So in 2016, I felt it was important to mark the 10 years - not just of Lulu's development, but also of the joy I've had working with such a tremendous group of people. I've begun to think of Lulu as a magnet for nice people, each time she finds a new champion, I make a new colleague and friend.
So first up, I'm so grateful that my stories are illustrated by not just one of the most talented illustrators in the business, but one of the nicest - Ros Beardshaw.
The first 'nice people' to sign up:
Karen Kristensen, Arvids, Denmark
Marijn Woudstra, Luister, NL
Brent Farmer, Charlesbridge USA
Anna McQuinn, Alanna Books UK
Mary-Ann Sabia, Charlesbridge
Followed by Mariana Warth
of Pallas Editora, Brazil
(This was the first time I actually signed a contract on a stand at Bologna - very exciting!
Having signed contracts with Brent and Mary-Ann, I was introduced to Yolanda Scott, Editorial Director at Charlesbridge, and we now work together at an early stage to agree storylines. Martha Sikkema does a fabulous job on the design and recently I've had the joy of working with Julie Bliven on the text.
So much to celebrate...
I can't end this post without thanking two of my biggest supporters - the talented writer and storyteller, Margaret Bateson-Hill, and my wonderful husband, Brian, without whose support none of this would be possible.
In the photos: Marianna Warth, Pallas Editora Rio de Janero, Brazil; Andrew Macmillan & Tricia, MMS Publishing Services, UK; Martyn Chapman, ORCA Book Services UK; Rusty Scott, Yolanda Scott & Meg Quinn, Charlesbridge Publishing, Boston, USA; Kendra Marcus & Ilse Crane, BookStop Literary Agency San Fransisco, USA; Margaret Bateson-Hill, UK; Brian Pembroke UK at Enoteca Storica Faccioli, Bologna - with thanks to Simona Sideri.