One of Bloomsbury’s big middle-grade outings this Bologna is the Kid Normal series by radio DJs Greg James and Chris Smith, who are attending the fair to meet their European publishers. Rights have sold in 16 markets to date and Kid Normal is shortlisted for The British Book Awards' Audiobook of the Year. The duo’s second book, Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes, was published last week (22nd March). The pair talk to Charlotte Eyre.
What are you doing at Bologna this year?
We were really excited to be invited to Bologna. It’s the Glastonbury of international children’s publishing, so we feel a bit like Coldplay right now. We’re going to be running around the fair like excited rabbits in a carrot factory, meeting as many publishers as we can.
Did you expect to be published in other languages when you signed your first book deal?
We hoped we might, but we never expected things to get so brilliant quite so quickly. It’s an indescribable feeling to see your book in another language. We’re endlessly fascinated by what the international publishers have done with the text and the illustrations, and how they’ve translated the word “flumphing”.
What will you be doing in Bologna to promote your titles?
Greg’s going to base jump from one of Bologna’s medieval towers, and Chris is going to attempt a world record for the most flavours of gelato sampled during a single hour. And we’ll be buying a lot of publishers a lot of Prosecco.
You are already known personalities in the UK. Is that true in other countries where your books are sold?
No, and that’s what makes the international market so special for us. The book stands or falls on the strength of the story, and that’s what we wanted all along.
And what are you working on at the moment?
We’re busily writing book three at the moment. We are loving the way it’s shaping up, Murph’s story goes in some very unexpected directions this time.