3D Kevin by Chloe Applin
I had three different publishers sending me to Bath, and my first event was called BUNNIES VS DINOSAURS, cannily combining two very different picture books. Walking the streets of Bath, I realised BUNNIES HAD ALREADY WON.
Lots of kids came to the Cricket Club and drew bunnies and dinosaurs with me, which was good fun! And we got some great drawings out of it. (I have drawing guides for a bunny and a Diplodocus on my website if you want to try yourself.)
Bath's always lovely, and the weather was glorious.
On my first late afternoon, I wandered around streets like this...
Until I came to Mr B's Emporium, an absolutely gorgeous and well-stocked independent bookshop. The owner, Nick Bottomley, and bookseller Same Drew were having me sign some books, when in walked Laura Ellen Anderson, Jamie Littler and local illustrator Rebecca Bagley (who'd painted a lovely window display)!
I visited again a couple days later, when my co-author Philip Reeve was in town, and Kevin did a low fly-by... getting stuck in a tree (again). Bookseller Edward Scotland looked on in concern...
I didn't manage to get a single photo of our Reeve & McIntyre event on Monday in the grand ballroom of the Guildhall. The festival were brilliant, they packed the room and the school children in the audience were brilliant. The book signing afterward was so busy that I didn't manage to get any photos of their drawings, but one of the adults in attendance - @Roseyonaboat - tweeted her excellent Kevin drawing. (Here's a guide to drawing Kevin.)
I went along to Philip's solo event featuring his Mortal Engines and Railhead books, where he was interviewed very expertly by Bath Spa lecturer Judith Robinson:
Philip had an absolutely enormous signing queue (possibly enhanced by the Peter Jackson film of his book coming out this Christmas). So I went off to join the Bath branch of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators at The Raven pub, where Rita Lazaro had organised a welcome event. I talked a bit about our Pictures Mean Business campaign, then Philip joined us and we talked books. Rita had contacted everyone in advance with a drawing challenge to make their own version of Kevin, which turned out some fab pictures!
Here are two picture by Fran Price and Kate Peebles:
Jools Wilson made this amazing felted Kevin!
A few more festival pics... Here's poet Joseph Coehlo about to go on stage in the Guildhall ballroom:
Charlie Higson with Ian Livingstone of the Fighting Fantasy choose-your-own-adventure books, and Sophie Cleverly, author of Scarlet & Ivy:
Yay, it's Alex T. Smith! Have you seen his animated Claude? It's brilliant!
And here's radio presenter Joe Haddow with half of the team that founded the Bath Kids Lit Fest and make it happen, Gill McLay (who's also a literary agent). Gill was super busy but we managed to go out for dinner with her husband, festival co-founder John McLay, and we also got to see our fabulous writer friend Moira Young:
Thanks so much to Gill, John, Elysia Collins, Lucy Shepherd and everyone who helped with our events, and to Waterstones Bath, who hosted our book signings! I had a great time, it was one of the best festivals I've done in awhile, and I'd recommend traveling a fair distance to be able to go along to it. You can follow the festival on Twitter at #BathKidsLitFest and @bathfestivals.