Simon Higgins Launches Monkey Fist

My blog has been sadly, badly neglected of late. I have been been having too much fun! Blame it on the Book Week whirl and the wonderful Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature. These past weeks have reinforced to me why I write for kids and have inspired me to continue writing and reaching out to our young readers, writers, story-tellers and story-listeners.

So where to begin? Backwards has always been a direction that has worked well for me. So tonight I am revisiting the launch of Monkey Fist by author and extroadinary person all round – Simon Higgins. Simon is a master oral story teller, an expert on many things Japanese and a Taikai practitioner. I had to confess – in person, how embarrassing – that I hadn’t read any of his books based in Japan – even though I own them all – because I know I am going to love them (I had a peek) and am just a little worried a line might sneak across from one of his books without me knowing it. Call me a wimp but I once wrote a song and stole a whole line from Jummy Buffet without realising. I am actually very strong – and not a wimp! – because it is taking all the willpower I have not to get started on the Moonshadow series.

The launch began with Simon transporting the assembled group from the lawns of historic Woodlands of Marburg to a tori gate in Japan. We watched spellbound as Simon performed a sword ceremony in honour of Monkey Fist. The sword hissed as it slithered from the scabbard. And around me I hear whispered oohs and aahs.

He was a very hard act to follow. So I kept it simple and if you want to know what I said I rather like the way Belinda Jeffrey described my (very short) speech on her web site here (She’s a very talented writer and I recommend you read her excellent debut YA novel Brown Skin Blue).

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