Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Dave9000 presents Robot Babysitter LIVE at the Edinburgh International Book Festival!

Regular visitors to the blog will know that my new book My Babysitter is a Robot lurched robotically into bookshops, scaring staff and dislodging celebrity biographies from the shelves, last month. So far nobody has asked for their money back and I've had some lovely reviews and responses from readers.

Furthermore, on Monday (12th) my robot will be clanking onto the stage of the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival. If you're in the area and would like an hour of robot inspired shenanigans you'd be very welcome to join us. You might even catch the odd useful writing or drawing tip! 

To secure a seat for this showcase of futuristic storytelling, point your web navigation device here. Transmission will begin at 10am on Monday (12th August). I'd be delighted to see you there …

Best wishes, 
The Dave9000 – your robot storyteller for the future

Thursday, 11 July 2019

My Babysitter is a Robot! New book – out now!

Hi folks! I hope this message finds you well. It's been a while since I posted here, but I've been busy touring schools, moving house, and most importantly, writing a new series of books for Stripes / Little Tiger Press. The first of which, I'm delighted to announce, is out today!

When Grandma creates a robot babysitter for twins Jake and Jess, chaos ensues! Robin is embarrassing, clumsy and, worst of all, programmed to make them do their homework. They're also pretty sure he thinks their dog is a baby. The twins decide they have to do something before everyone realizes that Robin is a robot. But getting rid of their new babysitter will mean putting aside their sibling squabbles and working together, which might be an even bigger challenge...

Illustrated by the talented Catalina Echeverri, My Babysitter is a Robot is the first of four books about a robot and the family he is supposed to be looking after. If you're aged 7+ and like to laugh at robots getting into mischief, this could be one for you!

Best wishes, Dave

Sunday, 10 June 2018

My Favourite Football Books and other World Cup resources

Hi folks!

I'm sure you've already heard, but I believe there's a wee sport thing taking place this summer over in Russia. While football and reading may not be an obvious pairing, I've always held a place in my heart for both. So when my librarian friend George Kirk asked if I'd record a video recommending a few of my favourite football books I jumped at the chance. We're hoping that some of the football fans at George's school will be inspired to pick up a book to fill the gaps between matches! Anyway, I thought it was such a good idea, I decided to post the video in case anybody else found it useful. Watch it below or on my YouTube channel here.

On a similar theme, I finally found some time to make a Charlie Merrick's Misfits poster (see above) to add to my library display set. A3 and A4 sized posters in jpeg format can be downloaded here.

The Charlie Merrick 2018 WORLD CUP WALLCHART (above) is now also ready for download.

Finally . . . and I promise to wrap this up before we get dragged into extra-time and penalties . . . I've collected a few more links to various reading, writing and drawing resources that might be of interest in the current football crazy climate:

An 8 day scheme of work based on the Charlie Merrick football book is available on the TES website. (Please note - I had no involvement in the production of this resource, but I've been told by teachers that it's good. There's a small fee to download.)

The National Literacy Trust World Cup Kit Bag

The OUP Charlie Merrick Activity Pack, including design your own squad cards, comics and match sheet templates.

Finally my step-by-step guide to drawing a football action scene from the Guardian Children's Books website.

These and a few more links are also available via my website.

Thanks as always for your support. Have a great summer and enjoy the football!

Cheers for now,

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

General Data Protection Regulation

Hi folks,

I'm sure you're being bombarded with GDPR emails at the moment, so apologies for adding to the deluge. With that in mind, I'll keep this short.

First of all, thanks for originally signing up to receive these occasional ramblings – I hope they have been of interest. If you'd like them to stop, please click the Unsubscribe link at the end of this email. If you're happy to carry on, you don't need to do anything. 

OK, so now the GDPR bit . . . 
By signing up to receive these emails, the details you gave are stored by Google. I do not store this data myself or have access to it. Each time I write a post it is automatically emailed to everyone on the list. I don't know how many people are on the list (it could just be my mum!) 

Here's a link to Google's GDPR statement, if you'd like to read it.

Here's a link to my own general GDPR compliance statement and privacy policy for my website.

The bottom line is that I appreciate your support and would never pass on your information. I will continue to take reasonable measures to protect any personal data provided to me. I hope that puts your mind at rest (if you were worried in the first place!).

Thanks and best wishes

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Event News: Linton Children's Book Festival 19-20th May

Hi folks! If you're anywhere near Cambridge this weekend and feel like a FREE book festival, why not drop by Linton Children's Book Festival? 

Linton Village College is hosting a full weekend of events with some fantastic authors, poets and illustrators giving talks and workshops. Did I mention it was FREE!?

I'll be there on Sunday, running a couple of drawing and writing workshops. For further details of the full line up and booking info, click here

It would be great to see you there!


Friday, 8 December 2017

Season's Greetings!

Poster artwork featured in above illo is by Anton van Hertbruggen

Hi folks!

Can it really be that time again? The ice on my keyboard and loss of feeling in my fingers would suggest so! Even the cat thinks that winter is best viewed from this side of the glass.

I'm sure you have much to do, so this is just a brief note to offer my compliments of the season and express thanks for your support once again this year.

If you'd like to read my full Christmas newsletter, please Click here.

Best wishes,

Friday, 31 March 2017

A Thank You . . .

Some time ago I wrote a story called 15 Days without a Head. It was about two brothers and a single mum struggling to keep their family together. I never dreamed it would ever be published—but it was. When I saw that first copy of 15 Days on a shelf in a bookshop . . . well, I didn’t think things could get much better than that!
     And then this happened …

Last Wednesday evening my wife and I went along to our lad’s school. He was performing a short play, based on a book adaptation, as part of his A-level Drama exam. It was a piece he and his group had written, staged and directed, and would be acting in themselves. I’ll admit—as we took our seats and waited for the play to start, I was a little nervous—I knew how much this meant to our lad, how many hours of work his group had put into it.
     Finally, the lights dimmed and the actors took the stage.
     They began, and there was something strangely familiar about the opening lines . . . the names of the characters . . .
     No way! They haven’t! 
     Oh, yes they have . . .

It has to be one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had—seeing the characters from 15 Days without a Head come alive right before my eyes! 
     It took a few moments for the shock to pass, but once I’d reconnected my jaw and started breathing again, I got drawn back into the action. 
     What I saw was familiar, but also not. The characters on stage were doing what characters should do—they were taking control of the story, telling it their way. The book was there, but this was better, sharper, leaner.
     There was Laurence towering over them all, doing his best to keep it together, fighting a losing battle against circumstances, frustration and fear. There was Mum, the anger and bitterness flying from her lips as she slammed around the stage, before slipping seamlessly into another character—local radio DJ Baz, all corny catchphrases and slick delivery. I noticed the quiz questions were new though—chilling statistics about children in care—so much more powerful than what was in the book!
     15 Days without a Head is a tough tale to tell—it took me years and two hundred plus pages to get it down! This group had done it in two months, and created a thirty minute play that had the audience rapt. At the end, when Mum is (literally) surrounded by her demons—drink, self-loathing, desperation and anger—while her two boys fight to get her back with nothing more than their simple, heart-breaking offer of love—like most of the audience, I was fighting back tears.
     Re-running it in my head now, there are so many moments that keep coming back to me—great bits of physical theatre like Jay on the swing made from two other cast members' arms; the brothers cleaning their teeth in a human mirror; the comic relief of the telephone box with its living, speaking adverts—“Call Cheryl for a real good time!”; Baz and his radio crew; Mina and Laurence in the library . . .
     When 15 Days without a Head was published it was literally a dream come true for me, and I appreciate all the incredible experiences and opportunities I’ve had over the years as a result of writing books. But, I have to say—the events of last Wednesday evening will take some beating. It was a very special moment, and one that I will never forget.
     So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the talented cast and writers. Ashlea, Kym, Lewis, Sarah, and Dylan—you were brilliant. Huge respect and thanks to you all.