My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.
Last week I visited an lovely Infant School in Eastbourne. At the end of the day I was allowed to do a signing in the hall and a lady picking up her grandson came over to buy a book. It turned out to be Rhonda Armitage who, with her husband, David, back in the early seventies, did The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch , a book that has never gone out of print. We had so much to catch up on - hard to do at a signing - we were both Andre Deutsch authors in the seventies and eighties with the same wonderful editor, Pam Royds, whom we've kept in touch with all these years.
Quite coincidentally my grown up son happened to take my old copy of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch off the shelf the last time he visited me. He said he remembered it was the food that had interested him when he was a little boy. Now, he could see it was more than just that; the Armitages concocted a wonderfully funny and original story around all that food - all good ingredients for a perennial book.
The launch of What the Dickens was held at the House of Commons on 7 February – the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth. It’s a programme to encourage creative writing in schools and an awareness of the importance of copyright.
At the launch, authors were asked to lobby MPs and voice their concerns about the proposal to expand free-use of copyrighted works in educational establishments.
Dickens would have approved of all this, having been a great campaigner for copyright himself. He met with a lot of hostility when he objected to his works being copied without his permission and without remuneration.
I like this edition of The Old Curiosity Shop because one of the illustrators is Cattermole, an ancestor of a next-door-neighbour of mine.