It started with a flash. A green flash, as bright and quick as lightning, there and gone again.
From the moment that we read the opening line to The Train to Impossible Places by debut author P.G. Bell, we knew that we wanted this extraordinary children’s book series, from this hugely talented new writer, to be an Usborne book. Full to the brim with imagination, surprises, trolls, yellow bears, dastardly villains, and places which open your eyes to the truly Impossible...this series really does have it all.
We weren’t the only ones who were bewitched by P.G. Bell’s writing, so we took part in a ‘hotly-contested auction’ against five other publishers, all of whom also wanted to publish this wonderful series. But we’re happy to say we were triumphant. Hooray! All aboard The Train to Impossible Places – next stop: Usborne Towers!
The next thing to do was tell people. As this is a book about a journey to Impossible Places, where there’s magic at every stop, we had to do something at least a little bit out of the ordinary...
P.G. Bell, author of The Train to Impossible Places
So off we went to the postal museum Mail Rail, an underground railway which carried post deep beneath the streets of London for more than 70 years, until it was closed down and all but forgotten about in 2003. What better location for a photoshoot with an author who has written a book about the Impossible Postal Express (the trusty delivery service of the Union of Impossible Places) and one very special Cursed Delivery?
We’re delighted to share some of the photos from that subterranean trip with P.G. Bell.
P.G. Bell at the underground Mail Rail
P.G. Bell taking his own train to impossible places
P.G. Bell with an underground mail train at the Mail Rail
P.G. Bell deep in the underground railway
Photographs by Tiffany Mumford.
All aboard for a magical journey... When Suzy hears a strange rattling noise in the middle of the night, she creeps downstairs to find a train roaring through her house. But this is no ordinary train. This is the magical delivery express for The Union of Impossible Places. Whisked onboard by a troll boy called Wilmot, Suzy's world is turned upside down when she's given the job of delivering a cursed package to the fearsome sorceress, Lady Crepuscula. Except when the mysterious package begs not to be delivered, Suzy discovers the fate of the Impossible Places might just be in her hands... The Train to Impossible Places is a beautiful hardback with a hidden cover underneath the jacket and glorious illustrations from Flavia Sorrentino.
Anna Howorth, Usborne Director of Global Branding and UK Marketing