The event was focused on illustrated books and I decided to go along because I need to develop more knowledge in this area. I actually took my mum with me because she works with younger readers and is intrigued by all these different author events that I go to. We arrived for a 6pm start and there was half an hour of mingling, talking to the publicists, editors and designers at Random House whilst enjoying their refreshments. Promptly at 6.30, we went into their presentation suite and listened to Rosemary Stones from Books for Keeps talk about the collaborative nature of picture/ illustrated books.
Rosemary introduced four author/illustrators and each of them spoke about their work.
Librarians, publishing people and illustration students all listen intently to Mini's story of how she came to be a children's illustrator. She began by explaining how she came to have the name Mini. A funny tale!
Our third author / illustrator was Sue Hendra. Sue has been illustrating for since 1994 but she was very open about the fact that in recent years her work had dried up. After speaking to a very ummm... blunt agent, Sue was told her style was "outdated" and "old-fashioned". So Sue went back to the drawing board (no pun intended) and started looking for a fresh style. All her hard work has paid off because she will have a new and very contemporary picture book published by Random House in May 2011. It is called Wanda and the Alien and I can only describe it as FUNKY!
And finally, Random House have very recently picked up a brand new, never been seen before author/ illustrator. Her name is Nadia Shireen and she has literally just finished her MA. Her debut picture book is Good Little Wolf and it will be published in June 2011 by Jonathan Cape - a Random House imprint. Nadia said her feet hadn't touched the ground since her degree show but that she was really excited. I loved the few illustrations that we were shown from her book. Definitely a name to watch out for!
After the presentation we had more time to mingle, eat cup cakes and chat to the authors. It was a great introduction into the world of children's illustrated books and served to show me how much I still have to learn.