Author brings the wonderful world of Tom Gates to Norwich
- Credit: Archant
A Tiny Bit Lucky is both the name of a book in the Tom Gates series and an apt description of the author and illustrator herself.
Liz Pichon seems to have unintentionally hit on a hugely successful trend in the children's book world: easy-to-read, doodle-saturated novels written from the mind of a kid.
The award-winning author is set to bring her Brilliant Bands and Doodle tour to Norwich Playhouse tonight at 5pm, in the wake of her newest book in the series, DogZombies Rule (for now). And if the feel of her books seem familiar, it's a lucky coincidence.
'My agent first asked me, 'Have you heard of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series?' And I thought 'Oh no, something like this is already out there.' But it turns out the popularity of those books actually works in my favour, it shows children want to read these kinds of books.
'I imagined Tom was writing and telling about his own life. Mostly I wanted to write something I thought I would love at that age,' Mrs Pichon, originally from London, said.
Her books, however, have made their own signature note. The brightly-coloured covers and action-packed plot lines have won Mrs Pichon a Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011, sold 1 million book in the UK alone and seen the series translated into 36 languages.
There are also more surprises in store for her mini book tour. The fictional band DUDE3 will perform live in the flesh and Mrs Pichon will hold a freestyle doodle masterclass. Mrs Pichon's husband Mark Flannery, a music producer, helped turn band lyrics from the series into a real album, which can be found in the Tom Gates app.
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'From the beginning we wanted lots of creative things in the books, and music is just an extra element. It's not kids music, it's just fun,' she said.
'It's a different way of telling a story, but I add everything to get the story over. This is probably the first time many of these kids will see live music performed,' she said.
Though Mrs Pichon is certainly busy - now on book 12 of the series - she's particularly looking forward to arriving in Norwich.
'I was here for World Book Day last March, and Norwich has fantastic independent book shops. It's so nice to see that a lot of my book are taken out of the local libraries,' she said.
The reasons why her books are so popular, she hopes, is their relevance for a wide range of people.
'I try and remember exactly what growing up was like for me. Children don't change, they still have the same stories with their family, pets, teachers. I was laughing at all the same things when I was that age.'
Tickets for Mrs Pichon's tour can be purchased on the Norwich Playhouse website. Children are asked to bring a pencil and paper to the event for doodling.