Cristy Burne


I finished a second edit of The Filth Licker!

Woo hoo….   I’ve just send the latest version of Takeshita Demons II to my editor at Frances Lincoln Childrens Books, and I think it’s terrific! It was a rocking story even before Janetta gave me her feedback and ideas, and now, after a good going over complete with new exciting ideas, it’s even better than before.

What do you think? The Filth Licker
One major change, suggested by the sales team and prompted by Janetta, is the title. The working title was FORESTS AND FILTH LICKERS, but for reasons that will be apparent when you read it, we changed the title to THE FILTH LICKER. And I love it. Sometimes simple (if a little gross) is best.

And more great Takeshita Demons news:
, the artist behind the awesome cover for Takeshita Demons (and the manga-style art scattered throughout its pages) is working on more amazing art for The Filth Licker.  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

And in techno-toy-joy news: We have an iPad!
And it’s soooooooooooooo cool. Fergus is already playing piano and flicking through photo albums. And his parents are pretty hooked too.

This, my friends, is more of the future than I ever thought I’d see. I had no idea things this cool already existed.

And guess what? I’d happily read a book or manuscript on this baby. They’re coming, people. The e-book, with all its  incredible potential (for rubbish as well as brilliance, just like the internet) is on its way. As writers and readers, we are so lucky to be around for this.

So what’s next?
Well, I have an itching. The first scene of Takeshita Demons III is an exciting one, and I can already see it unfolding. But first, some changes to the  plot outline are required, since some pesky characters (and yes, Alex and Cait: that means both of you!!) acted completely out of turn and didn’t stick to the script in The Filth Licker. Don’t you just love fiction!!


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Slime-licking demons, taiko drums, and a very wriggly baby


Thanks to Patrick Gannon for this awesome idea of what an akaname might look like. I think one thing becomes very clear from reading this: you need to clean your bathroom people!

So it turns out one of the big things about publishing is that it takes longer than I ever imagined. Apparently Takeshita Demons will come out in June 2010, after being “unearthed” late April 2009. Translation: a fairly straightforward book takes longer to brew than a baby! I sit here 37 weeks pregnant. My book is only 5 weeks into its 56-week gestation. I guess I’ll just have to learn patience.

Clean your bathrooms people!

Since I last met with publisher Janetta I’ve put together a wicked proposal for two more Takeshita Demons books, both of which are super-scary and follow Miku and her pals on further supernatural adventures. It’s really amazing how many cool demons are out there. This time I managed to include my favourite, the akaname (aka-na-me). He’s a groovy little guy who likes to lick the slime from poorly cleaned bathrooms. He comes out at night, when you’re asleep in your bed, so if you wake up needing to go to the loo, watch out!! Check the bathroom ceiling, check inside the bath. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your bathroom, chances are the akaname is cleaning it for you.

Kodo’s “One Earth Tour”

And in other news, Doug and I went to see Kodo, the world’s most awesome taiko drumming group, at the Southbank Centre. They were incredible! Tickets were less than ten pounds and theykodoekkyo only played two nights: we snapped them up just in time. Their flyer says that taiko “is felt in the body, as much as heard,” and that’s entirely true. Kodo is a full-body experience. When those drums are going, the whole place is fizzing, your whole body is humming. The baby was going mental…he wriggled through the entire performance and was pretty much asleep all the next day.

Seeing Kodo is as much theatre as concert. The performers are as much athletes as they are musicians. Their stamina and muscular strength leave me gaping. The skill and control required to pound those drums with such rhythm and unrelenting power…breathtaking. We were in the second-back row and I could see thigh muscles rippling, back muscles shining: that’s the kind of power I’m talking. This was the second time I’d seen them (the first was in Japan) and both times the audience has erupted into joyous, spontaneous applause, clapping along to the finale and standing to give the players an ovation they truly deserved. If you ever get a chance to see them—especially for nine pounds—do it. It’s magic.