27 Jun Muswell Hill Children’s Bookshop with Chris Riddell

daniel whelan chris riddell muswell hillToday has been a fun day: I’ve been at a Box of Demons signing with Chris Riddell, and our mutual editor Rachel Petty was along for the ride. (Goth Girl fans will recognise Rachel as the model for Rachel Pretty in Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen). The event took place at Muswell Hill Children’s Bookshop, which meant we were able to have a little Write Now prize reunion: the judging panel of Rachel, Chris, and Kate Agnew, who runs the shop, and me, the winner of the prize.

Kate Agnew, Chris Riddell, and me with one of Muswell Hill's young readers

Kate Agnew, Chris Riddell, and me with one of Muswell Hill’s young readers

It was the first time I’d seen Chris since he’d become Children’s Laureate. Pleasingly, he had brought his medal with him, and didn’t make me genuflect or anything like that.

MHCB is one of my three local bookstores, so I’d visited before, but for anyone unfamiliar with it I urge you to go: the shelves are crammed with books. There’s a book in there for everyone, I guarantee it. (Not legally binding). The signing went well, and we got to meet a lot of lovely, patient people. It was my first experience of a bookshop signing, and was probably the ideal way to start. Chris’s presence meant that people actually came (I don’t think we’d have had the same line for me on my own!) and I got a good feel for what this¬†type of event is like. And because it was a local event, it meant that friends and family came along to support: we even had a visit from my friends Gordon and Gill, who had travelled from Leicester without telling me. The first I knew about it was when they got to the front of the queue. We went for a nice picnic afterwards, during which my nephew Piotr got to grips with a copy of the book:

A photo posted by Daniel Whelan (@dwhelanwriter) on

And then to finish off a lovely day, Chris posted the latest instalment of his Laureate Log:


Laureate log.


A photo posted by Chris Riddell (@chris_riddell) on


That is a highly accurate rendering of how I hold my pen.

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