Tony Mitton

Poet & Children's Writer

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Work in progress . . .

By tonymitton, Jan 20 2017 02:01PM

I've several projects in progress at present. Firstly, two new Amazing Machines titles have recently come out in USA : Marvelous Motorcycles and High Flying Helicopters. These should come out later this year (2017) in UK under the titles Marvellous Motorbikes and Hovering Helicopters. The American editions tend to have slightly adjusted text and altered titles (I do this myself in collaboration with the American editors and my UK editor, at present Jane Walker at Macmillan). The series is very popular in the States as well as over here. This year is its 20th year as a series, in that the first two books came out 20 years ago now in 1997 (Dazzling Diggers and Roaring Rockets). Little did I know then that the first two titles would spawn a series of 12 books, so far, that have survived so long in what is often a rather brisk turnover of titles in today's market. The series started with Kingfisher. When the series had grown to 10 titles Kingfisher were bought as an imprint by Macmillan where they are still housed.

A follow-up title to my Bloomsbury picture book Snow Bear is due out this autumn, if I have the dates right. This new title will be called Snow Penguin and is illustrated, like its forerunner, by Alison Brown, working in a similar style to that of Snow Bear. Another Snowy picture book, therefore. A third book is written for this series, but that title will for now remain a snowy secret.

I have also written, for Orchard Books (Hachette), a retelling in verse of a popular classic, though I think I'm not yet allowed to reveal the title or identity of the story. This will be in picture book format but illustrated by someone who has formerly worked in animation and is making the switch (at least for this project) over to static picture books. Watch this space. It may be out during Autumn 2017, but I can't be sure of that yet.

Finally, for now, my first ever published novel, Potter's Boy, should be out during Autumn 2017 also. This is not a novel for the very young. It could be regarded as a 'crossover' read or a book for readers of any age. Its setting, while imaginary, is based on historical realities. I'll leave it at that for now. The Potter is a real potter nb -- someone who makes pots and ceramic wares.

Oh, and I've just had a phone call this morning to ask me if I'd like to translate two new Dick Bruna 'MIffy' titles into English verse. That's a little sideline I do sometimes for Mercis publishers in Amsterdam. I've translated 16 of the Miffy books so far, over the past few years. I enjoy doing this work. I like the craft aspect of the job. Getting the essence of Dick Bruna's Dutch original texts into English verse that is as simple as possible yet fluent and easy on the ear. I enjoy that kind of writing challenge.

I wonder sometimes about returning to my first love... writing poems, like the ones in Plum, my first poetry collection. I don't get much time or much request to write like that these days. Perhaps soon I'll make some good time to muse and ruminate and see if I can still do that kind of thing. No promises, but who can say where that might take me... ? ;)

All for now, Tony

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