Monday, 14 October 2013

A new hat

I’m at one of those strange moments, about to put on a new hat. 

It’s because I’m going to be a publisher.  

I’ve worn lots of different hats over the years as an editor, a language tutor and a writer amongst others. And I wore hats all the time I was at school. So I'm sure this hat will fit. 

My publishing company is called Cool Beans Books. And my first book is called Princess Petunia’s Dragon. 

It's illustrated by a fabulous artist, Charlotte Micklewright.

And the thing is, my mind is now working overtime, my fingers won’t stop typing, and so I’ve started this blog. 

I'll tell you loads about the book later, but here’s something about me. 

Recently I was in Tokyo (wearing my business-trip-companion hat).  I usually live in Singapore. Some of the year I live in England, too, which is where I’m from. But wherever I go I can see stories. One day in Tokyo I saw two girls sitting barefoot in a sandpit.  They were playing on their own.  No Mums in sight.  No shoes either.  Playing pretend, patting sand onto a large plastic dinosaur.  Maybe one was making the dinosaur as pretty as a princess, the other spinning a yarn about helping her find her lost friend. That’s my guess. 

Anyway, I completely forgot I was in the centre of Shinjuku. I forgot it was drizzling. I forgot I’d promised myself a long walk through this leafy park. I very nearly kicked off my shoes and joined them in the gritty sand.  No matter that I can’t speak Japanese, we would have moulded stories out of sand, and gone on a dinosaur journey together. 

Then I remembered that I wasn’t nine years old.

The next day I went back and the girls weren’t there. A couple of grannies were playing with their grandchildren, their faces shrouded by hats against the sun. I couldn’t see their faces. But their hats seemed to take on a character of their own.  And so I started thinking how important hats are, because they can show what you do, or hide you, or protect you. And slowly a story began to take root.


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