In February, Paul and Chris battled the snow and travelled across England to celebrate the publication of The Immortals, the tenth and final instalment of The Edge Chronicles.
Inspired by the series, Chris and Paul made their very own Edge to Edge tour, visiting schools and bookshops in the east, west, north and south of the country.
Read on to find out what they got up to!
Mon 2 Feb
Day 1 - WHITE OUT!
Blog by Georgia, publicist for Paul and Chris
Well, what a day! Chris and Paul got up early this morning and walked through the snowy streets of Brighton to the station only to find all trains cancelled, no one leaves Brighton. We therefore, regretfully, had to cancel all today's events, which means excitement about the snow in Norfolk was balanced by hundreds of kids who missed their chance to meet Chris and Paul and hear all about The Immortals (don't worry though, Chris and Paul will revisit when the extreme weather abates).
Tomorrow we face a gruelling expedition - to get Paul and Chris to Ipswich in time for an afternoon schools event. Will the trains be running? Will the school even open? If only we had some stormphrax to help. Click here and here to see pictures of the snow!
Watch this space for tomorrow's update...
Tues 3 Feb
Day 2 - Sunny Ipswich
Yesterday we had more snow in Brighton than either of us can ever remember! It was like a scene from The Winter Knights when Sanctaphrax froze. No trains or Skyships were running so we had to cancel the Norfolk part of the tour. Sorry to Aylesham FCGB and also to Gresham's School.
Today we made it to a sunny Ipswich and found no snow on the ground! Northgate High School was great and so was Ipswich FCBG - thanks to all the Edge fans who turned up. We had some fantastic questions - our favourite was on the properties of Phrax crystals and how to mine for them in the Twilight Woods. All covered in great detail ion the opening chapter of The Immortals.
Wed 4 Feb
Day 3 - The Joy of Reading!
Today we got an early morning train to Hatfield in Hertfordshire. The day was called 'Joy of Reading' and it was hosted by the University of Hertfordshrie and set up with help from the St Albans Childrens Book Group. Over 300 school kids from 13 local schools braved a walk over snow and ice to come to an event in the morning.
After a fantastic event with loads of good questions, we had a photo taken with each class - camera flashes, enthusatisc fans, signings, it was as if we are on the red carpet! Then we spoke to a group of trainee teachers about why we think books are so important for young people and how the combination of illustrations and story in our books makes them very accessible for a wide range of readers.
After an afternoon break and an interview with a sci-fi/fantasy book website, we did a third event to a family audience. It was a really fun event and one young fan even came dressed up as a character from the Edge (see photos above!).
Thanks to everyone who braved the snow to come and meet us, and massive thanks to the team at the University and the St Albans Children's Book Group (especially Maureen Irving) for organising such a great day.
Thurs 5 Feb
Day 4 - Disaster!
If you don't already know, the snow, ice and awful weather hit the South West last night, leaving Bristol covered in inches of snow and most schools closed. Disaster! We had no choice but to cancel our trip to Bristol and both events - we're completely gutted not to be there and want to say a big sorry to everyone who was looking forward to the events. Snow in the south east, now Bristol - we're staring to think someone up there is intent on disrupting the Edge to Edge tour! Fingers crossed for good weather this weekend when we'll be travelling to Newcastle.
Over and out for this week, more news of the tour next week.
Mon 9 Feb
Day 5 - Back on track!
Hurrying pass platform 9¾ we caught a train from Kings Cross and travelled to snowy Peterborough and blizzards in the West Midlands to sunny Newcastle. Funny how obsessed we’ve become with the weather. Tea and cakes at seven stories with Christie and Amelia, Christie’s brilliant drawing had won a website competition. We did a brilliant event at Gosforth library where we had some fascinating questions from avid fans. On to Birmingham tomorrow.
Tues 10 Feb
Day 6 - The tour continues...
After an early rise in Newcastle, we boarded the train to Birmingham and arrived at Red Hill School in Stourbridge just after lunch. Red Hill school was great fun and we got to see some of their brilliant artwork. The evening event at King Edward College attracted a great crowd and we signed loads of books.
Wed 11 Feb
Day 7 - Curry, Daleks and wonderful people!
Arriving at Bradford Grammar school we found snow on the ground but the school open, and were given a great reception by Linda and the brilliant Sonia Benster, owner of the Children's Bookshop in Huddersfield, and 200 children from the junior school. The age spread gave us a chance to talk about our full range of books, Far Fling Adventures to Barnaby Grimes and even the Rabbit and Hedgehog books, the very first books we worked on.
A terrifying and fully operational Dalek was on duty throughout the event, created by Mr Smale the Design and technology teacher whose powers and ability to create fully operational things such as these mean he is deservedly revered by the pupils. Thanks very much for our BGS mugs. We met Sonia's grandsons Matthew and Josh who supervised the queue and then ran the bookshop later in the evening. Josh is a big fan of the Curse of the Emerald Skull and chocolate ice-cream whilst Matthew was gripped by Christopher Paolini's Eldest, which he read at every moment, and then got us to sign his Immortals later on.
We were treated to high tea at Street, a Pakistani restaurant in Brighouse - well worth a diversion to the town for the food alone. It was simply the best Pakistani curry we have ever had, and we felt honoured that Sonia had introduced us to what's clearly a family favourite. We were the first authors she'd taken there.
It was great to meet readers from the Calderdale and Kirkless FCBG group, which was founded back in 1971, the library, the Christchurch Brownie Troop, as well as pupils from Westborough and Heckonwike Schools. Fan Mae Squire presented CHRIS with a 13 page biography, here we are on the platform at Halifax reading it whilst waiting for the train back to Leeds. We promised Sonia we will come back and do more events with her, particularly if she takes us to Street!
The second image is of the Dalek, a fully working model, created by the younger children at Bradford Grammar School under the genius guidance of their Design and Technology teacher Mr Smale.
Thurs 12 Feb
Day 8 - The final instalment
We caught the train south, leaving Leeds in the dark, travelling by train past snow covered fields as dawn broke. They'd run out of bacon on the train so we missed out on butties! We got to the American School in St John's Wood, London, to find the librarian Joanne had prepared a plate of enormous pastries. The American school really does feel like an American outpost, everyone speaks with a US accent and all the systems and curriculum are US based.
The superbly efficient Lesley Agnew of the Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill met us at the school. We have done many, many events organised by Lesley during the Edge years. We did 2 sessions in the library, where there are pieces of artwork signed by eminent illustrators like Maurice Sendak and Pat Hutchins. There were some great questions, particularly the one asking if we think up the title before or after we create the book. With the Edge the story comes first, but with Barnaby Grimes it was the other way round.
It was great to meet Victor, a diehard fan who's now in the 7th grade. After there we made a quick dash to Foyles on Charing Cross Road, thanks to Jo-Anne and Sam who'd prepared an enormous pile of books for us to sign. Then off for another very late lunch, Spanish tapas this time...
At 4pm we were due live online for an author webchat - what a great way to speak to our fans! We were online for the webchat for an hour, and kids from all over the UK sent in their questions and we replied. It was good fun but our fingers hurt from typing so fast by the end! And with that, the Edge to Edge tour drew to a close. We’ve got a few events to reschedule after we had to cancel some due to snow, but overall we had a fantastic time on tour. It’s such a pleasure for us to meet our fans, young and old, and it’s been great keeping this tour blog too. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.