Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Image by Jon Parker Lee Photography Ltd

Earlier this month I spent a fantastic evening in Liverpool with some fellow author types as part of Scarefest 3: Beyond the Book which was set up by the brilliant Tony Higginson of Formby Books. I was appearing on stage with Tommy Donbavand, Jon Mayhew, David Gatward, Phil Caveney and Joseph Delaney to talk about all things scary. Curtis Jobling was supposed to be there, too, but he called off sick. The wimp.

Anyway, it took around nine hours of travelling to get there, but fortunately I didn’t have to travel all the way back next day as I was heading to Manchester for the start of my Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour which was being organised by the Scottish Book Trust.

Over the course of the week I visited nine schools and appeared at the Manchester Literature Festival to talk about my books, how I became an author, and a massive poo I once saw. Also, looking back at some of the photos taken on the tour, I appear to have spent at least 70% of the time pointing aggressively at members of the audience, as demonstrated here…

You. Outside. Now.

And here…

And you. I don’t care if you’re only nine.

And, indeed, here…

And you. Aye, you with the camera. Outside.

And no, the irony of me looking so angry while the words “Scottish Friendly” were emblazoned on the banner behind me are not lost. Speaking of which, I have absolutely no idea what I was doing in this picture. Possibly turning into the Incredible Hulk.

Please don’t make me angry. Oh, too late.

That’s not to say I didn’t look happy at various points on the tour, too. I looked absolutely delighted at dinner every evening, for example, where the lovely Mike and Beth from the Scottish Book Trust forced me to consume all manner of delicious foodstuffs. At gunpoint.

OK, not at gunpoint. And the “forcing” involved little more than showing me a menu. But still.

Actually, despite all appearances above I had a fantastic time and met hundreds upon hundreds of excited, enthusiastic and downright entertaining young people. I also got to sign lots of books, which is always nice. I even got to catch up with my old mate The Bookwitch, who wrote a review of my Manchester Literature Festival event which you can find here. Should you be the type of person who requires two corroborating accounts of an incident to satisfy you, you can also find another write-up here.

And look, here’s a little gallery of photos from the tour, none of which feature me pointing or  behaving aggressively towards anyone whatsoever.

I must finish by saying a huge thanks to the Scottish Book Trust for taking me on the tour and to Scottish Friendly for so generously sponsoring it and all the other SBT tours.

Most importantly, though, I must thank Michael Merillo and Beth Bottery from the SBT for being so easy to get on with, for making sure I didn’t get lost or die, and for having names that suggest they were both created by Stan Lee in the 1960s. Cheers, guys!

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