Now that spring is here, I'm tuning my ukelele, dusting off my space-suit, and heading out to do more author events with That Sarah McIntyre. We'll be in exotic Walthamstow on Monday and in Leicester next week, doing big events for local schools. Then at the end of the month (18th - 22nd March) we've been invited to bring our Cakes in Space caketacular to the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire. I love visiting Ireland, and we had a great time last time we did Mountains to Sea.  If you're in the area, we'll be talking about writing and illustrating children's books with Steve Cole and Tom Donegan on Friday  and doing the full Cakes show on Saturday afternoon, and we'd love to see you there.

Photo: Sarah McIntyre

I've also been busy reading the shortlist for the YA Book Prize. It's been a pleasure, because it's a very strong list, and I'm very impressed by the quality of books being published for young people at the moment. There are at least five which I'd be quite happy to see win when the award is announced on 19th March. (I'll blog about all my favourites afterwards.)

And finally, it's just been announced that Cakes in Space is one of the titles selected for this year's Summer Reading Challenge, a brilliant initiative which gets thousands of kids reading through the summer holidays every year (Sarah M did the illustrations for it last year). We're very pleased that Cakes in Space is going to be a part of it, and OUP have just revealed the slightly simplified cover design for the paperback edition, which will be released this summer.

Artwork by Sarah McIntyre

Reeve & McIntyre 3: Pugs of the Frozen North

Just back from the Oxford University Press sales conference, where I was talking about Railhead, and also about the new Reeve and McIntyre book, which will be called...

Sarah McIntyre

It's an everyday story of two children and a team of sixty-son a race to the North Pole, and I think it's going to be pug-tastic. The basic idea was Sarah's, and we came up with the story together, as usual. Here's the back cover...

Sarah McIntyre

If you pop over to McIntyre's blog you can see some of the lovely interior artwork, which she's busy working on as we speak. The pugs will be arriving at a bookshop near you this September.

As for Railhead, the cover is still a SECRET, but I read a bit, and it seemed to go down well...

There's lots of other good stuff on the OUP list for this autumn. I particularly liked the look of SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST, by Matty Long. It's a sort of picture-book fantasy quest parody, a full of elaborate, joke-packed pictures like this...

Matty Long

And I also found that Matty Long has drawn a Mortal Engines picture!

Matty Long

The Complete Dartmoor Pegasus


Well, that's the first story of the year finished, and very easy it was too: I wrote it on my 'phone one night when I couldn't sleep, and then Sarah McIntyre slaved away for hours and hours turning it into twelve beautifully illustrated episodes. You can read the whole thing on her blog (and she's also written about the pony books she loved as a child, and included many photos of her small equestrian self).

We had a lot of fun coming up with this! Hopefully it won't be the last we'll see of Kevin - we're just taking a breather while we decide what his next adventure should involve.

Reeve & McIntyre at the SOA

On 5th February Sarah McIntyre and I will be doing an event at the Society of Authors in London, chaired by Shoo Rayner.

Writer Philip Reeve and illustrator Sarah McIntyre will talk about their collaborative partnership and how they have worked with other writers and illustrators. Do publishers help or hinder artistic relationships by keeping writers and illustrators apart? Are suggestions, from either side of the fence, ever welcome?

Tickets are £10 online or £12 offline for members of the SOA, and £15/£18 for non-members. Full details here.

Sarah McIntyre

And don't forget to keep checking Sarah's blog for (almost) daily updates on the adventures of Kevin, the Dartmoor Pegasus - he's been having a terrible time.

Sarah McIntyre