Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a good one and that your belt doesn’t need too much adjusting! We hope you find time in between the New Year, New You regime to snuggle up with your copy of Ink Pellet – or do the next best thing and have a browse here! 

For our Big Interview, we spoke to showbiz’s Mr Nice, Jimmy Akingbola, who shares his experiences of finding his way as an actor, and how he has had to adapt to the rigours of the industry.

We also caught up with American writer Michael Dahl, who was on a whistle-stop tour of the UK in November, to meet the winner of Raintree’s superhero competition. Michael, who has written around 200 books (phew!) spoke eloquently about the genre of the graphic novel, and why it is important. 

Then we whizz down to the South West – to the delightfully named Jamaica Street Artists studio, a collective of talent who are helping to regenerate Bristol. The group has hit the big time with an exhibition at the Royal Western Academy and that’s a great example of grassroots art making a big impact. 

I had an interesting chat with Keith Gaines about the recent news of revolting students. We spent a good half hour reminiscing about the old days when students had a cause to fight for, as you will read in his latest sparkling column.

It’s been a busy time in the book world, with lots of new books being published – see if one takes your fancy on pages 30 and 31. We are beginning to post both theatre and book reviews online so do pop into www.inkpellet.co.uk when you have a moment.

Finally, we may well be in for a long winter so my quotation from Yoko Ono may inspire you:
‘Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.’

Happy reading and have a great term. My colleague Laura and I will be heading to BETT next week so we hope to see you there. The largest technology event runs from Wednesday to Saturday at Olympia and you can register your place (free) online at www.bett.co.uk