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lipstick cherry all over the lens

Author Photo day, hurrah! Lovely Sadie: Make Up Lady transformed my pallid old fizzog (apart from the cold-induced red nose – so festive) into something resembling a human being. Dominic the photographer skipped about with a big flappy foil kite to make natural light suffuse me with glowiness, while shouting ‘Say A Sentence!’ at me at intervals. (This is to keep your face muscles relaxed between glamorous-yet-intellectual authorial smiles. Either that or he was a bit bored.) And I was fed cups of tea.

Very emphatically best of all, though: on the way out I passed the next author in the photo queue, an affable-looking chap who was introduced to me as ‘Philip’ and kindly asked about my book. ‘And what do you write?’ I asked. He looked slightly crestfallen, and mumbled something about having written quite a few books, actually, at which point I thought ‘Oh arse, he’s someone terribly famous, have made utter fool of self and offended him, gaaaah’, until his mumbling included the words ‘Mortal Engines’ and OH BLIMEY IT WAS ONLY PHILIP REEVE! I adore Philip Reeve (despite evidently not knowing what he looks like). I covered my huge error by flailing at him like a lunatic and telling him he’s completely brilliant, and would’ve gone on for about half an hour if he hadn’t had to go and Say Sentences at Dominic, which on reflection was probably fortunate. He seemed to find it all quite entertaining, anyway: apparently it makes a change from people thinking he’s Philip Pullman. Oh, and he was wearing a brown moleskin three-piece suit, which makes me love him all the more.

After that there were dull things like being trapped on Oxford Street for an hour and a half (they closed the tubes due to overcrowding: strangely this did not improve the bus/traffic interface), but pfft. Philip Reeve!

Jenny Valentine’s Finding Violet Park, which won the Guardian Children’s First Book Prize this year. Only halfway through but it’s a thoroughly deserving winner already: real laugh-out-loud-with-a-lump-in-your-throat stuff. Hearing good things about the follow-up (Broken Soup, out in January) already too.

Must come up with a neat little summary for Biscuits & Lies. People keep asking me what it’s about, and ‘um…biscuits?’ is not the answer they’re hoping for if facial expressions are to be believed.

Failing at Christmas shopping decisions (even choosing wrapping paper, for pity’s sake), lusting after Lyra Belacqua’s Northern wardrobe (please someone tell me where I can get a hat that looks like it has a sort of woollen plate attached to the back of it?), eating fudge immediately before bed (clearly unwise).


5 thoughts on “lipstick cherry all over the lens”

  1. Coolio! That all sounds fabulousdarling.Hey I got a copy of me book today. Next time we meet for coffee I’ll show you!

  2. Do you have copies of the photos, and do you get to choose which ones they use? Did you go shopping for new authorial gear? I hope you looked suitably glam. They can do marvellous things in PhotoShop – no-one will know you were channelling Rudolph.Jx

  3. MG: The room the make-up lady was daubing me in was absolutely resplendent with glowing copies of Invisible City: can’t move in that place for orange neon! I resisted the urge to steal one, though. Can’t wait to have a proper peek, though.J: They’re going to send me a selection to pick from (unless they’re delaying because I look so truly monstrous in them all, of course…). They’re pretty much headshots anyway, so new authorial gear not requid (though I was wearing my nice new skirt which is made out of sofas). Will wave pics at you when I have them, anyway.

  4. Hurray! I have one copy at last, but just one. Hey guess what I might be on BBC Oxford tomorrow(radio at 7.30am, TV at 6.40pm) talking about the Mayan calendar which ends five years from tomorrow. And plugging me book, natch… Unless something important happens in the world and bumps the item…

  5. MG – were you on? Missed it, alas. Youtube yourself immediately!You are in the ‘on the fridge’ Christmas card brigade, sorry (see above). But have a fabulous Christmas, and let us toast Joshua’s very good health most soon. 🙂

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