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The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow: Video Blog Tour

2.-How-did-London-inspire-The-Mystery-of-the-Clockwork-Sparrow-1024x576To celebrate the publication of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow this week, some of my favourite children’s book bloggers took part in a Clockwork Sparrow video blog tour!

Each day of the tour featured a new video with me talking a bit about the book.

I loved all the amazing content created by the bloggers – like the Clockwork Sparrow craft project  on Playing by the Book or George Lester’s fab video review.

I thought I’d post a quick round-up of the videos and links to all the blog posts here.

Thanks so much to all the fantastic bloggers who took part!

Day 1: Tales of Yesterday

The first stop on the blog tour! What inspired The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow?

Day 2: Library Mice

How did mystery stories help inspire The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow?

Day 3:  YA Yeah Yeah

Talking about the department store setting for the book…

Day 4: The Overflowing Library

Kirsty also wrote a fab review of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow here!

[Oops – looks like this video is missing!]

Day 5: Middle Grade Strikes Back

Bringing the Edwardian department store to life…

6. Winged Reviews

Talking about some of the similarities between Sophie and Lil’s London and the modern day.

Day 7: Snuggling on the Sofa

Researching department stores!

Day 8: YA Shot

Finding out about Edwardian crime!

Day 9: Waterstones blog

The special announcement that The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for June!

Day 10: Playing by the Book

Talking about main character Sophie – plus a fantastic Clockwork Sparrow inspired craft project!

Day 11: George Lester Reads

Talking about the characters – plus  a video review from George!

Day 12: LaChouett

Find out more about the Baron (plus enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book!)

UPDATED: The lovely LaChouett also did this great interview in which I chatted to her about favourite mystery stories, the allure of red shoes,  the most fun Clockwork Sparrow character to write about, and much more…

Happy Book Birthday Clockwork Sparrow!

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The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow officially publishes… TODAY!

I had such a wonderful time celebrating the launch of the book at Daunts Books on Marylebone High Street earlier this week!

Hats a-go-go with Melissa, Katie and Louise at the Clockwork Sparrow launch

Hats a-go-go with Melissa, Katie and Louise at the Clockwork Sparrow launch

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Lots of Clockwork Sparrows in the Daunt Books window!

Beautiful Edwardian bookshop Daunts was the perfect setting for our Clockwork Sparrow celebration. Everyone was instructed to come along in their finiest millinery for the occasion, and family and colleagues all helped out with everything from hat creation to cake-baking to make the evening extra special.

We had a sumptuous spread of afternoon tea-style refreshments – dainty finger sandwiches made by my Book Trust colleagues and a veritable feast of cakes including gorgeous Clockwork Sparrow cupcakes courtesy of my editor Hannah, delicious tea loaf made by my husband Duncan, and an amazing gin and tonic cake baked my publicist Maggie. My agent Louise had even created little ‘Sinclair’s’ paper bags stuffed with sweets!

Just look at these gorgeous cakes featuring Julia Sarda’s awesome artwork

Of course, we also had to have appropriate headgear to wear. Ahead of the event, my mum had decorated a whole host of amazing Edwardian-style hats, and together, my mum, dad and I customised an old suitcase to become a Sinclair’s trunk, stuffed with beautiful millinery.

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Everyone enjoyed getting in on the action and trying on a hat (or several) over the course of the evening. Look at all these lovely folk:

 

Lots of lovely #ClockworkSparrow launch details courtesy of @ninacd A photo posted by Katherine Woodfine (@followtheyellow) on

 

My friend Rosi even brought along this amazing Sinclair’s themed gift!

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It was such fun to have so many people come along to raise a glass to Clockwork Sparrow – what a truly amazing celebration.

Many thanks to everyone for all your help to give my first book such a splendid welcome – and happy book birthday to Clockwork Sparrow!

Hay Fever

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On stage with Robin Stevens at Hay Festival

 

I have great memories of visiting Hay-on-Wye as a child. What could be better than a place that describes itself as a ‘town of books’? But although I’d visited previously, and enjoyed rummaging through the bookshops for treasures, and exploring the glorious countryside, I’d never actually been to Hay Festival before.

This weekend I was lucky enough to do just that. I headed to Hay for  a brilliant weekend of book events – including chairing a fantastic line-up of YA authors, and doing my first ever author event for The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow!

First up on Saturday afternoon, was chairing an event with lovely author Maggie Harcourt and the fantastic The Bookshop Band, who’ve written two new songs inspired by her book The Last Summer of Us.

I also spotted The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow in the Festival bookshop – the first time I’d ever seen it on a bookshop shelf.

On Sunday I was chairing an event with US YA superstar Sarah J Maas, author of the Throne of Glass series. We talked about her new book, A Court of Thorns and Roses (and the Disney film of Beauty and the Beast, in some detail) with an audience of over 200 people.

That evening, I was back to chair two YA debut authors – Melinda Salisbury and Catherine Doyle. (You know it’s a great event when one of your authors is wearing horns!)

Then on Monday it was author time! Even though I felt cool as a cucumber about chairing other authors’ events, I was suddenly really nervous when it came to talking about my own book for the very first time. I was so glad to have fellow Mystery Girl Robin Stevens beside me for the event.

Before we went on stage, I signed my first ever book (for George!) in the Hay Festival Green Room.

Katherine signs her very first book – lucky George! #hayfestival #clockworksparrow

A photo posted by Robin Stevens (@redbreastedbird) on

Then came our event, on the beautiful Starlight Stage. Happily we had lots of friendly faces in the audience. We each talked about our books, and read a few pages (the first time I’ve ever read from The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow!) before interviewing each other. We discussed mysteries, the books that had inspired us, all things detective… and of course BUNBREAKS. Robin also talked  about Gunpowder, Murder & Plot the fourth Murder Most Unladylike Mystery set to be published in spring 2016 – and there were audible gasps from the audience when she revealed that the book would involve the death of the new Head Girl!

I was so chuffed to see that we had lots of questions from the audience too – and after the event, lots of people came along to the book signing in the Festival Bookshop. It was fantastic to see the lovely Michelle from Tales of Yesterday who took loads of great photos.

A few more favourite pictures from Twitter…

After all the excitement, I went along to one of Malorie Blackman’s two final Children’s Laureate events. The Love Hurts panel discussion was a brilliant discussion between Malorie, James Dawson, Non Pratt and YA Prize winner Louise O’Neill about writing YA.

@jamesbooks @malorieblackman with Louise O’ Neill, Non Pratt and Jonathan Douglas #hayfestival

A photo posted by Claire Shanahan (@clairemshanahan) on

Thanks so much Hay Festival – I had a fantastic time, and couldn’t have hoped for a better place for my first ever author event!

A bunch of Hay Festival roses - one is given to each speaker at the end of each event!

A bunch of Hay Festival roses – one is given to each speaker at the end of each event!

A Clockwork Sparrow Afternoon Tea

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To celebrate The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow‘s publication on 4 June, we headed to Harrods this week, for a lovely afternoon tea at the Georgian Restaurant.

It really was the perfect place to celebrate the book – from the piano music to the silver teapots, we could almost have been in the restaurant of Sinclair’s Department Store itself!

The tea was perfect – dainty finger sandwiches, delicious cakes, perfect scones, rose petal jam and even a trifle in a jam jar to finish with.

Afternoon tea features heavily in Book 2, the sequel to Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, which I’ve been busy writing recently – what better way to do research for a book than tucking into these delights?

Here’s me and my lovely publicist Maggie, who organised the afternoon tea (and is kind of hiding behind the giant cake stand!)

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Thanks Maggie and Egmont for a truly delightful Clockwork Sparrow celebration!

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow: Cover Reveal!

This week my publishers Egmont revealed the final cover for The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow in all its glory!

Are you ready? Here it is!

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I’m so delighted with how beautifully the cover has turned out. I love the concept of the sillhouetted figures behind the windows, and the rich blue and yellow colour scheme looks so sumptuous. The gorgeous gold foil really is the perfect finishing touch.

The cover artwork is by Júlia Sardà – I’ve written before about how much I love her work. Just wait until you see the lovely interior illustrations too! You can check out more of Júlia’s work on her website here.

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is also now available to pre-order online! Order it from Waterstones, Hive or Amazon.