Monday, 3 August 2009

Keith Charters: Landing on the Sand

We welcome author and publisher Keith Charters to the blog. Keith tells us about the odd, far-flug and often perilous locations that being a writer takes him to.

As some of you will know, I’m both the author of the LEE series of humorous novels and the MD of Strident Publishing. But today, I want to wear my author hat and I want to talk about travel.
You see, I do a lot of it, dashing around the country presenting in schools and libraries and at festivals.. Happily I love going places (and coming back from them). And every so often I get to go somewhere…well, if not exactly exotic, certainly far flung.

This coming school year will begin with me boarding a disturbingly small plane of the bring-your-own-elastic-band variety as I head off to Barra (where you land on the beach – yikes!), Benbecula, Orkney and Shetland. I was invited to the first two; I invited myself to the latter two, precisely because I have never been to them before.

Why do I love this sort of travel when I could just as easily stay at home in front of my computer? Well, we have 6-month-old twins and a 3-year-old in our house. Happily the twins have yet to work out how to open my study door. Unhappily the 3-year-old learned that trick a long time ago and now only the lure of chocolate raisins in the kitchen keeps him out of the room.

As a result, these days I write almost exclusively when I am travelling. And since I love writing I have to love travelling. So I can’t wait to get on those flights to the isles. I have tightened my elastic bands to breaking point, so we should be able to get off the ground. It’s just that landing on the sands of Barra that I have some misgivings about.

Other News

We have two fantastic book trailers for you. First up, Catching Fire, the sequel to Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Followed by a stunning piece of Play-Doh animantion for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

Room on the Broom, the best-selling children's book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is going to be available as an "ePlayBook" later this year. It will feature the original story along with animation, audio tracks and activity sheets.

Louise Reid, 91, is certainly an avid reader: she has just taken out her 25,000th book from the Castle Douglas library, surely this must be a world record?

John Ryan, who was the creator of the Pugwash books which were subsequently turned into a cartoon has died at the age of 88.

Don't forget to test your knowlegde of all things booky in our Quiz.

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