This is an ingenious picture book all about a little boy who keeps a look out everyday for pirates in a similar vain to the boy who called wolf but as John’s son, Eddie, explained the boy is not being naughty because he really believes it is a pirate ship he sees.
On arrival I was greeted by the staff of Queen’s Park Books, London, who offered me a drink, red wine, white wine and rum, which made it really difficult for me not to take an alcoholic drink as dark rum is one of my favourites. After much deliberation, I drank mango juice and managed to restrain myself from mixing it with rum. There were also some delicious pirate cupcakes.
The first person I met was John’s son, Eddie, who pointed out he was the boy in the cover of the book and indeed he was – right down to the red sash and the bell. Some of the guests also dressed up as pirates, including myself. This is a picture of me with author Matt Killeen and another of author, Cath Jones in her pirate costume. I interviewed Cath for the January 2020 issue #219 of Writers’ Forum see: An interview with… Cath Jones.
John was also dressed up and he was the spitting image of he dad in the book. The likeness was uncanny. I was wondering if Matt did this intentionally.
During the launch we were entertained by violinist, Frank Biddulph, and John read the book with the help of his son Eddie who got the timing perfect and even managed an improvised squawk of the parrot.
I have also previously interviewed John about his writing process for the #216 Oct 2019 issue of the national writing magazine, Writers Forum. I have blogged about the interview here: An interview with… John Condon. In the interview John explained that even though The Pirates are Coming was accepted to be published first, due to the backlog of pirate based stories his other picture book The Wondrous Dinosaurium (illustrated by Steve Brown) was published first.
All in all a very successful book launch for another excellent picture book. I can’t wait for the next one.