Monday, 31 July 2017

'PICTURE BOOK DEN' MEET 'PICTURE BOOK CLUB' • Lucy Rowland

                           

Hello! Before I start my first blog as a regular Picture Book Den blogger, I’d like to say how excited and grateful I am to have been asked to do this.  For the last few years I’ve visited the site regularly and have often been inspired by the posts and comments on here so...Thank you Picture Book Den!

This year has been a year of many firsts for me…first picture book published, first event in a book shop, first event at a school, first event at a festival!  And, of course, there was that fantastic first time that I was asked to sign one of my books! (It was in the pub, for my lovely editor, Laura Roberts- and yes, she made sure that she documented the moment!)  

This year was also the first time that I was asked to speak to adults about my writing.
I was asked by Fiona Barker who, along with Kate Poels, hosts ‘Picture Book Club’ in Reading and Windsor.  Pitched as a ‘monthly book club for grown-ups who love picture books’, Fiona says that Picture Book Club is for authors, illustrators, anyone with ambitions of writing picture books, lovers of art and illustration and for those who want to learn just a little bit more about children’s publishing. 

I met Fiona at the SCBWI_BI conference in November last year.  When she first asked me to speak at Picture Book Club, I was a little nervous as I haven’t studied Children’s Literature or taken any formal writing classes. Fiona, however, invited me to come along and see Picture Book Club in action. 


Fortunately I took her up on her offer and went to watch Mat Tobin whose talk was fascinating, interactive and really eye-opening.  Unfortunately, Mat Tobin also happens to be a senior lecturer in English and Children’s Literature at Oxford Brookes and he really knows his stuff…so this experience did little to calm my nerves!  However, Fiona reassured me once again and she suggested that I speak about my journey to publication …so that’s what I did.

                                             Getting ready in Waterstones, Reading.

Speaking at Picture Book Club was a GREAT experience and, with a lovely supportive audience of picture book-enthusiasts, what could really go wrong?  There was plenty of time for chats, drinks and book-browsing in the Waterstones Children’s section and of course, no Picture Book Club is complete without one of Fiona’s famous (and often book-themed!) cakes.  Check out some of her creations so far! 

        


Fiona and Kate have managed to secure some fantastic speakers, from Author/Illustrators Sophy Henn and Meg McLaren to Literary Agents James and Lucy Catchpole (to name but a few). 
The evenings are very relaxed and informal and every so often Picture Book Club even goes on tour! This year it has been to Oxford and I’m told that a Summer trip to Exeter is also planned.  You can find out what’s coming up at Picture Book Club here http://fionabarker.co.uk/picture-book-club/

For those living further South, fear not! A new branch of Picture Book Club has recently been set up by Melanie McGilloway,  Emma Perry and Greet Pauwelijn and it has had some wonderful speakers so far- Yasmeen Ismail (hugely talented Author/Illustrator) and Author, Michelle Robinson (who needs no introduction to Picture Book Den readers!)   You can find out more information about Picture Book Club’s South West chapter by following the hashtag #picturebookclubSW on twitter.

This year of firsts, including my first 'Picture Book Club', has taught me to be brave and to say ‘Yes’.  Author, Tracey Corderoy, speaking at a Nosy Crow Picture Book Master Class, once explained that she says ‘Yes’ to everything and then works out how she’s going to do it later. I think that sounds like a pretty good rule.

I shall definitely be going back to Picture Book Club, for more book chats and more cake!  And who knows, perhaps I’ll be invited back to talk again one day?  Though my next picture book, with illustrator Mark Chambers , is called ‘Jake bakes a Monster Cake’ and I’m not sure anyone will want a cake quite like this one! Fiona, are you up for a new baking challenge?!


‘Jake Bakes a Monster Cake’ written by Lucy Rowland and illustrated by Mark Chambers is out in September 2017 and is published by Macmillan.




16 comments:

  1. Welcome to the Den, Lucy! I'd never heard of Picture Book Club. It sounds wonderful! Thank you for introducing us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No problem,you should try and get along to one one day. Or better yet come and speak at one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. We need a Picture Book Club in Norfolk - how wonderful, Lucy. And you made me grin when you said you'll say 'yes' to everything, because I'm trying to say 'no' more often! Welcome :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Frances Tosdevin1 August 2017 at 00:15

    A great first post, Lucy, and many congratulations on your meteoric year of firsts! I'm very sorry I'm not close enough to attend the Picture Book Club, especially as Fiona, Kate and other regular attendees in the Reading/Windsor area (e.g. Meredith!) are my lovely FB critique group partners! Unfortunately, however, there is currently no such thing as an online cake......

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Paeony, I read the first part of your comment and was about to suggest thar you could set up a Norfolk picture book club. ...then I read the second part of your comment! 😂 Maybe after your course has finished? 😉 hope it's all going well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Frances, thank you very much. If only there was such a thing as online cake! My order would be lemon drizzle I think!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome to the Den Lucy and a lovely post. The Picture Book Club sounds a fab idea - fingers crossed one springs up in my neck of the woods.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the cover of Monster Cake! Can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauri. Mark Chambers did a fantastic job! I love the cover too.

      Delete
  9. Monster Cake looks yummy! Congratulations on your PB debut, Lucy, and on your PB Den debut, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Patricia! The monster cake is pretty disgusting actually but the cover looks fab!!perfect for Halloween!!

      Delete
  10. Great to have you on the PBD team, Lucy! The Picture Book Club sounds like a great idea. If anyone fancies setting one up in the East Midlands area, I'd be happy to come along as a speaker.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's a great offer Jonathan! I hope someone does!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Welcome Lucy, and hello to The Picture Book Clubbers, your group sounds fab!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Jane! It is indeed a great group!

    ReplyDelete