Andy Mulligan and Chris Cheng in Manila

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
British author Andy Mulligan and Australian author Christopher Cheng were in the Philippines Nov. 18-20 for LOL (Lit Out Loud), the very first Manila International Literary Festival. I was fortunate to see them there.

The setting of Andy's latest novel for young readers, Trash (David Fickling Books, 2010), is based on the Philippines and the protagonist is based on a young Filipino Andy knows personally. School Library Journal has named Trash one of the best books of 2010. The novel Andy is currently writing is set in India. Chris Cheng is of Chinese descent and is a very prolific - and an award-winning - writer of children's books. He writes at least four books a year! His next picture book, Sounds Spooky, is illustrated by Sarah Davis and is an example of a perfect marriage of text and illustration.

Andy and Chris spoke about what was selling in the children's book market. I liked how Andy defined children's books as not stories written for children, but stories where children are isolated from adults and go on adventures. I also liked how Chris was very specific about what was popular in the Australian children's book market.

Both writers also spoke about young adult literature, but I was unable to attend that session because I was moderating a panel on online writing.



Chris also gave a presentation on how to make book trailers. He shared the dos and don'ts of making book trailers and put together a step-by-step guide (complete with screen shots and everything) for beginner makers of book trailers.



There was a book reading and book signing for Trash.


Here is a video I took of the reading. The book Andy is reading from is my copy of Trash. Yay!



And here I am with Andy. SQUEEE!


This is just priceless: At the party at the end of the festival, Chris sang a song! (The title of the song eludes me.) That was really great of Chris. =D

Everyone, you have been forewarned. At a party in the Philippines, you will be asked to sing!



I can't wait till next year's Manila International Literary Festival!

Random Fact (11-24-2010)

The first children's book by a Japanese American writer was The Dancing Kettle by Yoshiko Uchida. It was edited by Margaret McElderry and published by Harcourt, Brace and Company in 1949.