From the Design Desk: The Rise & Rise of Tabitha Baird

Drum roll, please! It’s finally time to reveal the cover for The Rise & Rise of Tabitha Baird by Arabella Weir, the hotly anticipated novel from bestselling author, actor and comedian Arabella Weir. It’s her first book for younger readers and it’s SO GOOD. I can’t reveal much for now, you’re going to have to go to your local bookshop and buy it when it comes out on the 2nd of October, but what I can show you, as self-appointed Designer Blogger, is the cover process.

We love Emmanuelle Walker‘s work so when she agreed to work with us on the cover of Tabitha Baird we were so thrilled! First we discussed some initial ideas with her and she gave us some sketches. Aren’t the heart-shaped glasses fun? We thought Basil needed them as he is not like any other dog . . .

We all agreed the third composition was the most balanced so I tried different colour palettes — we really wanted to get this right so I tried many, many options. We chose one with amazing help from the students of the secondary school that visited a few weeks ago:

Once the colour was just right, I started playing with the lettering, trying out different styles and positioning of the title and the author’s name to ensure it complemented the illustration and was easy enough to read:

And finally:

I hope you’ll love reading The Rise & Rise of Tabitha Baird when it comes out in October!


Brand New Books by Lucy Coats!

This week we’ve got a very exciting announcement for the blog – we are thrilled to say we will soon be welcoming the fantastic author LUCY COATS to the Piccadilly Press family! We will be publishing a new series called BEASTS OF OLYMPUS, kicking off with the both BEAST KEEPER and HOUND OF HADES out in January 2015, and we can’t wait! Lucy is an author we’ve admired from afar for a while, so we await her sparkly presence with baited breath… Here to introduce the books herself is the one and only Lucy Coats…

Writers are always asking questions. What if this? What if that? The ‘what if’ for my Beasts of Olympus series came from a nagging feeling that Heracles might not be a very nice person for killing all those beasts like the Nemean Lion and the Hydra, and for beating up Cerberus and the Stymphalian Birds. What happened to them afterwards? Did they go up to Olympus to be with the gods? If they did, who would look after them and where would they live? Do immortal beasts poo and if so, would the goddesses want the pong from the Stables of the Gods stinking up their nice nighties? Quite soon after that a rather special boy, (from a magical Ancient Greece where strange things still walk the earth), popped into my head. A boy who loved beasts, and could talk to them, treat their wounds, and above all, listen to their woes.

Demon (real name Pandemonius) is the son of Pan, god of wild things, and Carys, a mortal herbwoman and healer. He’s always had an affinity with animals, but on his eleventh birthday, his mysterious goat-legged dad turns up and summons him to Olympus. Zeus needs a stableboy to look after all the mythical creatures of the Gods, and Pan thinks that his son will be just perfect for the job. There’s also an added bonus—Demon will be given temporary immortality for as long as he holds the post. But Demon has only ever looked after mortal beasts—so he must endure a trial period learning to cope with the cute flying horses, the sarcastic Griffin and the deadly Giant Scorpion, as well as Doris, the many-headed Hydra and the poor skinless Nemean Lion.

First he must find out how to tame and control them, then he must learn how to care for them, and finally he must learn how to heal them when they are hurt by all the fierce warrior-heroes down on Earth – like Horrible Heracles. Demon also has more mundane tasks—like mucking out the Cattle of the Sun and milking the unicorns. The Gods have many favourite pets—Demon will come across them all in his time at the Stables—and he will also find out that the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus don’t take no for an answer when they want something done, even if it seems impossible. But Demon is a resourceful boy, and he is determined to survive the perils and challenges his new job brings.

I’m an animal-lover myself, and I’ve had a whale of a time re-inventing the Greek myths to give the beastly side of the story. Demon’s adventures (and misadventures) have been such fun to write, and I’m hugely happy they’ve found their perfect home on the lovely Piccadilly list!

You can follow Lucy here:
Brand new website and blog, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter @LucyCoats.
Lucy also blogs at An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (No. 2 UK Literature Blog) on 19th of every month.


Out This Month: August Releases

It’s August, so it’s time for some new books!

In the video below, Jen (@Jenlv) will tell you all about the new books that are out from Piccadilly Press right now.


And if you want to read our August titles, just head over to our Twitter @piccadillypress for a competition.

See you next week!


Series fiction

I joined the Piccadilly team at the start of the summer and this is my first post for the blog – so, hello! Piccadilly Press publishes a lovely mix of books – including many ‘standalone’ novels and debut authors – but something the team here is really good at is publishing really accessible, and often very funny, book series. It’s got me thinking: why do we love serialized stories?

I think there are quite a few reasons.

One is that with a series, we know what we’re getting – up to a point. We know what time and world the story is likely to start in, who the main characters will be, and the sorts of things they’re all interested in and likely to get up to(e.g. adventure, romance or mischief!).  When you really love a book, you often feel like you can’t get enough of it. I know I’ve re-read and re-read my favourite books countless times, using them like a comfort blanket. I think with reading a series you can get the same feeling; the characters become old friends you can rely on.

And there’s that feeling. The feeling when you finish a book you LOVE and you’re left wanting more, you’re not ready to let go. Your head’s still in the world you’ve been reading about – the streets, the smells, the food, the characters, the action that will undoubtedly unfold after you’ve turned the last page; all of it – and when you know the are more stories to follow in this world, it’s unbearably exciting! If you’re lucky, you might not have to wait very long at all until you can jump straight back in to that world you already know, and find out what your old friends will be getting up to next.

I thank my lucky stars that I came to these two books once the series had already got going, as I’m really impatient and any more waiting would have driven me round the bend!

 

 

I think for reluctant readers, or anyone who’s not sure what to read next, it can be really encouraging to discover a series of books that you like, because it gives you an idea for what some of your next reads might be, and you’re already invested, interested and involved in your next book, which can be really motivating.

 

We’d love to hear about what book series have really fired up either you or your children, and changed your reading habits. Are there book series that have worked really well across the whole family, or particularly as read-alouds? We’d love to hear from you, so please do leave a comment or drop by on Twitter(@PiccadillyPress).

See you soon!

 

Tilda

 

 


Cover Design Workshop with School Kids

Hello from the Design desk at Piccadilly Press in the very busy central London,

As it’s my first post in the Piccadilly blog, let me introduce myself: I’m Mina aka the Designer Blogger, and from now on I will be showing you all the exciting new covers, lovely books and inspirations that make their way to my Design desk. We Designers really have all the fun so expect loads!

A few days ago a group of 15 students aged 11 and 12 from a local secondary school (where an amazing Hot Key Books author teaches) came to visit to learn the ins and outs of the everyday life in a Publishing House. We talked about Book cover Design and discussed what makes you pick up a book at a bookshop or library: is it the title, the illustrations, the shiny finishes or the colours and overall design? The girls were amazing and helped make some important final decisions about colouring on a cover that’s coming out in the next few weeks (still top secret but follow this blog for the great cover reveal!).

At the end of our chat we had a little workshop and I showed them some rough drawings I’d been working on for Ciaran Murtagh’s new book, I asked them to help me with the design and they came up with some incredibly creative suggestions.

These were my original ideas and sketches for the cover. Here we have Finn, the main character, writing on his magic Diary – whatever he writes on it becomes real! Who wouldn’t want to have one?

I also tried adding some colour:

Now for the girls’ incredible work, how amazing is the lettering on Deborah’s cover? It really makes you want to read more, doesn’t it?

I really loved the expression on Finn’s face on this one and the fact that the Diary is so gigantic and fun! Sadly she didn’t sign it so if you’re reading this please let us know, you’re a great designer!

Jenny’s was another great example of beautiful lettering, don’t you just love the curls on the title and the blocky letters for Ciaran’s name? Looks like it was made with Lego, brilliant!

If you want to see the rest head over to our tumblr [Part One and Part Two!] where we have the full collection and if you want to try your hand at it why don’t you tweet us your Design?

Until next time!

The Designer Blogger


Out This Month | July Releases

It’s July and that means we have some new titles to share with you!

In the video below, Rosi (@bookeating_girl) will tell you all about the new books that are out from Piccadilly Press right now.

And if you want to read our July titles, just head over to our Twitter @piccadillypress for a competition.

See you next week!


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

We were thrilled to find the following review of COUNTING BY 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan in the Guardian this weekend:

Already critically acclaimed in the US, this is a remarkable, lyrical and intensely moving novel about families and diversity, perfect for fans of WONDER.

Everyone at Piccadilly and Hot Key loves this book, and meeting Holly and her husband Gary when they came over for publication in May was a double thrill. Warm, funny and wise, they both have worked as producers and scriptwriters in Hollywood, and their stories and the people they know could keep you awake for days asking for more.

Many of Holly’s stories are about touring in places like Chicago where she did a school visit to a under-resourced school in a very tense difficult neighbourhood. But somehow the school had a reading group and the kids had prepared charts of the characters, and as the visit was part of Michelle Obama’s drive on eating properly, they had even prepared some of the food from the book. Holly pronounced it the best school visit she had ever made.

Holly talks about COUNTING BY 7s

I can only encourage you to read COUNTING BY 7s to see for yourself how beautifully and movingly she writes. It is a book that uplifts your heart and spirit. This is my recommendation for a book that leaves you not only satisfied but hopeful of the human condition, and we would love to hear your thoughts.

- Brenda


Out This Month | June Releases

June is almost coming to an end, but we wanted to share our June releases with you. Are you curious which books we’ve published this month? Livs is here to tell you all about them!

If you want to read them all, you can head over to our Twitter @PiccadillyPress for a chance to win this month’s titles.

See you next week!


Welcome

Greetings from The Reluctant Blogger who is now going to try to turn a new leaf, and update regularly!

News from Piccadilly is that we are now getting more and more integrated into the offices at 10 Northburgh House in Clerkenwell with our sister company Hot Key Books.

The atmosphere of the office is fantastic – lots of energy, new ideas, problem solving, laughter – and it feels like almost every day there is someone to congratulate. The latest has been the amazing Sara O’Connor who has been listed as a Rising Star by The Bookseller!  And one of Sara’s first jobs was as an intern at Piccadilly. That should help give graduates some encouragement. The Piccadilly team is now almost complete with the arrival of Debbie Hatfield on Monday as desk editor. Then there is Matilda Johnson as editor, Ruth Williams as freelance editor, Shane Hegarty as Publishing Manager, Mina Bach as designer, and me as Publisher. But our ‘family’ is bigger than that, with production, marketing, digital and rights shared with Hot Key. More on that next time.

Our key books for June are: Trust Games by Simon Packham, The Testing: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau (under Templar imprint), and Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tutu by Kate Scott. All wonderful stuff!

Last night Piccadilly and Hot Key editorial departments descended’ en masse’ on the Caroline Sheldon Agency. It was the perfect summer night (though I was the only one who turned up on a bike even though almost everyone usually rides), and we had delicious smoked salmon canapes and Prosecco and wine. And most important of all discussed not only all the great authors and illustrators the Agency has, but delved into our favourite topic BOOKS. What is working, what we like, what we don’t like and what is new. I rode home feeling life was good.

What kind of bookish things do you like to talk about with your friends?

Until the next post. Bye!

Brenda