Author Archives: Mattlibrarian

Mary Hoffman

On wednesday 23rd July I was one of a fortunate group of Librarians to be invited to the offices of Bloomsbury Publishers to meet Mary Hoffman (the author of the fantastic Stravaganza series as well as The Falconer’s Knot and many other fabulous books).

We all sat round a table and discussed the Stravaganza series with Mary – how the inspiration for the stories struck, her love for all things Italian and heard her read an extract from the latest book Stravaganza – City of Secrets. We were also fortuante to hear er read the prologue from her latest (as yet unpublished) book set during the time of the Albigensian Crusade – the title escapes me at present but I will add it as soon as I recall it. We were also shown the talismans from each book that she acquired during the writing and used as foci to keep her mind in the project. Mary was also barraged with questions about her books, plans for future titles in the series and Italy. I was interested to discover that her family was close to one of my favourite authors when I was growing up the late Douglas Hill author of Blade of the Poisoner – the first fantasy novel I can recall reading and the Galactic Warlord series starring the last Legionnaire Keill Randor.

Malorie Blackman awarded OBE

Congratulations to Malorie Blackman who is to be awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthdays Honours List.

Malorie says of the honour:

“I have been a professional writer for almost two decades now, so I am thrilled and honoured to receive an OBE for services to children’s literature.”

Malorie Blackman is one of the country’s most well loved and acclaimed authors for young adults. She worked as a Database Manager and Systems Programmer before becoming a full-time writer. After receiving 82 rejection letters for her first eight to ten books, her first book, Not So Stupid! was published in 1990 and was a selected title for the 1991 Feminist Book Fortnight, and Malorie participated in the first BBC TV Black Women’s Screenwriting Workshop in 1991. She has written a number of books for young readers which have been dramatised successfully for children’s television including the Whizziwig series and has worked on other TV projects such as Byker Grove and Pig Heart Boy which won a BAFTA for best children’s drama 2000.

Malorie’s titles for Random House Children’s Books include Cloud Busting (selected for the first Booked Up Scheme in 2007), Hacker, Thief and Pig Heart Boy. For older readers her name has become famed for the Noughts & Crosses sequence, where set ideas of race, heritage, belief, power, money and love are challenged – the first book was recently adapted for the stage and directed by Dominic Cooke for the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing to critical acclaim in the Winter Season 2007/8, in Stratford upon Avon and on tour around the UK. A fourth book is to be published in November 2008, moving on the story in Double Cross, which is set to be one of the most highly anticipated books of the year.

Malorie’s reputation has steadily grown and she has been awarded a number of prizes, and has been involved in countless projects enabling children and young adults to access her work, and get interested in reading. She lives in Kent with her husband and daughter – and a collection of around 15,000 books!

(taken from Randon House Press Release

No to Age Banding

No To Age Banding

I believe that this should be supported (the campaign against age banding that is). There has been quite a lot of movement in the blogosphere and in national press about this – both for and against. Some links follow below:

Pop Goes the Library

The Guardian

Adele Geras – Guardian Blogs

Forbidden Planet Blog

The Bookseller

CBBC News

Anne Fine – Scotsman News

Teen Librarian Monthly News

As of this month (May) TLM will be released at the end of the month, rather than mid-month. The May edition will be come out on the 30th.

For any Libraries in the London area that have manga groups:

EXCLUSIVE SIGNING & MANGA ART COMPETITION, 26TH APRIL, 1PM

Date: April 26th 2008
Time: 1pm
Location: Orbital Manga
Address: 4c Orion House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9NY
Tel. 0207 2405577
Email: manga@orbitalcomics.com

Manga Fans this is your chance to meet the artists from the new manga graphic novel Demon Prince: Children of Gaia.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the artist from Dimensional Manga in action sketching on some pretty big peices of board!

You’ll also be able to pick up some pre-release volumes of the manga book 1-5 exclusively and limited edition A1 sized posters @ Orbital Manga on the day of the signing.

The first 10 customers to buy vol.1 and a poster will recieve signed copies and a FREE manga art illustration drawn in front of them!

Manga Art Competition!!

To be in with a chance of winning some cool prizes courtesy of Dimensional Manga all you have to do is draw some cool art and post / hand it in to Orbital Manga with your name, email and contact number on the back.

Deadline: 26th April by 2pm (bring your art with you on the day of the signing)

Here’s what you could win –

*GRAND PRIZE*
If you’re supertalented – there’s a chance of a possible position within Dimensional Manga!!

*1st PRIZE*
Demon Prince: Children of Gaia volumes 1-5 signed, 3 posters and a special limited edition hand drawn manga art (That’s around £80 worth of goodies!)

*2nd PRIZE*
Demon Prince – Children of Gaia volume 1-2 signed

*3rd PRIZE*
Demon Prince – Children of Gaia volume 1 signed

Orbital Manga recommends London Graphic Center as a great stockist for materials needed to prepare any art for the competition

Books to look out for

I received two excellent books by Lisa Clark recently for review purposes and while I am the wrong gender I think they are worth having in a library collection. The covers of the books are below:

I have passed them on to a colleague of mine for a review from a female perspective.

You can get to Lisa’s website by folliwing this link: Pink World

Chicklish – an excellent review site

YLG London AGM at Faber & Faber

On Wednesday the 19th March the AGM for the Youth Libraries Group: London was held at the Faber & Faber Offices in Queen Square. The AGM went smoothly and quickly; then with official business having been taken care of, this left the evening clear for the main draw of the evening – A talk with four of Faber’s Teen/YA authors.

These were:


Steve Voake

Alexander Gordon Smith (and his brother Jamie’s head)

Rachel Wright

and

Alex Milway and his rats.

All attendees were introduced to the F&F youth punlishingteam and then the floor was left open to the authors.

Steve Voake discussed his books The Dreamwalkers Child, The Web of Fire and The Starlight Conspiracy.

Alexander Gordon Smith (so named he said to prevent him having the nickname ‘GAS’ in school) – call him Gordon, spoke about his series The Inventors that he co-writes with his younger brother Jamie.

Rachel Wright spoke about her book You’ve got Blackmail and the heroine Lozzie Cracknell (described as Kelly Osbourne without the drag queen make up).

Alex Milway introduced his book The Mousehunter and showcased some mice (lovingly made by his mum) as well as speaking about workshops he has run on mouse creation and stories.

After the authors had spoken they fielded questions from the audience and then everyone had a chance to get their books signed and chat to the authors (as well as getting photos taken).


A close up of three of the mice from The Mousehunter – The Golden Mouse, The Howling Moon Mouse and (I think) the Moose Mouse.


A close up of one of AGS’s tattoos – worn that night in honour of the Librarians he was speaking to

It was an excellent evening that left all attendees feeling good and is a sign of the high-quality YA books currently being published in the UK.

Dimensional Manga

Dimensional Manga is a publishing company registered under the company name Fifth Dimension Limited. It specialises in producing manga (comic format) graphic novels. Its main titles include Demon Prince: Children of Gaia scheduled release February 2008. Titles to follow in the future include Origins: Energy Pattern Disruption, Discoveries: Fifth Dimensional LayerShift, Ghost Battle: Imprisoned by Progression, Incomplete: Detached, Hero Complex, Winning Tactics F.C and Monsters& Samurais.

Dimensional Manga believes in providing fans with a top quality experience through stunning storylines captured in amazing manga graphic novels. Dimensional Manga’s ultimate aim is to push the barriers within the comic books arena and introduce never before seen concepts and content encapsulated in a perfect balance of action, comedy and excitement guaranteed to amaze.

Dimensional Manga was founded by Dil. He had been intrigued by the comic format especially manga for over 10 years and was captivated by this art form since. This art style inspired him to begin writing his own stories and creating original character designs. In 2006 Dimensional Manga was established. The aim of this was to promote manga and the comic format in the west and to release an original unique story that would entertain the masses. To do this Dimensional Manga needed to contract professional comic artists from all over the world inlcuding Canada, Malaysia, Philipines and UK. Manga and the comic format is a unique way to express ideas. Dil prefers this medium over conventional books/novels because of the combination of visuals and written text. As a result Dil was inspired by the comic format resulting in his decision to adopt this this style for his stories.

Dil is responsible for writing the story, the script, co-ordinating the story board and instructing the artists on how to create each frame. The goal was to ‘create’, not borrow, change or visually alter established concepts, but to make a fresh start. His ultimate aim is to show that there are always new possibilities still available, no matter what achievements have been accomplished. And his hope is that this message will inspire others to do the same.

Author Profiles Section

A new author profile section has just been set up on the Teen Librarian site. The first author to be featured is Jenny Downham

View her blog site http://www.beforeidiebook.blogspot.com/