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the legend of kevin: biscuiteers!

Late one afternoon, last week, my co-author Philip Reeve and I were puzzled to find outselves once again in front of a giant custard cream, this time in Clapham, south London. What was going on? Why were we not sitting at our desks, churning out another book?


Photo by Dave Warren

The answer did not come straight away. First our excellent Oxford University Press publicists Emily Ferguson and Hannah Penny took us to the headquarters of Fun Kids Radio, where Philip lounged elegantly and I wondered how I was going to play the ukulele on air and sing while wearing those big padded headphones. Fortunately I was highly caffeinated, which seemed to do the trick. And as soon as we plonked our big fluffy Kevin in the middle of the recording table, presenter Bex was won over and we had a good chat.


3D Kevin created by Chloe Applin


Then we were off on a whirlwind bookshop tour! Kevin was just kind of coasting, so Emilie and Hannah flapped hard to make the cab go faster.



First stop was Foyles Charing Cross Road, where we met up with bookseller Chloe Coles, author of Bookshop Girl, and signed each other's books.



Next stop, Hatchard's Piccadilly! I remember walking down Piccadilly about 20 years ago with a colleague from my very first (American) publishing company, saying to her that it was my dream that some day I might get to do a signing in Hatchard's. But I had no idea it would be with a fat flying pony, which makes it even better.



Kevin instantly saw the unicorn on the insignia and decided that HE, TOO, would like an appointment with the Queen. He thinks unicorns shouldn't get all the good gigs.



And one more stop, Waterstone's Piccadilly! They've been great at tweeting up the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign and it's a place I've spent a lot of hours; along with Foyles, it's kind of my hub for meeting people in London.



Then Kevin got all excited about riding in a cab all the way to Clapham. He couldn't stop staring out the window and watching all the buses go by.



And then we arrived at a rather remarkable shop called Biscuiteers!


Photo by Dave Warren

Where we were met by our fabulous book team, including our publisher, Liz Cross, and our editor, Clare Whitston, resplendent in bright yellow.


Photo by Dave Warren

Now, I'm not very good at baking. I tried to make cupcakes once for my picture book team and they looked odd and tasted like metal. So I was vastly relieved to see that we would have people to assist us in the Biscuit Process.


Photo by Dave Warren

Look at these biscuits! They were all beautifully prepped for us, and I have absolutely no idea how they got that black even line around the outside of Kevin and Max's face. I think it might be an Important Trade Secret.


Photo by Dave Warren

The biscuits even came with guides, for people who might want helpful decorating suggestions! One guest had arrived and she, in particular, was VERY EXCITED about the biscuits. Here she is, our junior reviewerm, giving Kevin a cuddle (but actually thinking about biscuits, just like Kevin).


Photo by Dave Warren

And we were off! Everyone was very intent on squeezing their tubes of icing.


Photo by Dave Warren

Our junior reviewer was so enthusiastic that, once she'd finished icing her biscuits, she created a whole extra icing masterpiece on her placemat.



Here's Tony West from The Alligator's Mouth bookshop in Richmond, with his Very Fine Biscuits.



And here are journalist Charlotte Eyre, agent and WRD Magazine publisher Helen Boyle, and Sarah Sleath from Booktrust.


Photo by Dave Warren

And here's the OUP team, getting some Biscuiteer pointers.


Photo by Dave Warren

Presenting... fully iced Legend of Kevin biscuits!



We did a little presentation and sang the Legend of Kevin song, but a couple glasses of bubbly were far less helpful than the morning's caffeine for performance standards, and the quality of music was a bit lower than on radio. (But hopefully the crowd was more forgiving.) Here's my ace agent Jodie Hodges, on the right, with her incredibly helpful assistant Molly Jamieson.


Photo by Dave Warren

Lovely Helen's long been my Afternoon Tea buddy.


Photo by Dave Warren

Emily Ferguson has recently joined OUP as Senior Publicist, so hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more of her!


Photo by Dave Warren

Here's Philip with Isabel from Booktrust:


Photo by Dave Warren

And Hannah Penny, with Tony. (If you're ever in Richmond, visiting The Alligator's Mouth is essential.)


Photo by Dave Warren

Signing books for Imogen Russell Williams and junior reviewer:


Photo by Dave Warren

And here's Dave Warren, who took most of the lovely photos I've posted here!


Photo by MEEEEE!


Huge thanks to OUP, the Biscuiteers, Dave, Chloe Applin for her Kevin sewing skills and everyone who came along for our Custard Cream biscuit party! Kevin says he's so full now that he's never eating biscuits again, which we all know is a nice little bit of Fiction.


Photo by Dave Warren

You can find out more about The Legend of Kevin and learn how to draw Kevin on my website, and buy a copy from all good bookshops, including Foyles, Waterstones and Nottingham's Page 45.)

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