You find us in a state of huge excitement this morning as we have some very special guests coming to chat about their newest book. The orphans have put on their party hats because one of the guests is their hero. I’ve sent the magic carpet and if I tell you that I’m making a big pile of toast, you might be able to guess… yes, here they come. It’s Otter, Teddy and Otter-Keeper!
Welcome, all of you, let me help you off the carpet. Thank you so much for coming to see us. We have cake and my home-made jam and marmalade, so you can pile that on your toast. Make yourselves comfy. Otter-Keeper, you might be better off in that big-person chair. Help yourself to a drink, you aren’t driving.
Being Ottie myself, I’ve been a big fan of you two (sorry and Giraffe) for ages. Tell me how it all started with stories of your adventures.
Sam: Well, it’s a long, long story… that unfortunately I can’t really remember. I think Otter came from stories I used to make up and tell my wife on the walk home from work. I do remember that Otter was quite different at first. She and Otter Keeper would drive around in their car at night and break into offices to steal USB memory pens. After my imagination became a little more sensible I decided to start a blog to write down the stories, and that’s really where things started properly. The very first Otter story way back in 2009 was all about Otter stealing Otter Keeper’s bank card and buying things online!
Otter: Sorry about that. I would blame Giraffe, but he wasn’t around back then, can I blame him anyway? He definitely would have suggested something like that. I asked Teddy, he agrees.
Look, I’m holding one of your books – but do tell us about the new one.
Otter: This one is the best book EVER! It’s even better than the first, but don’t tell the first because it might feel left out. This book is where I go to outer space!
Sam: Or the garden?
Otter: Yes, that’s what I said, outer space! Isn’t that just the best thing ever!
In space? Weren’t you scared to bits? I’d be frightened. I get dizzy just going up the ladder to the loft. What? Oh yes, we have a very big loft here, most French houses do. I’ll show you afterwards. Yes, there are big spiders but they are my friends.
Well otters are very brave most of the time, and we did a lot of space training beforehand. If anyone reading this is going to space do NOT forget to do some training before you go, it really helps. This is the same if you are going to the loft because, as you say… spiders. Yours do sound friendly, but I had better not say hi. I’m not scared, but Teddy is, and I don’t want him to get upset.
I’ll ask this of Otter-Keeper because he understands time, pocket money and grown-up stuff. How long have you all been living together? When did you decide to make these lovely books?
Sam: Well a few years ago we got contacted by our lovely amazing agent Brooks Sherman. He was able to send our book around to all the right people and we eventually signed a deal with Balzar and Bray (Harper Collins). At first we had a deal for just two books, but within the first year we had signed up to do lots more. In total there will be 10 Otter books! 4 hardbacks 2 print over board holiday themed books and 4 I-can-read books for really small people. It’s all so much fun!
Isn’t that wonderful? Yes, chaps that’s “faymuss like wot Rev Mother isn’t”…What’s that, Normous? (He’s the big chap). He just said “Rev. Mother can you ask Teddy if he is an orphan too?” (They call me Rev. Mother because I’m the matron of this orphanage.)
Otter: I will ask him. Ok, he says he doesn’t know either. Well I think the important thing to remember with Teddy is that he has me, and I am the best friend a Teddy could ever want ever! We have so much fun together and that is mostly down to me coming up with brilliant plans and fun things to do. Teddy is really very lucky.
Yes he is – the orphans agree, friends is wot matters! So tell us more about your adventures and the pictures. I love them but some of my friends who read this blog might not know them. Come on, chaps, get your “publicity hats” on and give us a taste.
Sam: Well Otter gets up to rather a lot of mischief * covers otters furry little ears* she’s a bit like a small naughty child. Fortunately, most of the time her adventures end in hilarity and I love the situations she innocently ends up getting in to. The books are technically for 4 – 8 year olds, but I think there is plenty in there for adults to enjoy too. It’s all just plain innocent fun, and that’s a very worthwhile thing nowadays.
Fantastic! Before I (yes, more drinks whenever you like, and toast) ask you to tell us where we can get hold of your lovely books, I have a pressie for you. My friend wild otter lives near here and she tells me tales about her life. Most of them are on this blog but I’ve put them together for you in a pretty folder. Please have it with my love. No, there are no pictures but I’m sure Sam will read them to you if you ask nicely.
Otter: YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY PRESENT!
Sam: Thanks, I think she likes it! Where can you get the books? Well, they are all online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Hopefully a lot of U.S Book stores will hold copies, but it’s wise to check first before making a trip. You can always ask your local book store to order it in!
Twitter: @I_am_otter, @SamuelGarton
“I’m Sam, I’m 30 and I live in Wokingham! I have a degree in illustration and I spend most of my time drawing Otters whilst generally making a mess and thinking about why I still haven’t bought a kitten. I like putting inappropriate sweets in the freezer (Jelly tots) and my favourite film is Homeward bound. I wish I looked cool wearing headbands but I don’t. Oh and I’m rubbish at looking after house plants.”
Thank you so much for coming. You have made my year. Now let me help you on back on the magic carpet – take a few jars of marmalade and don’t forget your “other Otter” book. Can I have a hug? Awww bless you both. Come on, orphans, wave bye-bye. Bye Otter! Bye Teddy! Bye Otter-Keeper! Bye Giraffe!
Otter: Thanks for having us, but yes we’d better get back before Giraffe gets us in trouble. He’s been very well behaved so far… but it won’t last. He asked to drive the magic carpet on the way here, it was very hard to talk him out of trying!
Don’t forget to say “Go Home!” to the carpet! Please? Well wasn’t that fun? Aren’t they wonderful? The orphans and I are doing a happy-dance around the kitchen but please remember that the pictures belong to SAM and he only loaned them to me for the blog. You mustn’t copy or steal them because they are copyright and River Ottie will come and bite you if you do! So there!
Copyright © 2015 Sam Garton