Monday, 29 September 2014

Red Leaves Photo Diary of Publication Week.

 Photo Diary of 'Red Leaves' publication week...

'Red Leaves' published by Macmillan Children's Books is endorsed by Amnesty International UK

'A book about community, caring and the universal human need to build a safe and secure home. All set in an ancient city wood.'
With artist Grace Manning installing her beautiful 'Red Leaves' window at Children's Bookshop Muswell Hill. 

Very proud of our window being in such wonderful company with Jaqueline Wilson and Chris Riddell's visits coming soon...

Launch day was spent at St Paul's Way Trust School with year 7 and 8 students.
Showing an image of  refugee children 

Amnesty International UK endorsement of 'Red Leaves'

Fire drill at lunch hour but we were all happy to carry on chatting about 'Red Leaves!'

Thanking two of the students I worked with for their advice on my Somali character Aisha 

At Children's Bookshop with from right to left Venetia Gosling - Editor of Red Leaves, myself, Helen Bray - assistant editor and Kate Agnew owner of the Children's Bookshop Muswell Hill. 

Rachel Vale (Cover designer In doorway) with Venetia Gosling - Editor of 'Red Leaves'

Setting off on walk through the woods accompanied by Sanchita from Children's Bookshop, Muswell Hill. 
With students from St Paul's Way Trust School 
The idea for my character Iona's painting of the dog submitted to the Royal Academy exhibition came from a painting entitled ‘Cassie’ by Amie Douglas ( pictured). Amie was in year six of Primary School when her painting was chosen for the RA Summer Exhibition (2012).

Exploring the woods where 'Red Leaves' is set. Walking, talking, sharing stories and inspirations... roaming the imagination ( Photo by Tanya Nash)

Arriving at the lovely Queen's Wood Cafe for cake and elderflower fizz and readings in the open air. It felt like the ancient Elder might be sitting in the trees above our heads dropping breadcrumbs!

Talk about my books published by Macmillan Children's Books by Belinda Rasmussen and Venetia Gosling. I was moved by their words and the support of the whole Macmilllan Children's Books and MBA literary Agents. 
A happy gathering among the (almost!) turning leaves this Indian summer. (Front row left in pink T shirt - Sophie Gorell- Barnes my agent at MBA literary Agents, Belinda Rasmussen, Annie Birch and students from St Paul's Way Trust School)

Buying a copy of The Big Issue from Jonathan Gregg - Local Big Issue Vendor - who had read my article about homelessness and the characters of Iona and Elder in 'Red Leaves'.


'Living on the street you wear an invisibility cloak but you don't know it at first...'
 so says 17 year old  Big Issue seller - Iona in
 'Red Leaves'
Jonathan said he would like to read 'Red Leaves'... so I gave him my copy and signed it with a gold leaf! Today, buying my Big Issue I met his partner Rose.

This week is the 23rd anniversary of The Big Issue...if you bump into Rose or Jonathan or any other vendor... stop for a chat, to buy a copy and consider how it is that homelessness is The Big Issue for more and more people every day.  

I would like to thank everyone for making this such a special publication week for 'Red Leaves.' It has reflected so much of the spirit of what I wanted to write about in this book.  I very much hope that you enjoy reading it. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Counting conkers

I loved this time of year as a child and still do.
The leaves turning, the conkers and the conker fights (before the days where they were banned from the school playground! - though to be fair I still sport a small scar on my upper lip where one struck!)
Like my character Aisha who uses conkers to try mark the days passing as she hides out in an ancient city wood... I've been counting the days till 'Red Leaves' is published on 25th September.

'Red Leaves' is a very autumnal book. I love the feeling of the nights drawing in and looking forward to all the festivals of light. At this time of year it seems that we are all searching to celebrate light... often (though depending on the waxing and waning of the moon) Harvest festival, Durga Puja, Rosh HashanahDiwali, Eid, November 5th and Halloween fall around the same time. Up and down this country the skies are filled with spectacular displays of light... their message of hope and celebration need no translation.

Here's a peek at my characters Aisha, Zak and Iona standing together in 'Home Wood'  united under the same sky.

'Boom boom boom, came the hollow sounds above their heads. They ran outside to see the sky blasted by fountains of light splashing rainbow colours across the night and cascading back down to earth. There were the deep rumbles and then the sprinkling showers raining down on them in white, blue and pink..Zak and Aisha were transfixed as they stood in the middle of the wood, holding their breath. Iona studied their expressions.She had always loved to see people's faces transformed by fireworks, to watch all their worries ebb away. Even the oldest most cynical face relaxed into a child like glow of wonder before these displays.'

Page 293 - 'Red Leaves' Published by Macmillam Children's Books on 25th September. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Invite... into the woods of 'Red Leaves'

Macmillan Children's Books and Children's Bookshop Muswell Hill
invite you to celebrate the publication of

'Red Leaves'
 by Sita Brahmachari
A story about home, community and belonging 
Endorsed by Amnesty International UK

Saturday 27th September

1.45 – 2.30: Signing
Children's Bookshop, Muswell Hill, 29 Fortis Green Rd, N10 3HP

2.30 - 3.30: Author Tour
(Limited places – email:
Ever wondered how authors are inspired by places? Take a walk with Sita through Queen's and Highgate Woods to explore the haunts of 'Red Leaves.'

3.30 - 5pmTalk, Readings, Signing & Refreshments
Queen's Wood Cafe, 42, Muswell Hill Road, N10 3JP