This is Jessica bear. I adopted Jessica some years ago when she was about to be thrown out and she now sits on a shelf in my bedroom. She's a lovely bear, very smiley and good natured which is just how a bear should be (well, in my mind anyway!) and she was the first bear I thought of to put on Burly's gallery on the Burly & Grum website. So if you have a favourite teddy bear you'd like me to put on the gallery just let me know, either via this blog, or Facebook or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put it on with the other fabulous bears. So far, we have a lovely Snow Bear sent in by Jacqui, a most beautiful picture of Jack fast asleep next to his two cuddly toys, and Ginny the Moon Bear. I'm hoping that soon Burly will have a lot more bear friends!
I did a lot of thinking and organising while I was away on holiday in Tunisia and at this point I have to say a big thank you to Stuart for helping me talk through everything - Tunisa was warm, but I think his ears were burning I was talking so much! The main decision I made was to withdraw the Burly & Grum books from my independent publisher, GMTA. This is absolutely no reflection on GMTA whatsoever, I am still firm friends with Kitty and would absolutely recommend working with her - she is a star - and I am keeping my YA book 'Unlucky Dip' with GMTA. My reason for leaving is because I feel more comfortable going along my own path with Burly & Grum at the moment. As simple as that. So here I am, spending my weekend republishing all my books under Magic Toy Books (again, a bit thank you to Stuart). Amazon looks a little messy at the moment because of the different versions but it won't take long to tidy up. In a few weeks I sincerely hope that the books will be in bookshops, and this time thank you to Annaliese at Mauve Square for the pointers!
What else am I up to? Well, Burly & Grum's Halloween Adventure is now on Amazon as an ebook and it's still available free on Soundcloud to download. Pat Scullion is working hard to get that first book in audio format and I'm in contact with Audible to find out the best and most professional way to link up ebook/print and audio books on Amazon. I'm hoping to get myself into gear and write another short story in time for Christmas and also put together a colouring book. I've also been invited to read at a school in the New Year and the wonderful children's story center, Just Imagine, have asked me to pop by as well. I'd like to add that if you're ever in Chelmsford you should stop by Just Imagine because it is simply a wonderful, glorious place for children! So, it looks like I'm going to have a busy few weeks ahead of me but I'm really looking forward to it!