Cristy Burne


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Akaname, lick your heart out: The Filth Licker is here!

Takeshita Demons - The Filth LickerWoo hoo!

Sometimes in this book-making business, I forget that we’re actually making a book.

And then — and it always comes as a surprise, even when I am kind of expecting it —

— a package arrives. Sits at my front door, all cardboard and plastic and customs declarations. I still don’t believe it until I’ve ripped it open and the precious innards are flicking through my hands.

Voila! We actually made a book!

For me this is Book #2, so only the second time I’ve had this enormous pleasure. It’s a pretty serious buzz. And still surreal, even though all along, I’ve known we were aiming to make a book.

And so here it is: Yee ha! The Filth Licker, part two in the Takeshita Demons series…

These books are a sneak peak. For the real thing, you can pre-order online, but you’ll have to wait another couple of weeks for your package to arrive. 🙂 🙂

The akaname emerges - Takeshita Demons The Filth Licker

I keep stroking the Filth Licker...he seems to jump out of the page. (Three cheers for Siku, the awesome artist)

One of Siku's great illustrations - Takeshita Demons The Filth Licker

One of Siku's great illustrations - our heroes run into the tofu kozo demon.

The Filth Licker advance copies

The Filth Licker arrives! Buzz, buzz, buzz


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I LOVE LIBRARIES

Although I can’t seem to pronounce “library” (apparently I say “lye-berry” and this is wrong?)(how did I get to this ripe old age and noone has ever told me that before??), I do love them.

This week I went to the State Library of Western Australia for the MEET THE TALENT session with a stack of awesome Youth Services Librarians (lye-berry-ens?), and guess what? I was the talent! Woo hoo. How much fun is that?

But the best bit was that I got to leave the house, alone, catch a train, alone, and meet a bunch of interesting adults and talk about books and writing (and not babies!). It’s not that I don’t enjoy talking about Fergus all day and all night (because I do: he’s really very Clever and Gifted and Good Looking), but HOOLEY DOOLEY it was great to forget all that for a couple of hours and be a writer again.

The session was designed to give librarians an idea of what kind of school visits West Australian authors and illustrators are available for, what kind of workshops, how many sessions, etc etc.

I said I was available most days to do most things, but of course my favourite thing is to run sessions that mix non-fiction with fiction, as I have done with TAKESHITA DEMONS (which features some Japanese mythology) and also ONE WEEKEND WITH KILLIECRANKIE (which features some gene engineering and biology). After all, nine-tenths of a good lie is the truth. Or a bit of fact makes for really great fiction.

Also this week I’ve been working on the finale to FORESTS AND FILTH LICKERS. Its thrilling to see everything coming together, and it’s hard work to sustain the pace.

And while all this has been going on, reviews of TAKESHITA DEMONS have been coming in…there are another two online. It’s very exciting…I even got Fan Mail this week (thanks!!). It’s still extremely nerve-wracking. Lucky I enjoy writing these stories so much! 🙂

Cheers to lye-berry-ens!

Cristy

And PS: Parents and kids in WA: check out the State Library’s fun zone for children, called The Place. It’s well worth a visit!


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“Will I Ever Be Able To Write Anything Good Ever Again?”

Fergus and the toe-munching dread

I am writing again!
Yeeee ha!

Over recent months I’ve been taking excellent care of a Growing Sense of Dread, watering it daily and keeping it in a special place in the corner of every conscious thought.

The feeling is part the dead-wood of procrastination, and part the claustrophobia of being a new mum. I call it “Will I Ever Be Able To Write Anything Good Ever Again?,” subtitled “What If This Next Book Is Rubbish, And When Will I Ever Have Time To Write It Anyway?”

Everything happens for a reason

Thankfully, I have a head-start: I used the last trimester of my pregnancy to slam out a few chapters of Forests and Filth-Lickers, the next title in the Takeshita Demons series.

And, as my lovely mum always says, “everything happens for a reason,” so maybe that’s why Fergus arrived so late. If he’d come on time (like I’d wished and ate curry and drank raspberry tea and hoped that he would), I would’ve had less Pre-Baby time to write, and would be in an even larger pickle.

As it is, I think things will be OK.

Writing, one hour at a time

Last week I finally found a few hours to string together and call my own, and voila! I read what I’d written all those months ago with much excitement. It’s a rollicking beginning, plus, the outlined plot is terrific and getting better as characters start to assert their own ideas about what will happen and change things along the way. I may not be able to write all weekend or in 12-hour stints like I used to, but I’m a step closer to adopting a more sustainable regime.

Funniest prank of the week

And PS: this made me laugh, all week. I recently emailed my sister, who’s kite-surfing the planet while we housesit her house, carsit her car, and dogsit her super-slim super-energetic two-year-old kelpie, Roo.

I filled her in on all the news — her leather couch is covered in spew, the house insurance is due, the lawn is doing OK, and the neighbours think Roo is putting on weight. I attached the photo below and asked her to double-check how much we should be feeding him: And oh, then I laughed and laughed. Apparently she did too.
The New Roo
PPS: I don’t know if that is as funny if you don’t know Roo. But I include it anyway because it makes me cry from laughing everytime.

It’s one of the funniest thing that happened this week. Up there with Fergus eating watermelon for the first time. And Fergus swimming in a friend’s pool for the first time.

Oh, how funny are dogs and babies!!


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A+++: a trilogy, a speaking engagement, Amazon

Takeshita Demons exists on Amazon! Like a real book!

You can pre-order Takeshita Demons on Amazon.co.uk! Just like a real book! Argh!!

The last couple of days have been AMAZING, and for so many reasons:

1) Takeshita Demons is becoming more real!

Woo hoo! Takeshita Demons has a cover (thanks to everyone for your input: you picked a winner!) and its own ISBN! (978-1-84780-115-9, in case you were wondering)(Can I get this as a personalised bicycle plate?).

Plus it has its own webpage on Amazon UK where they say nice things about me (I’m always a sucker for that) and exciting things about Takeshita Demons (wow!).

And more incredibly, you can even pre-order Takeshita Demons! (Did you ever think it would become an actual *book*!? How surreal!)(Go on! Pre-order it, just for a laugh!).

2) Takeshita Demons is (very probably more-than-likely) going to be a trilogy!

We still haven’t put pen to contract paper yet, but Janetta and the Frances Lincoln sales team like my proposal for turning Takeshita Demons into a trilogy…. Books II and III promise to be super-exciting and will star my favourite yokai demon of all. I tried to include him in the first book but it just wasn’t right. So watch this space… I’ll be writing the sequel over the next few months… Thrilling but scary at the same time.

3) I made my first appearance as an author!

AnestofvipersOn Tuesday I was lucky enough to join a room full of librarians and some great speakers in Preston, a couple of hours north of London. It was particularly fab to meet Catherine Johnson, who lives just round the corner from me…what a coincidence! (Catherine had the room mesmerised with a reading from her latest book, A Nest of Vipers…check out her stuff!)

The day was organised by Jake Hope of the Youth Libraries Group to stimulate discussion of modern multicultural childrens writing, and to cast votes for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway children’s book awards…

IT WAS FABULOUS! Not only did I get to talk to book lovers about books all day long, but I also did a presentation on Japanese yokai, Takeshita Demons, my take on multicultural writing, and more.  We also did some quick training exercises: how to identify and disarm a vampire (easy), a werewolf (more difficult), and a nukekubi (needs some work). It was good fun.

Plus, because uncorrected proofs of Takeshita Demons were available, I even did a few book signings, just like a real author. Woo hoo! Thanks to all those kind souls who asked me to sign their copies…I felt like a real celebrity 🙂

And for those of you who have no idea what an uncorrected proof is (like me just weeks ago):
They are draft versions of the book, where the pages are all bound and the text is laid out book-ily, with page numbers and indents and all that jazz. They’re designed to be a sneak preview of the book and as such aren’t final versions, but are pretty close. (I’m holding a Takeshita Demons uncorrected proof right now, and it feels like a real book to me!)

DO YOU WANT TO REVIEW TAKESHITA DEMONS ON YOUR BLOG OR SITE?
Contact the Frances Lincoln Books publicity team, supply chocolates, and mention you’d like a proof copy. You can get in touch with them at:

UK Publicity/Marketing
publicity@frances-lincoln.com

US Publicity/Marketing
USpublicity@frances-lincoln.com

(The chocolates are optional; I’m trying to start a new trend ;-))


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Contracts, proofs and Takeshita Demons II and III?

Last week I had an extremely exciting meeting with my publisher, Janetta Otter-Barry, at the Frances Lincoln HQ. It was the first time we’d met since Fergus was born, and of course, Ferg had to come along too (I’d hate for him to miss out on the excitement!).

Contracts…
Fergus spent most of the meeting on the floor (we don’t have a pram so he’s used to being plonked on whatever surface is available) kicking and admiring the artwork on the walls. Janetta and I spent most of the meeting discussing terms of my publishing contract… I took along a long list of questions, many flagged by the Society of Authors (bless them!) and Janetta was fabulous in listening to all my questions and concerns. She’s taken away some of my requests to be discussed with the Contract Powers That Be, and she’s confident we’ll be able to sort out answers.

Vampires? Hah! Try meeting an ushi-oni "cow devil" in the middle of the night!

Vampires? Hah! Try meeting an ushi-oni "cow devil" in the middle of the night!

…proofs…
We also looked at an unbound proof for Takeshita Demons… Woo hoo! It looks great. Can’t wait to see the bound proofs!

Of course, nothing’s perfect: they got my name wrong in a couple of places (Cristy Byrne instead of Cristy Burne), but I’m entirely used to that. What would life be without a little trouble with your surname? (It’s ironic because Miku Takeshita, the hero of Takeshita Demons, has trouble with her surname too…)

…and Takeshita Demons II and III?
And the most exciting bit? Way back when I first met Janetta I asked her about the possibility of making Takeshita Demons part of a series. She said: “Interesting; send me a proposal” and I did. I did a heap of extra research into Japanese demons (called “yokai” in Japanese) and scared myself silly with some of the creatures that exist in Japanese mythology (vampires? hah! vampires don’t scare me anymore!!). Plus I brainstormed some cool story ideas and some ace new characters, and I spent ages plotting and re-plotting and thinking and re-thinking, and then I put it all into a proposal and sent it through.

The result? Janetta liked the ideas, and so do her sales team. Fingers crossed you’ll soon be hearing confirmation that the June 2010 Takeshita Demons will be the first of at least three scary children’s books in the Takeshita Demons series…

More soon…