The first two stories in my Porridge the Tartan Cat (6 book) series were launched last week.
A large group of eager readers gathered at West Kilbride Library in Ayrshire, Scotland to discover more about a terrific tartan cat called Porridge, who lives with the McFun family in Tattiebogle Town.
Staff from Edinburgh-based Floris Books (recently named Scottish Publisher Of The Year) were on hand to provide drinks and nibbles. I brought various activities and a tub of homemade fishy biscuits, Porridge’s favourite treat. Me-yum!
The guests were entertained by an informative introductory speech about the series from Floris editor Lois, and then it was my turn. Cue lots of purr-fectly bad puns and a-mew-sing jokes from the author.
I discussed how the books came about, way back in 2011. (I wanted to do a series about a family with secrets – a Grandad with awesome gadgets, a Gran who was once a groovy singer, etc).
Then I talked about the characters and the way names had changed. For instance, Mini Mum was once Dinky Dad! And the name Porridge was originally used for a character called Doris Porridge.
I read out an extract from Brawsome Bagpipes and got everyone joining in with terrific tongue-twisters, e.g., ‘The dastardly Dug o Doom did a devious deed indeed!’
Later, I was joined by my daughter Isla – who features as a character in the series and has her own big adventure in one of the six books (where she turns invisible! You’ll see one day, or maybe you won’t…?)
[Btw, to get the look of the character Isla right, the series illustrator Yuliya Simona was given some pics of Isla and asked to draw a girl with glasses, a bob and a big smile. She did a brilliant job]
Another child and his mum – who is an excellent actress – also helped out with a reading from Bash-Crash-Ding! It was lovely to hear my words come to life in front of everyone.
We ended with some more joining in activities and a signing session, while the children did table-top tasks and had a go at Pin The Tail On The Porridge.
Here are some pics of the night’s events: