NEW BOOK – THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS – ALAN HOWARD (OUT NOW)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Story key

When asked, “Where you you get your story ideas from?” I reply: “In my room I have a chest with seven drawers. Within each drawer seven boxes. Within each box, seven bags. Within each bag seven keys. Each key opens a door to a room. Within each room a chest; each chest, seven drawers…

To find the room to which each key fits one must travel far and wide across seven continents through seven generations and then…

Or sit in one’s room and look on that chest and let imagination do the rest.”

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Curd the Lion published in China

Curd the Lion has now been published in China by the Aurora Publishing House, Kunming!
(Published in in July – but I’ve only just received my copies).






A very different and interesting take on the cover design.

Compare English Edition, below.

Spot the difference?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Removing to LIncolnshire (and debts).

Since I last posted in November we have endured a traumatic double move out of Sussex and out of debt.

Our West Sussex 14th century Wealden Hall house in the heart of the village of Billingshurst was bought by an RAF man and, after a three week hiatus - on the Sussex coast - and - from all internet contact-ability, I found a lovely Victorian house built in 1870 in the heart of open landscape being sold by another RAF man.
Trading the wooded hills of Sussex for the open skies of Lincolnshire also levelled our debts by enabling us to rid ourselves of our mortgage without downgrading the quality of our home at all, indeed, adding one bedroom, living room and bathroom and increasing the garden to 1/3rd of an acre while reducing our neighbours to one.



I now have a study / music room in the house as opposed to at the end of the garden (a mixed blessing) and even a separate hand-drawing studio in an outhouse (when I can reach it through the piles of as yet unpacked boxes).

This interlude has postponed any attempt to create an iPad version of my Curd the Lion book and miss the London Book Fair (as I had nothing to show).

Ironically, while twiddling my thumbs in limbo, my publishers also twiddled theirs (not commissioning) but, once I started our final move, they immediate produced a series of urgent commissions to create maximum disruption to the mechanics of house-moving.

To add an element of chaos. curiosity has led to a stream of visiting offspring (6) and their spouses and offspring each weekend since that will continue to the end of Easter at least. Two giggling grandchildren appear to have been left behind when my daughter left last Sunday, serious hampering my freedom to work (if such can be counted a freedom).

                             


Sunday, 17 November 2013

3D Animation – Curd the Lion takes the first step towards...



I am preparing an iPad App version of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Curd the Lion (and us!) in the Land at the Back of Beyond’ – (Its hardback edition with 80 illustrations at £14.99, ISBN 9780955548611 – is available from Lovereading4kids.co.uk, Amazon, Books Etc., Waterstones, The Book Depository, etc..) – a 3D animation lecturer has kindly produced the first 3D models as templates for animation which I would like to share with you here.
NB. These models are not coloured as they would be, but are the basic form models from which animations may be developed.

 First,
 SWEENEY THE HEENIE (hyena – this model minus his bushy tail – see illustration in background)

Here’s the link to the turntable movie clip – Sweeney
and sample pictures from that clip below...









SECOND, CURD THE LION

Here’s the link to the turntable movie clip  – CURD
and sample pictures from that clip below...










My 3D lecturer unfortunately has had to drop out due to increased college commitments and I am now seeking a keen and talented young 3D animator to take up the cudgel and work with me on a profit-sharing basis to complete and animate these in short sequences to front the iPad App version.
If anyone out there either is or knows a 3D modeller / animator willing to take on this project I will be only too glad to hear from him/her. Recent college graduates in 3D animation very welcome to chat to me, Alan Gilliland - alan_gilliland@yahoo.com.

I need to provide short animations of the four main characters, Curd the Lion, Sweeney the Hennie, O’Flattery the Snake and Pilgrim Crow (see slideshow on top left of this blog)

The hardback book has sold over 9,000 copies in the UK and had some very nice reviews including by award-winning BBC radio drama producer Brian Sibley and Award-winning educationist Margaret Mallett and been invited to Hollywood twice (unsuccessfully) so far.
(see www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/book/3991 for these and many other reviews)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Arthur Clarke Awards, 2013 – Ben Gilliland wins one (third time lucky)! Congratulations!

My oldest son, Ben, has just won the Sir Arthur Clarke Award, 2013: Space Achievement, Media, Broadcast and Written.




Here’s what they said about Ben’s Cosm pages in Metro:
"He is a talented writer who can use Alien farts as a hook into getting the general public interested in REAL science. His infographics are superb and he has been generous with sharing his content and articles free to schools. The single best reason to pick up a copy of Metro. Ben's regular Cosm column renders often very complex space/astronomy subjects in a very engaging way."
 
The awards are presented as part of the UK Space Conference and is given by the  UK Space Agency and British Interplanetary Society 

Third time lucky? He’s been nominated twice before – each time competing with TV programmes.

And he couldn’t even attend the ceremony, held in faraway (from Sussex) Glasgow, because too busy writing to deadline his next book!!

Here’s a link to his Cosm blog page.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Ben Gilliland – Sir Arthur C. Clark Awards – 3rd time shortlisted

Could it be third time lucky?
My eldest son, Ben, has been nominated for the 3rd time in the Arthur C. Clark Awards,


Final Nominees for 2013 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards

The Awards will, this year, be presented at a Ceremony during the Conference Dinner at the UK Space Conference, in Glasgow on the evening of Tuesday 16 July.
With well-known and highly appropriate celebrities hosting the evening and presenting the awards, it promises to be a prestigious and enjoyable event.
Sponsored by the UK Space Agency, the 2013 Awards are presented for outstanding and notable achievements in, and contributions to, all Space activities.
The following are the nominees selected by this year’s Judging Panel, chaired by Mrs. Angie Edwards, niece of Sir Arthur, UK Board Member of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

Space Achievement – Media, Broadcast and Written
  • Ben Gilliland, Metro √
  • The Material World Team and Quentin Cooper
  • 60 Second Adventures in Astronomy – The Open University

See here.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bear paws through Curd the Lion book.


Ok. Couldn’t resist this opportunity to show my readership goes Waaay beyond just Man-cubs.



ISBN 9780955548611. Hardback £14.99. 80 plus illustrations. Widely available, but if you like, buy through this site:
www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/book/3991
Why? Because they kindly made it a ‘Book & Debut of the Year’ and still keep it on their
‘Essential Reads.’

Working now on an iBooks Author version, with multi-levels, including secrets revealed (apart from the Minorbore’s riddle that no one has yet solved!), a geolocation enabled map for people who really want to follow my Animals’ adventure, and hopefully little animations and other interesting asides.

(original bear pic, below, was found, unattributed, on a news item – happy to acknowledge if anyone can tell me who took it – love it!)