Hamley is a pog

From the Strident blog:

"He’s also one of our favourite aminals.

Aminals are, of course, animals that derive from 2 species. Can you guess which species feature in Hamley’s phylogenetic tree.

Hamley is a bundle of fun. He crashes into Hugh Holman‘s The Almost Animals like a bowling ball into skittles.

Which is your favourite aminal?"



Interviewed by Lou Treleaven

Lou Treleaven is a children's author, writing coach, and playwright. Her books include The Snugglewump, The Snowflake Mistake, and Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip. She is also a lovely human, not least because she keeps an updated list of publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts on her website.

When I finished writing The Almost Animals, I used this list to find Strident, an independent publisher who I thought sounded like a good home for my book. The rest, as they say, is history...as they say.

When The Almost Animals was published, Lou interviewed me about the process, and that very interview can be viewed here (*blushes*) - Hugh Holman's success story

Thank you Lou!


Camberwell Library

I was invited to give a talk at the beautifully-refurbished Camberwell Library, to classes from two local schools. This was really my first author event, and it was thoroughly enjoyable, although one of the first things the lovely librarian said to me was that Anne Fine had just given a talk there. So that was reassuringly intimidating.

Which is your favourite Aminal?

From the Strident blog:


"Today sees the publication of Hugh Holman‘s The Almost Animals. It’s a gem of a book aimed at reading age 7+ but which will delight ‘read to’ children from 5 upwards.

We wonder what everyone’s favourite aminal will be. And that’s not a spelling mistake – we do mean aminal.

Our particular favourite – apart from the star of the show, Angle the crocogator – is the Snortoise (below) that appears at the side of The Always Pond each day. It doesn’t say much, but that’s just fine.


Having said that, Spriglet makes us laugh. Spriglet is half snail, half blue sea slug and very funny. (We think adults reading to children will particularly enjoy Spriglet’s contribution.)


There are loads more to choose from, including The Old Codgers. Why are they called that? You’ll need to read the book to find out."

By Keith Charters - Strident Article

Welcome to the agency

Normally, an author finds an agent to represent them, who then finds a publisher for the book. I did it in reverse. Although I had found the person I wanted to represent me, I am impatient, and sent my manuscript to Strident (who I knew, because of Lou Treleaven's wonderful list, would accept unsolicited manuscripts), before hearing back from the agent. Strident offered me a publishing deal, and not long after that, I heard back from the agent asking for the full manuscript. The agent in question was the lovely Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson Children's Book Agency, who then signed me. Yay!

That was a very happy day for me.


Strident release article

From the Strident blog:


"We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be publishing this gem in October.

The Almost Animals by Hugh Holman tells the tale of Angle the crocogator’s search for acceptance in Elsewhere. (Angle is the green one on the top ledge, under the WELCOME TO NOWHERE sign.)

We adore this book. It’s quirky, uplifting and poignant, with that underdog-deifies-the-odds cleverness of The Gruffalo. Meet a snortoise (bottom right ledge), relax in The Always Pool and journey from Nowhere to Elsewhere. Genius.

It’s aimed at reading ages 7-10 but is also perfect for ‘reading to’ ages 5+.

A quick word on the author… Hugh hails from a place with the brilliant name of The Shoe…and it’s just possible that you’ll have seen him in Dr Who. Nice rhyming!"

By Keith Charters - Strident Article - The Almost Animals


Strident acquires animal tale by Holman

This was exciting as it was really the first public announcement about my publishing deal, and whilst I'm not an anthropologist, and Nowhere is a village not a world, it's still awesome.


From The Bookseller site:


"Scottish publisher Strident has acquired an illustrated children’s book by actor and anthropologist Hugh Holman.

The Almost Animals is about Angle, a crocogator who lives with the other mixed-up animals in a world called Nowhere.

Strident Publishing m.d. Keith Charters said the book “has a Gruffalo-like quality, cleverly balancing fun with poignancy. It has all the hallmarks of a modern classic. We’re confident that teachers and librarians – as well as parents, readers and booksellers – will embrace it both the storytelling and the messages that can be drawn from it”.

Charters acquired the English, Dutch and Japanese rights from Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson, and plans to release versions in all three territories. The UK version will be published in September, priced at £6.99."

By Charlotte Eyre - Link to article