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Interview – Jo Franklin Help I’m an Alien Stationery Addict

Along with being the co-founder of Papers Pens Poets, I am also a children’s author and my debut UK book Help I’m an Alien is published by Troika Books this month, May 2016.

Alien UK cover

Anita asked me if I had bought any stationery in preparation for the publication of my book. Of course I have!

I’ve been hoarding alien and space themed stationery for years!

So I thought I would share some of the things I have bought and why.

As I am a debut children’s authors, the gatekeepers who hold the keys to children reading books – librarians, teachers, bookshops and parents – don’t know who I am. I have a few events lined up where I am going to meet some of these people so I have had some business cards made by

My very first Moo cards featured space invaders. These cards were made from a Moo template. I had three space/alien themed unpublished manuscripts at the time so the space invaders seemed to cover all bases. I love these cards and even cut one down to fit into the name tag on my satchel. I always get comments about that image on my bag from adults and children. The only disadvantage is that the card is black so people can’t write on it to remind themselves where they met me.

Now that I have a cover of my own with artwork from my great illustrator Aaron Blecha, I have had some new cards printed. I like to have my photo on my card too. I think this helps people remember who gave them the card, if they happen to meet a number of authors on the same day. I have also had some postcards printed with the cover of Alien which I’m aiming to use as thank you notes.

Alien business cards snipped

Most of my events will be in primary schools. Schools invite authors in to be an inspiration to the children. I’m not there to make them do joined up writing or prepare them for SAT tests. Whatever happens, I want my visit to be a positive event that will nurture a love of reading and writing. Not all children will be able to buy my book, but it is nice to give children something to remember me so I have been collecting sheets of stickers in the hope that an alien sticker from an author might make their day.

I have also been buying space themed rubber stamps in case I run out of stickers. I hope that children will be happy to have a UFO or an alien stamped on the back of their hand.

Candy Gourlay gave me the idea to have a special stamp made up to make a book signing more special for the reader. I didn’t know how to get a suitable graphic, but I found this stamp on Etsy and was able to have my own text added to it.


Sue Wallman, another of my stationery loving author friends, had some promotional pens made up with details of her book Lying About Last Summer, so I pinched the idea!


I also have a few other items, rubbers, boxes etc that I intend to give as prizes when I might need prizes.

So yes, Anita, I have bought alien/book launch related stationery, quite a lot actually.

If you want to find out more about my life as an author, go to or follow me on twitter @jofranklin2

You can also watch Jo Franklin reading an extract from Help I’m an Alien



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