at their coffee morning and story time... books and coffee - what better combination could you get! 

I'll be displaying my books and yes a few sheep and cats... and signing books for anyone who'd like to buy one - with 20% of takings going to the library funds! 

#LostinaBook 

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19th June

Almost the weekend, time for everyone to rush around shopping - or sit back and order some books online...? What an excellent idea, and I have a lovely range to choose from - though I do say it myself...

So go on get #LostinaBook this weekend...

Right, time to get the paints out before the afternoon completely disappears... 

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17th June

People who say that tomorrow never comes must be asleep before midnight and miss seeing it sneaking up, regular as clockwork... these are probably the same people who, when tomorrow does come, are awake and ready for it... or maybe they just lack a good book to read... 

#LostinaBook 

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15th June

Right... now all I need is another brew of coffee and I can get on with these drawings - if anybody needs me I'm over here - behind the sturdy wooden table. that my knee really needs to stop picking a fight with...

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4th June

The sun is shining at last - I've been very uncharacteristically digging the garden - have decided that this is quite good exercise - not to mention that if I don't do it there won't be many strawberries, as the poor plants struggle to find light through the jungle that has grown up around them. It's a wonder they haven't uprooted and run away...

OK, so back to drawing giraffes...  

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May at Lost in a Book 

28th May

The next book is coming along - no I'm not spending all my time knitting characters, I'm drawing them as well, and as I draw they take on a life of their own and a story is developing...

So what is it about? Well I'm not quite ready to let it loose yet - it's enough that it's made it from my imagination into a sketchbook for now.

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26th May

 

Yes... it's a lavender sheep - you see this is what happens when nobody comes into the bookshop... 

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18th May

Ooh here's an idea... what about having beanbags in my little bookshop...? Of course you'll be lucky to get to sit on one...

I think I should be more cat... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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13th May

New today in my online bookshop... The sheep and

book gift pack!! 


 Contains one signed copy of But I'm Not Sleepy and one hand knitted sheep. Go and have a rummage in the bookshop - how could anyone resist these cute little characters...?

 

 

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12th May

  

I think maybe it's time to get back to some sheep production - before the Basils overrun the place.

So, I'm all ready for the rush on my Basil and the Flappy Thing gift packs...

 

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7th May

I found a container ship for sale online... I know I've been going a bit nautical, but that is going a bit far...!

It also illustrates the need for correct spelling and word usage -  I searched 'ship sale' instead of 'ship sail' when looking for images to inspire some artwork.

I hope this doesn't lead to more container ship adverts popping up everywhere now that I've accidentally shown an interest in them...

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5th May 

I'm feeling a nautical theme coming on - last week I found myself daydreaming about an ark, as my washing machine threatened to cause a flood - it turned out that it may have been straw that was the last straw... in the coin trap there was only a 20p coin - not enough to fund a new machine... but there was also a tie-wrap and some straw...

Today the storms are gathering outside - which is a better place for them by far - well done that storm...! So maybe my house will drop anchor and become an ark... or maybe I'll just settle for my online bookshop being on an ark... hmmm - off to draw boats...

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April at Lost in a Book

27th April

A bird's nest of Basils...

A birds nest of Basils is what happens when I try to save time by knitting a batch of Basils all strung together...                           

But with a little untangling and stitching together they transform into the lovable little ginger cats, ready to go out in Basil gift packs   

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20th April

Over the weekend I've been knitting some more Basils  - what's a Basil? I hear you say (come on work with me here - you don't have to say it out loud - unless you want to that is... )

A Basil is a little knitted ginger cat - Basil, from Basil and the Flappy Thing, in knitted form...

Here are are some I knitted earlier... 

   

Why? Because the new ones are still flat-pack... some assembly needed, I wonder if there's a market for Basil in kit form...  And what about this rather handsome tabby - no he's not knitted, but he is also a star in a book - Outnumbered by Cats   

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17th April

Can you smell the bread...?

OK maybe that's going a bit far, but there is some fresh baked bread here... and a chocolate cake - so did I need to bake or am I just bringing procrastination to a new, albeit tasty level...? 

Well the alternative is to try new ways of promoting my books, and yes, I can find lots of useful stuff by looking what other authors have done, but it usually results in me adding yet another book to my must have list...

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13th April

 

Sheep production has resumed... this sheep seems to have its legs set ready to jump - could it be because I knitted it while watching the Grand National on tv...?

And what about the horse - no that one isn't for sale, it was knitted for a challenge to knit a thoroughbred. At least this one won't mug me for carrots, like the real life one it's modeled on. I feel there may be a horse story coming on at some point...   

So... enough of the knitting and horsing around, let's get back to some books - if you want a book the bookshop is always open - I'll be somewhere about painting the illustrations.

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3rd April

Well the snow has yet to arrive, so I'm feeling that A face Full of Snow maybe isn't the best choice to be displaying on my table at the front of my bookshop, so bare with me, I'll just have a reshuffle and put...

hmmm... now what else is topical? Well there are spring lambs being born, so maybe But I'm Not Sleepy would be the ideal feature book this Easter:

...it's got a Lucy who can't sleep, and a whole lot of sheep... what more could you want? 

    

 

Lucy isn't sleepy. She's feeling bouncy and full of energy.

She listens to Granny's bedtime stories, then jumps about pretending to be the characters.

Granny suggests counting sheep, but when the sheep start running around Lucy's bedroom, even Downboy the sheepdog can't round them up.

Finally Lucy gets tired, and finds her own solution to the sheep problem.

32 page full colour paperback

ISBN 978-0-9560232-1-6

Lost in a Book

For personalised signing give name of recipient in 'note to seller' box at checkout.

 

 

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1st April

A new month - and it's nearly Easter - now the DIY stores would have you believe that you should be ripping the house apart or digging up the garden every bank holiday, but with snow forecast for Easter wouldn't you rather be reading a book...? And given the forecast I think A Face Full of Snow would be an excellent choice.

If you live in the York area why not pop along to my book signing at Cliffton Library on Tuesday 7th April from about 10.30am

  

Third in the Doodle series:

As Eric crashes his way down the ski slope, totally out of control, his only consolation is that Iver No-Idea isn't there to see.

Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are doodles. But they are no ordinary doodles - they're alive, and words and pictures come alive around them. Iver No-Idea has been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He's been practising for weeks and now he thinks he's an expert, and can't wait to tell Eric how it's done.

But when Iver No-Idea and HB are left behind, they find a way to gatecrash Eric's holiday. They arrive at just the wrong time, causing their own unique brand of trouble.

50 page paperback

Black and white line drawings

ISBN 978-0-9560232-3-0

Lost in a Book

I see that the last time I featured A Face Full of Snow in the Little Bookshop with big ideas it was in February... oh well, the weather obviously has no regard for the seasons, so here it is again propped on the display table at the front of the shop. :)

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March at Lost in a Book

31st March

What does a bookshop look like?

Well it's kind of shop shaped... it has windows with books in, and a door stood open to welcome you in... it might have a cafe, letting the smell of coffee draw you through the shop...

So what does an online bookshop look like?

No I don't mean how it appears on your screen, work with me here - it could be any shape. It could be in a giant Teepee... with bookcases spiraling up as far as the eye can see... and sheep - why do the sheep keep popping up everywhere? Well they seem to be here to stay now. There'll probably be cats too, they'll be taking up all the sofas and beanbags, forcing everyone to sit on the floor to read their books, with that down the nose stare that cats are so good at...

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So... I'm not sure where I'm going with this, it's kind of turning into a blog, and as such I'm adding to stuff at the top instead of at the bottom... are you following me so far? Well if I added to the bottom then anyone coming back expecting something new would have to trudge through the stuff they read last time, before getting to the new bits.

So why not start a blog you might say - well I have one, and I could have one on my website too, but it's a bit restricting -  a bit like writing on lined paper when you'd rather use plain... but maybe I'll put a date somewhere, and some lines to divide the posts... we'll see...

18th March 2015 (there I did it :)  

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Welcome to all the visitors who're popping into my website, I'm getting a steady flow coming through now, maybe I should set up some comfy sofas and a coffee machine - work with me here, do you have a kettle to hand? you could become part of this imaginary world I seem to be inhabiting...  

Don't mind me, I'm the one sat at the back bobbing about in my imagination creating the next book... I'm working on illustrations at the moment, that's the posh way of saying that I'm drawing and colouring in...

I have an exciting new venue planned for a book signing - Clifton library on 7th April, and what's more there's a coffee morning and story time on the same morning - books and coffee the perfect combination.

So, its march and the snow is falling, and I have a strong urge to hibernate...

And it's not even the sort of snow that looks pretty and you can go out and play in, it just keeps melting and making everything sopping wet - but hey - it's the perfect weather for choosing a book in my little online bookshop - I even have one about snow! It's at the back of the shop, past all the cats and sheep who're sheltering from the snow...

 

 

February at Lost in a Book 

OK time to focus - no not go and drive a Focus - focus on books! But what to do first...?

Create a book - I'm busy painting characters for my next book, and they're coming along very nicely. They've finally made the jump from my imagination, onto the page - yes an actual paper page...! It's a picture book and I'm drawing and writing it in a sketch book, it seems the characters are happier to jump into a sketchbook than onto a computer screen, and who can blame them...

Sell a book well hopefully you can help me with that - go on, buy a book... you know you want to! I'll even sign it for you - it'll be just like meeting at a book signing... except that we won't meet, and we won't have to go out in the cold - well, I will, obviously, I'll need to post the book. But I don't mind, honestly!

Get Lost in a Book - I could very easily go and light the fire early and curl up with a book that someone else has written - all the work is already done, all I'd have to do is to start reading, and allow myself to slip into the imaginary world that's already been created... hmmm sounds good... but no, I shall go and create something new!

 

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 Sheep - Promotion or Distraction...?

Wool shopping done, future sheep emergency averted..

So what's with all the sheep...?


Well, they started as a fun thing to put on my tables at book signings, and soon became a talking point. From the small child in a buggy who pointed and said "Baa" to the lady who bought one to put in her crib scene at Christmas - they certainly get noticed.

But where did they come from...?




They're the unruly characters from But I'm not Sleepy - who'd have thought that counting sheep to try and get to sleep could have led to this? So this morning instead of doing what you'd expect an author to be doing, I've been sourcing some more wool to build up my flock.


 

 

My first book turned 10 years old at the weekend - The Monster Under The Bed was my first published book, and is still in print - now in it's second edition under my own imprint Lost in a Book, this title never fails to get a reaction - not everyone wants to buy a book about monsters, but everyone likes to talk about them...  


But what... or who, is the monster under Billy's bed...? I think it's a monster that is more common than the many hairy monsters you might be expecting...

 In my Online Bookshop you can choose a first (while stocks last) or a second edition.

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January at Lost in a Book:

Time to read, time to write and time to get the paints out and make some mess...!

It's snowing at last! Yes that's right, I love the snow, though it does look a bit wet... no snowman today :(

Anyway, make sure you wipe your feet on the virtual doormat on your way into my online shop, we don't want the floor turning into a skating rink...!

So come on in and browse around - pop along and have a chat on my facebook page - I'll be happy to drop everything and rush a book into the post for you...

  

 

The battle between words and pictures...

So here's the thing - I've been splashing around with some paint this week. I thought I just had to illustrate a story that I'd already written and polished. But that's before the pictures got involved...

The trouble started as I got going with the illustrations and the character I was painting just didn't want to go to bed as the scrip was directing - time to turn the story on it's head and accommodate this headstrong character - who knows what'll happen next...? 

Well I really couldn't have predicted what happened next...

In the middle of my promotion for A Face Full of Snow... sheep started selling...!

That's right, so I ended up doing some emergency sheep knitting, to ship off to Devon. Then another order came in, but don't panic, this one was for a knitting pattern for someone to knit their own sheep... phew...

Anyway the upshot is, I'm getting a little flock of sheep knitted up to avert more sheep emergencies, whilst really hoping that a few more people will buy patterns...

So what is it about sheep that people can't resist...?

...and should I really be doing another book about sheep...?