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PHEW! I can FINALLY tell people now! I'm going to make chapter books for the first time! And I get to make them with one of my best friends, Philip Reeve! I made this picture to celebrate today's news:

I had to wait until the article came out in The Bookseller today, and fab writer Lucy Coats just tweeted me this photo of her copy at the Bologna Book Fair, so... Yay!

Click here for a larger version, e-mailed in by The Bookseller's Ashley Baugh

Our head of publicity at Oxford University Press, Elaine McQuade, asked Philip and me to write a bit about what it's like working together. A bit of it made it into the article, but here are the extended versions, if you'd like to read them:

Philip explained how our collaboration started:
‘I found mermaid-turned-illustrator Sarah McIntyre in a tidepool; somehow she’d washed up in Devon. She had to rummage through a pile of clams before she could find her salt-covered specs and peer up at me. I thought she might sing some siren song and lure me to my doom, but all she wanted was chocolate biscuits. So I gave her some from my rucksack, and we sat on the beach while she told me about the outlandish places she’d visited.

'It quickly became obvious that we should write a book together, so I set to work, and Sarah chipped in with new ideas or little drawings whenever I wasn’t sure which way the story should go. Needless to say, our first story together turned out to have a sea theme, but I hope there will be many more to follow. Making books with McIntyre is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done! (Except she does tend to eat all the chocolate biscuits.)’

I wrote:
‘In one of Philip Reeve’s last books, he conjured up Merlin, the Arthurian storyteller who created the most famous British legends. Well, can you imagine getting to work WITH Merlin? Philip knows how to spin amazing yarns, but he’s no solemn mystic on the hill... well, he sort of is, he lives on misty Dartmoor, and he summons up his suits from another era. Okay, he is a mystic on a hill. But he is SUCH good fun! One of us will say something a bit stupid, then the other will say, ‘But, could you imagine if...’, and the other will pick up on it and turn it into something quite bizarre, but very funny.

'Seawigs came about because we both love dressing up, a bit over the top, and I’d just designed some mad alien wigs for an exhibition called Monsterville. Philip wanted to write a sea voyage story, and I was in the middle of making a silly monkey illustration for the Children’s Writers & Illustrators Group (CWIG). Philip pronounced the acronym ‘kwig’, but I said ‘sea-wig’, and suddenly we started thinking, what if islands could wear wigs? What if they got a bit competitive about it? Let’s throw in a near-sighted mermaid. Some sea monkeys, too, just for a laugh! And the rest is Seawigs. We hope you enjoy it!’

Go read Philip's take on the big announcement over on his blog!

Until then, you can read The Fleece Station studio's History of Wig-Wearing, and here are some Monsterville wig previews... more dressing up to come!

If you follow my blog, you'll have already seen this video we made awhile back, but here's a little insight into the World of Reeve.



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2012 10:04 am (UTC)
Brilliant news!
Yes, brilliant news! So excited :)
Mar. 21st, 2012 10:06 am (UTC)
Re: Brilliant news!
Hurrah! Thanks so much, Zoe! :D xx
Mar. 21st, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
This is such fab news - I cannot wait. Two of my favourite people together making words. Perfect.
Mar. 21st, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
Re: Yay!
Whoo hoo, I am SO excited! Thanks for that, Liz!
Mar. 21st, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Hurray! Brilliant news!
Mar. 21st, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Dave! And your news, too! Brilliant! :D
Mar. 21st, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Congrats Sarah! And what a lovely self-portrait :)
Mar. 21st, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Ellen!! *waves westward toward New York* xx
Mar. 21st, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Exciting news! Congrats! Sea wigs for everyone! I'll have mine with an extra serving of tentacles.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Ha ha! You got it. :) x
Mar. 21st, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Sounds awesome.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'll do my best! :D
Mar. 21st, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
That sounds awesome, congrats on the great news. I look forward to seeing 'Seawigs'. :D
Mar. 22nd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Re: Cool!
Me, too! Cheers, Becky!
Mar. 22nd, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
I'm so happy for you, Sarah! "New picture book star" and "mermaid-turned-illustrator"! Congratulations!!! You draw mermaids well; this is going to be good!
Mar. 22nd, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
Re: Hooray!
That was from me, btw. :)
Mar. 22nd, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
Re: Hooray!
Thanks, David! I'll believe the publicity better after I've done the drawings, but I'm really going to throw myself into them and do the best job I can do. Fingers crossed! :D
Mar. 22nd, 2012 12:33 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited for you! And I loved Philip's story about meeting you in a tidepool, ahahahaha.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks for that! And yes, he's still ringing the sea water out of his jacket, I gave him a thorough splashing. :)
Jun. 22nd, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
oliver and the seawigs
We have just finished reading oliver and the seawigs (it is a rather grey sunday morning and we are all snuggled in bed) and we all think it was fab and far too exciting. Looking forward to more adventures of oliver and iris and mr culpeper and cliff ( and don't forget mr and mrs crisp says poppy).
Thank you
Poppy (7) hugo (7) felix (4) chloe (44)
We are now off down to the stormy beach to look for seawig jetsem.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
Re: oliver and the seawigs
Yay, thanks, Poppy, Hugo, Felix and Chloe! Hope you found lots of good fixings for the Seawigs. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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