Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Edinburgh Book Festival 2014 My event dates

It's almost August and that means in about 10 days or so it will be time for the Edinburgh Book Festival 2014 to open its doors.

The site is being prepared from the grassy private square at the end of Edinburgh's Geroge Street that is Charlotte Gardens, into the tented vibrant book festival complete with Spiegeletent, bookshops event and party tents and of course the wonderful author's yurt that is the green room.

This year I am going to be there for two events - one in the public programme and another for younger children in the schools programme. 

 in the main children's programme is for 14+ and is called 'Motive and Intention' and I will be appearing with fellow YA author Laura Jarrett, and chaired by Julia Eccleshare.It is on Saturday 23rd August 7-8pm. We will be discussing our latest books - 
Laura's  'Louder than Words' and my 'Don't Judge Me'

So if you are interested in reading or writing YA, why not come along and ask us some questions!

With a complete change of subject matter my second event is in the schools programme, where schools are invited to bring classes to the Book Festival to meet their favourite authors. 

On 20th August I will be speaking to school classes in Charlotte Square about Hamish McHaggis and the Skirmish at Stirling.

In the programme it shows that this event was to be with my good friend and Hamish McHaggis illustrator,, Sally J. Collins, who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago.

She had been looking forward to this event and I will miss her involvement but intend that it will be a celebration of all things Hamish, as Sally would have wished, including bringing up some children to hold the beautiful mini beasts that Sally created.  

One of these creatures is hidden on each page, in each Hamish McHaggis book.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sally J Collins 1951-2014

                 Sally J Collins 1951-2014
Sally J Collins 1951-2014
‘Fluffy’   is a word that has been used often in the last few days as people share their memories of my dear friend, the talented illustrator of the Hamish McHaggis series.  Sally was fluffy and gentle, kind and thoughtful but when it came to her artwork she was a consummate professional, with an incredible eye for detail.
We worked together for 10 years on the Hamish McHaggis books. Hamish McHaggis and the Great Glasgow Treasure Hunt was the latest, and now sadly the last of the ten books we did together.

Hamish McH glasgow cover

I remember the fun we had going on trips to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove, Transport Museum and Pollok House so that Sally could do research  for her illustrations.

Sally was always delighted when she heard of children who had taken Hamish to their hearts, sending us pictures, ideas for stories and families who told us Hamish was their favourite bedtime story, or cuddly toy.
Clan Gathering July 2009
        Clan Gathering July 2009
We had an amazing time together working on the Hamish McHaggis books, which were a close collaboration; we were very much a partnership. We had huge fun over the years with book launches and events in Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Glamis Castle, at Balmoral, and on the Falkirk Wheel, and at the last Clan Gathering in 2009, when Hamish was the children’s mascot and we met people from all over the world who became dedicated Hamish fans.
We painted up a car as Hamish’s Whirry Bang  and there is a full size Hamish
as well as the little soft toy Hamish, which Sally just loved to cuddle.
cuddly Hamish McHaggis Toy
Sally was a kind and generous friend and colleague, and a delightful person to be around and she will be sadly missed but her delightful images will live on in the books to remind us of her.