Of mermaids, seabeasts….and schoolchildren!

Many thanks to Seaton Library, Owl and Pyramid Bookshop and Seaton Primary School  for a fabulous morning of magical mermaids and seabeasts!

Illustrator Susie Tyler and I had lots of fun at the library with Year 3 from Seaton Primary School.

After reading some of ‘Estella and the Falling Star‘, Susie showed the children how she drew the Shadow-Shark:

Susie and Shadow Shark

and then the children had great creating an awesome seabeastie of their own, first as a group…

Big Ocean Blob

BOB: Big Ocean Blob. Yes, that is a propeller on its back. Kids are awesome.

…and then on their own! The creations were amazing, brilliant and downright terrifying! I give you:

The Trident of Death

TRIDENT OF DEATH

The Demon Starfish

demon starfish

Scary beasts with two mouths. Yes, two.

sea creature 5

sea creature 4

And beasts so huge and fabulous they hardly managed to fit on the page:

sea creature 2

And the children spent time thinking about words or phrases which described their creations:

sea creature 1

The children were absolutely buzzing and it was a joy to see the creativity flowing so well in the library.

After the event, we managed to sign some books, with the best book-signing pen IN THE WORLD (thank you, Seaton Library!). Signed copies are available from the Owl and Pyramid Bookshop, along with some of Susie’s postcards, badges and magnets.

The Roly-Poly bird kindly lent a few feathers...

The Roly-Poly bird kindly lent a few feathers…

On this beautiful, sunny February day, Susie and I were able to pop down for a quick lunch on Beer beach:

Amy lunch break on beach

and to do some oh-so-very-serious mermaidy research with some stunning shells we found:

Susie and shell

shell in hand

So thank you, everyone, for a lovely day. We look forward to visiting you again!

To read the blogpost by Owl and Pyramid bookshop and see some more photos of the day, please click here.

Of mermaids and monsters!

We were delighted to welcome St Andrews School into Cullompton Library the other day.

Susie drawing Shadow-Shark

The children listened beautifully to Amy reading from ‘Estella and the Falling Star’, then Susie did some live drawing of…The Dreaded Shadow-Shark!

Susie live drawing 1

Amy shared her top secret notes for the Shadow-Shark that she’d written when planning the book.

How I wrote the story 2

We then had brilliant fun thinking about what makes a good sea monster. How could it be different from a sea creature in our world? The Shadow-Shark is much bigger in Sapphire Sea than sharks are in real life. It has eyes the size of barrels, teeth the size of lobsters…and a distinctive double-fin.

As a group, we created some fabulous creatures!

The children then had great fun thinking about and creating their own sea monsters.

fabulous beast 3 a fabulous sea beast

So thank you to everyone for coming along and sharing our world of magic, mermaid and monsters!

 

Bags of Books (and bags of fun)

A big thank you to the wonderful Bags of Books bookshop in Lewes, for hosting a mermaid event on Wednesday.

Bags of Books resized

Bags of Books is a beautiful children’s bookshop in a beautiful town so I am always really happy to pop back for a visit.

We had a morning of storytelling and sparklyness. It was fun discovering what everyone’s mermaid names were and the girls made some beautiful mermaids:

mermaid craft fun 1 mermaid craft fun 3 mermaid craft fun 5 mermaid craft fun 6

mermaid craft fun 7 mermaid craft fun 2

Thank you to everyone who came along and joined in the fun!

There are a selection of my signed books available at Bags of Books, so do pop in and take a look.

book selection

Hope to see you again soon!

Sparkly mermaid launch!

Big, sparklesome thanks to everyone who helped make the launch of Estella and the Falling Star a great success. Thanks to Susie Tyler for doing some brilliant drawing; Tiverton Library for hosting and helping to organise the event; and to everyone who came along and joined in.

The morning started like this:

susie stall and pencilAmy and book stall resized

 

and soon became like this:

busy creating 2

The story is about a stargazing mermaid, so the children made some lovely, sparkly mermaid pictures…

sparkly picturesparkly picture 2shells and sparkles picture

Amy read some of the story to the children:

children captivated by SusieAmy reading 2 resized

and Susie did a live drawing of a mermaid, with help from the children:

Susie and children 1susie drawing tail 2

The children had some wonderful creative ideas about how the mermaid should look. At the end, Susie invited everyone up to help colour in and decorate the page:

k drawing

And this was the final result:

Susie and finished mermaid

We also announced the results of our mermaid colouring competition: congratulations to everyone who take part, and particularly the wonderful winners and runner-ups.

Susie Amy and comp winner 8 resiezed

At the end of the morning, Susie and Amy sat down to sign a book or two:

Smiley Susie signyAmy and Susie signing resized

We were greatly helped by the two cups of tea (on the left of the picture) from Susie’s magical bottomless flask. And you can just see a glass dish next to them, which once contained delicious chocolate stars. (They seem to have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Ahem).

So, thanks again to everyone for helping our mermaids to come into the world with a splash. We’re looking forward to running lots of other exciting events again soon!

 

 

 

 

 

The mermaids are here!

What could be inside….?

Susie unwrapping box

But it’s not my birthday…

 

Yes, the mermaids are officially here!

Susie with box

A splash of mermaids!

We are now all set for the launch tomorrow! There will be much merriment, magical mermaids and more than a sprinkle of sparklyness!

(If you can’t come to the launch, but you would like a signed copy of the book, you can now buy it directly from us here. 5% of royalties is donated to a wonderful charity called ICP Support).

Thanks to everyone at Matador Books for their help in producing the book. Susie and I have had such fun creating ‘Estella and the Falling Star’. And big thanks to Lucy Cuthew and everyone who has encouraged us along the way. Now it’s time for the mermaids to go out into the big, wide world, to spread a little magic and a little mischief…

 

 

 

Welcome to Sapphire Sea!

Welcome to the wonderful world of the mermaids – a place where myths and legends meet with magic and adventure.

I’ve always been fascinated by mermaids (even though I hate swimming underwater!) so I’m really excited that this book is on its way.

It’s 8 days until the book launch and I can’t wait! Susie and I are busy getting everything ready and we’re nearly there!

I had great fun creating this showcard for the event:

sparkly showcard resized

I had an interesting moment with the glitter tube. I’ll be finding glitter on the carpet for the next month. But at least it makes the house look pretty!

Sparkles by name…Sparkles by nature!