Photo via Barry O'Donovan on Twitter
What, a CAT at 8 Northumberland Avenue? Ah, but this is a famous cat, apparently! It's Street Cat Bob and his owner and he has about a zillion Internet friends. I was amazed by the cat's composure in such a crowded room, while MD Philippa Dickinson gave her speech.
Now THIS guy writes and draws some of the best comedy in Britain. I'm a huge fan of James Turner's comics, including Star Cat in The Phoenix Comic and his Super Animal Adventure Squad book, which David Fickling and RH co-published. (I included his book in my Top 20 Christmas Prezzie Tips.) James is @eruditebaboon on Twitter, go follow him if you're not already! Oh, and giant Tunnock's, look at that. And giant McIntyre.
Look, it's legend Shirley Hughes! With her fab daughter Clara Vulliamy!
They're working on books together, here's a little peek:
And here's the editor and designer for the book I've been working on with David Fickling and David O'Connell, Jampires, coming out next October. It's great working with these ladies - Alice Corrie and Ness Wood - and we have another book in the works. (Here are portraits I drew of the two of them.)
Hey, it's SF Said! I've been wanting to meet this guy since he wrote such an amazing review of Oliver and the Seawigs in The Guardian. And he was sporting a Blue Peter Badge! He says I might get one if Philip Reeve and I win the Blue Peter Award, but he tipped me off, that I'll still have to ask. Good to know. I also got to talk with the illustrator for his book Phoenix, Dave McKean, (but I didn't get a photo).
Here's top writer-illustrator Babette Cole, looking fabulous as always, in red. Babette has recently set up Inky Sprat, publishing children's books for tablets.
The ballroom had a yummy sweets theme, but with many of them hidden safely behind glass or chicken wire, ha ha. Here's writer Peter F Hamilton, Nick Sharratt in the middle, and Adam Stower on the right, up from Brighton.
Lovely Louise Yates, who won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2010 for Dog Loves Books. (See photos from this year's Funny Prize here.)
Here's writer Joyce Dunbar (Polly Dunbar's mum!) and writer-illustrator Alexis Deacon.
Lino-cut printmaking genius Chris Wormell and writer and Girls Heart Books blog coordinator Jo Cotterill.
Printmaking legend John Lawrence, publisher at RH imprint Anderson Press Klaus Flugge and reviewer Nicolette Jones.
Fab ladies, writer-illustrator Mini Grey and writer Teresa Heapy (love that skirt!).
Hey, it's John Aggs! He's scheduled to draw the graphic novel of Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses (as soon as he finishes the one he's working on now).
Double-trouble writers Matt Haig and Anthony McGowan:
And back on the Tunnock's train with James and Steve Cole, who's getting ready to write the Young James Bond books.
One of my all-time favourite people, wonderful writer (and occasoinal cartoonist) Candy Gourlay! She's looking slightly peeved here because I insisted on standing behind her so she wouldn't look so tiny.
Photo via Jo Cotterill
One more with Babette...!
Photo via Babette Cole
So that's it! Sadly, I think this might be my last Random House Christmas party for awhile because David Fickling has set up his own publishing house now, and my new books will be with him. (He commissioned them ages ago, and worked hard on me with them; it's only right.) And Random House only invite people who've had a book come out that year. So this year's book was the paperback edition of Vern and Lettuce, of which I'm very proud. (And unusually, I think I prefer the paperback version: the cover's better and it's an easier size to read on the bus.) Thank you, Random House, it's been great working with you, and a lovely party!