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.
A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who's about to go on the adventure of a lifetime. The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It's a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space. But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy's living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery – to the evil Lady Crepuscula. Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice – with the fate of the entire Union at stake.
Anna Howorth, Usborne Director of Global Branding and UK Marketing