I believe, reader, that each of us must look into our own hearts — into the pickle eclair within — to answer that question.
Or you could just look at this awesome picture sent in by an awesome reader named Domenic!
Here are four preliminary drawings of Smugwick Manor…
First we have the first ever detailed drawing (I think). As you can see there are many elements here that are not pictured in the final illustration — such as the Cave of Forgotten Wonders underneath the manor — but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist…
Next, I drew a tighter sketch to try to make some sense of it…
This ink drawing shows the locations of lots of stuff, such as M’Lady’s chambers and the servant’s quarters…
And finally we have this pen and ink drawing, complete with basements and cellars, which is sort of the definitive Smugwick Manor blueprint. But I had to draw it again, very small, for the book, so some of these details were lost.
Check out these cool kids and the fancy M’Ladies they made using wooden spoons. Wooden spoons, get it?*
This girl made a Little Bo Peep, complete with a sheep…
And this young lady made a fabulous character named M’Lady Faceless (or something like that…)
That last one inspired me to give M’Lady Luggertuck a madness for b’flowered hats and headdresses in the next book!
*because of Miss Neversly’s wooden spoon.
I’ve been listening to the Recorded Books version of Horton Halfpott. It’s a lot of fun! The reader Ron Keith really has the perfect voice for The Narrator.
He has also read books by Leon Garfield, Lloyd Alexander and Roald Dahl. So it’s pretty exciting to think about him picking up my book to read… and then he did such a great job interpreting The Narrator’s unwieldy grammar and making it understandable.
They don’t have a sample chapter online yet, unfortunately.
The 4-CD set is a bit pricey for home use, but check your library and if they don’t have it maybe ask your librarian to get a copy.
A cool blog called Writing on the Sidewalk is having a Horton Halfpott contest.
The prize is an original drawing by me of any character from Horton Halfpott OR Origami Yoda!
Most of the drawings I give away are either M’lady or Dwight. If you’ve ever wanted someone else…. Say Captain Splinterlock or Mr. Howell or whoever … This is your chance!
These two books are so different, but I hope readers will like them both.
There’s no real need for them to compete, but….
On the GoodReads Website Horton is currently beating Yoda in the ratings game. Current score: Origami Yoda= 3.88. Horton = 4.07. (out of 5)
How about in the bookstores? Well, according to my Bookscan data, Origami Yoda is still winning … but Horton is gaining fast!
Just found out that you can download a Kindle edition of Horton Halfpott!
To celebrate the release of Horton Halfpott, I’m offering a special deal!
If you’ll send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope I will send it back to you with a hand-drawn Portrait of M’Lady Luggertuck inside!
This is similar to the offer I made for Origami Yoda and that was a big success! I hope this one will be, too. Just imagine how much nicer your life will be with a lovely portrait of M’Lady Luggertuck glaring at you!!!
Here’s all you have to do:
1) Get two envelopes. Put a stamp on each one.
2) On one envelope, write your name and address.
3) Put that envelope insid the other envelope. Now address the second envelope to:
Amulet Books Marketing Department
115 W. 18th St.
New York, NY
I’ll be extra happy if you write me a little note, but that’s not 100% required.
4) Now send it and … wait a bit. It can take awhile for the mail to get to me here in Smugwick Manor, way over here in England. And then I have to convince M’Lady to sit still so I can draw her picture….