Wednesday, 14 December 2011

India Dark Blog Tour 9th - 17th January 2012

January is a very exciting month for teen fiction at Templar and we're so excited about the fascinating and moving story of India Dark that we are taking author Kirsty Murray off on an unmissable blog tour, exploring the outer reaches of the UK blogosphere.

India Dark
Kirsty Murray

MADRAS, 1910: two girls are caught up in a scandal that will change their lives forever. Singing and dancing across a hundred stages in a troupe of child performers, they travel by steam train into the heart of India. But as one disaster follows another, money runs short and tempers fray. What must the girls do to protect themselves, and how many lives will be ruined if they try to break free?

India Dark is such a beautiful tale from a beautiful culture, we wanted to share it with everyone so don't miss any of the blog tour stops! Here's what you can expect.

9th January

First up, find out where the story for India Dark came from over at District YA and if that tempts you, you can enter the first giveaway of the tour to win a copy of India Dark.

10th January

Next, Kirsty Murray will be stopping by All About Me for a fascinating interview whilst giving away another copy of India Dark. I know, we're spoiling you!

11th January

Hear all about Kirsty's writing process over at Ink Scratchers, and maybe pick up some tips if you're a writer. And guess what - another giveaway!

12th January

Turn The Page will be hosting Kirsty's next stop with an interview - head here for some tasty insights!

13th January

Kirsty will be dropping off her next guest post over at Readaraptor, talking about all the fabulous locations in India Dark. Definitely not to be missed!

14th January

Time for another Q&A, and this one will be over at Bookhi. Drop by for some exclusive insights and another chance to win a copy of India Dark in a giveaway.

15th January

We're on to characters next over at The Book Adicted Girl. Kirsty will be talking all about how she comes up with characters and the challenges of writing an emotionally charged tale.

16th January

The last Q&A of the tour will be held at Bookbabblers and this stop will be your last chance on the tour to win a copy of India Dark.

17th January

And last but certainly not least, Kirsty will be at Read In Between The Lines with a guest post all about her life and how writing fits into it. Enjoy!


Kirsty Murray is an Australian author of books for children and teenagers though her readership includes many adventurous adult readers. She writes for young people because she believes they are the universal audience: "not everyone lives to a ripe old age but everyone was once a child and the child inside us never really disappears".

India Dark is Kirsty's most recent novel. Based on a gripping true story and set in Australia, Southeast Asia and India in 1910, it is the fruit of many years of writing and research.

Don't Call Me Ishmael Blog Tour 2nd - 9th January 2012

It's finally here! The first of our 2012 teen fiction titles will shortly be hitting the shelves and we want to welcome the hilarious Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer to UK bookshops with a fantastic blog tour.

Don't Call Me Ishmael
Michael Gerard Bauer

Hounded by the school bully and struck dumb in the presence of girls, the year doesn't get off to a good start for Ishmael when he is asked to take misfit James Scobie under his wing. However, life takes some unexpected turns as Ishmael and his friends embark on the most embarrassingly awful... and the best year of their lives.

Sure to appeal to fans of Mr Gum and Wimpy Kid, this is a hilarious and uplifting new series all about school life and friendship.

So, what can we tempt you with on Templar's first blog tour of the new year? Here's what's on the line up.

2nd January

First up, we're hitting the fantastic I Want To Read That where Michael will be dropping off a guest post all about where the idea for Don't Call Me Ishmael came from and where he gets his inspirations. Plus don't miss the first giveaway of the tour!

3rd January

Nayu's Reading Corner will be delving a little deeper into the character and mindset of Ishmael with another fab guest post from the author.

4th January

Michael will be participating in his first interview of the tour over at Bookbabblers so head here for some exclusive insights and another chance to win a copy of Don't Call Me Ishmael in a giveaway.

5th January

There's another gripping guest post over at Read In Between The Lines on day 4 where Michael will be divulging all his writing secrets.

6th January

Mel's Random Reviews has posed the topic of "new year/new school" so stop by for an interesting guest post from the author, plus a giveaway of Don't Call Me Ishmael.

7th January

It's time for another interview with the author and Michael will be stopping by Wear The Old Coat to answer some more probing questions. Find out what it's like in a day in the life of Michael Gerard Bauer.

8th January

Michael's last guest post will be over at Writing From The Tub where he'll be writing all about the music that accompanies the book. Find out Ishmael's theme song!

9th January

And for the final stop we have another interview and giveaway combo at Mostly Reading YA. Don't miss your final chance to win a copy of Don't Call Me Ishmael on the blog tour!


Michael Gerard Bauer was born in Brisbane, Australia, and attended the University of Queensland. After graduating he became a teacher in English and Economics and from 2000 onwards he took regular breaks to pursue his writing career. His first novel, The Running Man, was published in 2004 and Don't Call Me Ishmael was first published in Australia in 2006. Templar are very excited to bring this fantastic read to UK bookshelves in 2012!

Michael now lives with his wife and two children in the beautiful Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove where he grew up.

Friday, 2 December 2011

How The World Works Wins the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2011

Well it certainly feels great to be the WINNER!

It was such a proud moment for the Templar team last night to step up and accept the top prize from The Royal Society at their very smart awards ceremony for their Young People's Book Prize 2011 for How the World Works.

Very nice things were said to us (and about us) by the adult judges and we watched a hilarious video made by the younger judges from schools all over the UK. Lying in a pile of autumn leaves in a park, alongside a motorway, one young judge said, holding up our book, "You can read it anywhere!"

One thing that came over most strongly was that the interactivity of the book made it stand out head and shoulders from the rest of the field. The scientists (there were lots of them there) and the judges all praised the fact that the pops weren't just for decoration, they actually contributed to the understanding of the content.

Christiane made a lovely speech and both she and Beverley were congratulated by the other shortlisted authors and illustrators - with Nick Sharratt being especially complimentary about the book.

We then rounded off the evening with a bite to eat, before heading off home - weary but so glowing from the praise.

Good on Templar!

The winning team (left to right): illustrator Beverley Young, author Christiane Dorion and paper engineer Andy Mansfield proudly hold their award!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Templar's Teen Fiction Christmas Raffle!

Roll up, roll up! Enter Templar's Teen Fiction Christmas Raffle and Santa might fill your stocking with some fantastic young adult fiction. The raffle will run for one week only so don't hesitate to enter or the elves might forget you this year...

Winners will be picked out of an elf's hat at random and prizes chosen at random from Santa's sack. So here's a look at what you could be burying your nose in this Christmas:

Down Under Pack

Here are two incredibly moving stories from the other side of the world, brought to you by Templar earlier this year. A Small Free Kiss In The Dark by Glenda Millard hails from Australia while The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi is a tale from
the heart of New Zealand.

Historical Pack

Delve into past with these gripping reads: VIII by H. M. Castor and Wickedness by Deborah White. Plus two VIII postcards and a bookmark.

Jack Christie Adventures Pack

Johnny O'Brien's time travel adventure series has gone down a storm this year with their new-look jackets and the latest release, Day of Vengeance. Enjoy all the thrills
of the series so far!

Stephanie Burgis Pack

Like magic, adventure and Regency England? Love Stephanie Burgis! Follow the escapades of feisty Regency heroine Kat Stephenson with the first two books in the series, A Most Improper Magick and A Tangle of Magicks.

Teresa Flavin Pack

Escape to another world through a magical painting and fall through a painted door into 18th century London. Prepare for your imagination to take you into your wildest dreams with The Blackhope Enigma and The Crimson Shard by Teresa Flavin.

North America Pack

There are some fantastic stories being told on the other side of the Atlantic and this year Templar have worked hard to bring you the best of the best. This pack contains a limited edition of the heart-stopping survival thriller POD by Stephen Wallenfels and a copy of the side-splitting coming of age comedy Swim the Fly by Don Calame, complete with Swim the Fly drawstring bag, towel, postcards and a pair of goggles
for all those aquatic emergencies!

So, how does it work? Well, it's just like a raffle! Everyone can enter once for free but you can "buy" extra tickets by fulfilling certain tasks. Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter form below - you never know, you may already qualify for extra tickets so make sure you click as many "I Did This" buttons as you deserve. Please be aware that this raffle is for UK and ROI residents only. GOOD LUCK! You can also enter the Children's Books Raffle here.

Templar's Children's Books Christmas Raffle!

Roll up, roll up! Enter Templar's Children's Books Christmas Raffle as we're giving away a sackful of unmissable prizes. The raffle will run for one week only so don't hesitate to enter and be in with a chance to win some gorgeous gifts and splendid stocking fillers this Christmas.

Winners will be picked out of an elf's hat at random and prizes chosen at random from Santa's sack. So here's the bit you've all been waiting for - the prizes:

Alison Jay Pack

Win a gorgeous selection of Alison Jay books including Touch and Feel Toys, Welcome To The Zoo, Fairy Tales and Christmas Time plus an Alison Jay cloth bag
to keep your books in.

Amazing Baby Pack

Make your amazing baby's Christmas special this year with the latest Amazing Baby books, Incy Wincy Spider! and Round and Round The Garden!. Plus, sing along to your favourite Christmas songs with Jingle Bell Baby! while playing with these fun toys.

Bob, Man on the Moon Pack

Get set for some incredible galactic adventures with children's favourite, Bob, Man on the Moon. This pack includes Simon Bartram's award winning picture book Man on the Moon and Bob's Best Ever Friend as well as Bob's latest lunar adventure in Clone Choas. Plus a poster, stickers and a build your own rocket pack!

Grahame Baker-Smith Pack

We're so proud that Grahame Baker-Smith won the 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award for his beautiful and moving picture book, FArTHER, so we're giving away a copy along with another Grahame Baker-Smith illustrated picture book, Leon and the Place Between.

Nanette Newman Pack

This year Templar have been extremely fortunate to publish some fantastic picture books from Brubaker, Ford & Friends and here are two picture books from the unforgettable Nanette Newman.

Shaun Tan Pack

It's been a brilliant year for the unique talent that is Shaun Tan winning an Oscar and the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award no less for Eric. These are definitely little treasures to keep on your bookshelf forever!

Snappy Pack

Ever a favourite with children, this set of Snappy Play Set Pet Shop, Snappy Sounds Toys, Snappy Felt Fun Farm and Snappy Little Christmas will keep creative minds occupied for hours!

StoryWorld Pack

Be inspired and create your own Christmas stories with StoryWorld and the StoryWorld Christmas Tales pack. Pick a card, any card, and see where your imagination takes you. Plus a luxurious McQueens scented candle for mum or dad!

So, how does it work? Well, it's just like a raffle! Everyone can enter once for free but you can "buy" extra tickets by fulfilling certain tasks. Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter form below - you never know, you may already qualify for extra tickets so make sure you click as many "I Did This" buttons as you deserve. Please be aware that this raffle is for UK and ROI residents only. GOOD LUCK! You can also enter the Teen Fiction Raffle here.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


December is on our doorstep; the Dorking Christmas lights are now switched on and I finally found where I’d stashed my mittens over the summer. We’ve been working hard this year to produce a bumper list of Christmassy books, and here are my five festive favourites...

First up is Follow the Star: a lavish pop-up book with a foil silver star on every spread, and a sparkly red cover that will look fab under any Christmas tree.

Next is Black Dog, by the incomparable Levi Pinfold, last year’s winner of the Booktrust Early Years Best Emerging Illustrator award. When the Hope family wake up one morning to find a big scary dog outside, they are understandably a little alarmed... but it’s no good hiding from your fears, and only the littlest member of the family has the courage to go out and face the overgrown visitor.

As you can probably tell, we do like a shiny cover here at Templar, and we’re especially proud of our sumptuous retelling of Aesop’s The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. With its glorious golden cover, this classic will really stick out on the bookshelf, and features stunning mousy artwork by Templar favourite Helen Ward.

Poor old Santa’s got an awful lot on his plate at this time of year, so the elves have put together a Santa’s Christmas Handbook to make sure nothing gets forgotten. Get to know Rudolf & co., study the Skyway Code (always keep left when overtaking Jumbo Jets) and for goodness’ sake watch out for skylights...

And my final favourite is the wonderful Bumper Book of Bob. It’s packed with stuff to do for all you Bob fans out there: puzzles, colouring-ins, masses of stickers, some super-stellar recipes and a new mini-lunar adventure! Perfect to keep you occupied on those long, boring space-trips to visit the relatives at Christmas!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Behind the Scenes at Illusionology Filming

On Monday, there was an opportunity for the Illusionology team to escape from the office to take a road trip. The shiny sparkly lights of Hove, not Hollywood, was the destination.

The scripts had been prepared, props accounted for and a moustache grown!

Lights, camera... action!

Consultant and master magician, The Deceptionist, readies himself in front of a magical green screen and the camera starts to roll...

Illusionology tricks were performed and secrets were revealed to the camera. With some added magical effects, The Deceptionist materializes on a old theatre stage.

He starts to guide you through classic tricks from magic's illustrious history. Amazement is followed by enthusiasm and precious knowledge is gained.

Watch out for these special Illusionology films, but remember... IN SECRECY LIES WONDER.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Teresa Flavin in Sussex

Teresa Flavin ended her week in Sussex on a high - well on top of Devil's Dyke!

Teresa on Devil's Dyke

 Flying in from Glasgow to Gatwick on Sunday the 6th November, she was off to Hassocks, Steyning, Angmering, Goring, Haywards Heath, Ardingly, Burgess Hill and Brighton.

As a shortlisted author in the West Sussex Children's Book Award all the schools she visited were taking part in the voting and discussions on their favourite books. Lots of great feedback and happy children - especially for those who had never met an author before - it was a terrific tour. Thanks to all at West Sussex Library service for making it run so smoothly.

Teresa with year 7 at Oathill Community College

Vanessa and Julie from The Book Nook in Hove, Brighton finished off Teresa's visit to Sussex with a flourish - her largest school event to date - over 100 children who were thrilled with their special visitor.

After calling into the Just Imagine Story Centre in Chelmsford on Saturday for her last event in the south, Teresa heads back to Glasgow - and our thanks for all her hard work.

Teresa and Jayne enjoy the view

Thursday, 3 November 2011

School Library Information Book Award

 At last night's School Library Information Book  Award, Templar's The Life and Times of William Shakespeare won the Children's Choice vote in the 12-16 age category, and then went onto win the Children's Overall Favourite book.

Around 90 books were submitted and a shortlist of 9 books was chosen by a panel of librarians and Peter's Library Services manager.

The awards were split into two with the Librarians voting for the title they liked the best, and then participating schools voting for the book they wanted to win.

Unsurprisingly, the children's and librarians' choices were different - but we were thrilled that the young teen age group nominated Shakespeare.

How the World Works was also on the shortlist and the artwork and content, along with the paper engineering were highly praised by the judges - but sadly it lost out to How to Make the Universe with 92 Ingredients.

Illustrator Beverley Young was there along with Christiane Dorion and Emma Goldhawk accepted the award (as Editor of Shakespeare) on behalf of authors Ari Berk and Kristen McDermott.

Congratulations again to the Templar team - and once again, the librarians and other publishers at the ceremony all heaped praise on our books.

Meet the Templar team! - Queen of Ologies "the delightful" Nghiem Ta

Drum roll please .... Introducing the "always happy to help" and bright as a button Nghiem Ta - Queen of Ologies!

How long have you been at Templar
Nearly 10 years, I’ve been ‘Ologizing’ all that time! 

What does your job involve?
Working with some very nice to people to create fun books. From drawing matchstick men to typesetting and art directing, with some photoshopping and paper-engineering thrown in.

What is the most satisfying element of your job?
Watching people, especially kids, looking a finished Ology book. Most people scan the pages using their sense of touch, trying to find the novelties, whilst others are off in a world of their own!

Have you had any funny awkward moments?
We had Brian Froud visiting, on my way to collect some printouts from the other end of the studio, I found myself walking behind him. Suddenly, our MD shouts out, “Nghiem, will you stop stalking Brian Froud!” I wanted faeries to whisk me away!

What is your most memorable moment or biggest achievement at Templar to date?
After a bumpy, stomach-churning flight to Glasgow... we won the British Book Award for Design and Production for Egyptology. Yay, Templar’s first Nibbie! 

How do you take your tea?
British tea = with milk, Chinese tea = with lots of dim sum :)

Fave book related blogs / twitter accounts/websites ?
Blogs... It would have to be the Booksniffer and Jabberworks. Tweets... My friends, tbktweet and waldopancake.

What are you working on at the moment?
Working the finishing up Ology #11/Illusionology, pondering about Ology #12 and wading through the digital books swamp.

Are there any authors or illustrators you haven’t worked with yet who you would like to work with in the future?
How do I answer this without sounding like a stalker...? I’m a huge fan of Niroot Puttapipat. A few years ago. I wrote a standard art test brief, this was his interpretation... 


What are their favourite books (both Templar and non Templar)?
I love fairy tales! From Templar’s Aesop’s fables by Helen Ward to the Coloured Fairy Books by The Folio Society.


  • Bookshop or library >> Library as kid, Bookshops as a grown-up
  • Physical or digital >> Physical
  • Mac or PC >> Mac, RIP Steve Jobs
  • Coffee or tea >> Both, it depends on time of day
  • Biscuit or cake >> Cake
  • Heatwave or snowstorm >> Snowstorm 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Simon Bartram at the Science Museum

This event at the Science Museum in London really made Simon Bartram's day - as he got to wear a REAL spacesuit! It was taken out of one of the Museum's display cabinets for Simon to put on after he had done his work (draw an alien, sign books and chat to very excited parents and children who were very pleased to meet him). The NASA suit from the Apollo XVII mission was worn by an astronaut by the name of Cernan - and it was this suit, along with proper Moon Boots that Simon got to wear. Luckily it fitted. After a few star jumps Simon calmed down long enough for us to take some photo's. What a brilliant event - and a real treat for Simon and all of us there. This is definitely one for the scrap book.

Thanks to Rachel and the team from the Science Museum bookshop who made this happen.

P.S. We also went up to the Launch Pad to see the winning drawing from the alien competition held by the Science Museum as Simon was one of the judges. It looks brilliant full size - congratulations to Aishling for a winning design.