Steven Lenton and I were delighted to be asked by Cheltenham Children's Literature Festival and Waterstones Cheltenham to decorate a window in the store as part of the launch of this year's Festival.
The plan was simple...
I'd be in the shop reading from the first book in our recently launched young fiction series, 'Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam - The Spooky School' and from the latest picture book 'The Diamond Chase' featuring the baking / crime-solving duo. In addition, I'd be helping the children (with help from the brilliant staff at Waterstones too) to make sparkly bats that would feature in ...
... the wonderful window display that Steve was going to create! He'd prepared decals, backdrops and figures to use, and had sent these in advance to the shop. So all we needed was Steve, a simple plan. What could go wrong?
Well what could go wrong was a problem with the trains. ALL of them! No trains were leaving Paddington that morning leaving Steve stranded on the platform with thousands of other travellers, and it was looking like the window display might be down to me.
Now, whilst I'm not afraid to dress a room in the privacy of my own home, the idea of having to inflict my non-existent window-dressing skills on the population of Cheltenham was not appealing!
Fortunately, there was one very crowded train that managed to escape from Paddington over two hours late, and my husband was able to intercept Steve at Swindon and whisk (excuse the pun!) him over to Cheltenham!
The window display was not only saved, but Steve did a brilliant job, and it turned into a throughly fun day!
Thanks to the amazing team at Waterstones Cheltenham, and to the Festival organisers (who spent the day with us and even made a bat or two!).
We will be appearing (with Shifty, Sam and Sidney Scarper (the cheeky robber-penguin) ) at the Cheltenham Children's Literature Festival on Sunday 16th October at 10am, full details can be found here.