OK, so it’s not quite Christmas yet, but this week we broadcast our Down the Rabbit Hole Christmas special. We were joined by the incredibly talented Chris Riddell for our festive show, which covered everything from our favourite Christmas children’s books (including the lovely Lucy and Tom’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes, pictured above) to answering listeners’ Christmas book shopping dilemmas.
We also found time to chat with Chris about his latest books, including the gorgeous Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death, the second in the Goth Girl series; and two new books he has illustrated – Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales: Pied Piper of Hamlin and the extraordinary Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman.
All the while we were on air, Chris was doodling away:
You can listen to the show below and find out about all the books we talked about here.
Down The Rabbit Hole – 25th November 2014 by Resonance Fm on Mixcloud
For this month’s Down the Rabbit Hole, we were joined in the Resonance studio by special guests Katherine Rundell and Benji Davies. As usual, we talked about three new titles, this time covering a wide span of age ranges – Snow, a wintery picture book from Sam Usher; The Imaginary, a suitably chilling illustrated book for Halloween week from A F Harrold and Emily Gravett; and Lies We Tell Ourselves, a YA novel by Robin Talley.
The episode also included a special feature with author Steve Cole and his son Tobey, who interviewed each other for the programme, focusing on Steve’s new book in the Young Bond series, Shoot to Kill. Plus, of course, a general chat about favourite spooky books for Halloween.
It’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel behind a microphone these days: I really look forward to presenting the show each month, and don’t even mind too much when I make mistakes (like pronouncing characters’ names wrong…oops!) – it all feels like part of the fun of live radio.
I’m especially looking forward to next month’s show (coming up on Tuesday 25 November) which will be a Christmas special. As well as some general festive fun, we’ll be helping listeners with their Christmas book shopping dilemmas – so if you have any questions about what to buy the children in your life this Christmas, do tweet us (@dtrhradio) and let us know – we’ll try to help on the show next month!
Have a listen to DTRH episode 5 here:
Down The Rabbit Hole – 28th October 2014 by Resonance Fm on Mixcloud
After a show dedicated to picture books, and a show about YA, we decided to make September’s Down the Rabbit Hole a Middle Grade special. (What exactly is Middle Grade? Have a listen and find out…)
Our guests for the show were Middle Grade authors, SF Said and Emma Carroll, who joined us to talk about three new titles for this age group – Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders, and The Mountwood School for Ghosts by Toby Ibbotson (son of Eva Ibbotson).
The programme also featured an interview with Johnny Duddle, the illustrator responsible for the new look Harry Potter editions, in which he talked about how he approached the daunting task of reimagining Harry Potter for a new generation of young readers.
Have a listen below, or check out the Down the Rabbit Hole Tumblr for a list of all the books we discussed in the show.
Down The Rabbit Hole – 23rd September 2014 by Resonance Fm on Mixcloud
Following YALC, what else could July’s Down the Rabbit Hole be but a YA special?
We were joined in the studio by YA authors Sarra Manning and James Dawson (the newly appointed UK ‘Queen of Teen’) and Sarra’s dog, the divine Miss Betsy, to discuss three new books for teenagers – Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan, She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick and City of Halves by Lucy Inglis.
The episode also featured an interview with the amazing Rainbow Rowell and of course, a report from YALC, featuring author Matt Haig.
Listen below, check out the Down the Rabbit Hole Tumblr for a list of all the books we discussed, or take a look at the Down the Rabbit Hole Twitter feed for some gratuitous pictures of the dog.
Down The Rabbit Hole – 29th July 2014 by Resonance Fm on Mixcloud
And here’s the full version of Melissa’s interview with Rainbow Rowell, which features such delights as cheese, Tunnocks teacakes, and why she envies our ‘melancholy British lifestyles’:
Down the Rabbit Hole is taking a break in August but we’ll be back in September for our next show!
I didn’t get round to posting about YALC straight after the weekend itself… mainly because I was too busy lying down, wondering whether my legs would ever work normally again!
But in spite of the total exhaustion that followed, YALC was a completely incredible experience. Lots of people have written brilliant blog posts about it, but I’m sort of struggling to sum it up in words, other than to say it was one of the most amazing weekends EVER. Here’s a few of my favourite photographs from the event (most of these were taken by our awesome YALC photographer Rowan Spray though a few are from social media):
Malorie meeting young fans!
Author and cosplay queen Lucy Saxon signing books
YALC cakes for our author party, provided by the Bluebell Kitchen
Check out the size of that audience!
Newly-appointed Queen of Teen James Dawson had his crown on for the occasion
Our YALC wall of books – possibly the most photographed part of the Book Zone
Spidey catches up on his social media
Love this one: selfie time with Holly Smale
I’m not sure what Anthony McGowan has just said here, but it’s certainly made Meg Rosoff, Matt Haig and David Maybury laugh
Let’s look at that audience again
A few favourite ‘behind the scenes’ pictures
Me and Malorie at the YALC party
The beautiful Tatty Devine ‘Fangirl’ necklace that the YALC Committee gave me
And here’s the video that our filmmaker Hector Dockrill made to capture the YALC experience:
You can also watch a selection of the YALC panel discussions in full on the Booktrust Youtube channel here
There are tons of brilliant blog posts and articles about YALC online, but I have to mention this one in which I chatted to Fiz Osbourne on her blog POP about the whole experience, and of course, Malorie’s vlog about the event:
I have absolutely loved reading all the blogs and tweets about the event. The response to YALC has been so amazing – from the outpouring of enthusiasm on social media, to the coverage everywhere from the Guardian to the Telegraph to the Bookseller to the Today programme, to the support of so many authors, bloggers and industry folk.
It was has been brilliant hearing everyone’s feedback after the event – there’s obviously a lot we can learn and a lot we can improve if we are able to continue it in future, but overall, we were so delighted that the first ever YALC was such a roaring success. Next job… find a way to make YALC 2015 happen!