Finally I can spill the beans: two book deals!

A few weeks ago I hinted at some good news that I couldn’t share yet. And THEN I had some MORE good news, and frankly it’s all just been SO NICE. I’m so thrilled that I can finally spill the beans!

A rough sketch by Cathy Brett of the main character from ELECTRIGIRL
A rough sketch by Cathy Brett of the main character from ELECTRIGIRL

I am absolutely over the moon to announce that OUP will be publishing my superhero girl story ELECTRIGIRL in 2016. This is a book I’ve been passionate about ever since I had that annoyed thought: where are all the female superheroes? about two years ago. I’ve been working on the manuscript on and off ever since, writing and rewriting it (especially as my agent wasn’t sure it was good enough to start with) and bouncing ideas around with my collaborator, the super-talented illustrator Cathy Brett. And then in the summer it went OUT for submission…and I tried not to bite ALL my nails while I waited…

and then OUP said they wanted it and I JUMPED FOR JOY because I ADORE what they’ve done with Wendy Meddour’s Wendy Quill series, John Dougherty’s Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face series and the Sarah McIntyre/Philip Reeve collaborations Oliver and the Seawigs and Cakes In Space. We’re still at the editing stage and I can’t tell you much more now, but I can tell you I am ABSURDLY happy about this and cannot WAIT to see it on shelves! And I GET TO WEAR A COSTUME FOR EVENTS…*overexcited klaxon*

The second piece of wonderful news is that my 8-12s novel A LIBRARY OF LEMONS has been accepted for publication by the lovely people at Piccadilly Press! I’ve adored Piccadilly books for years, and have come across many of their authors through my work on Girls Heart Books. This novel is one I loved writing – a book a friend of mine would describe as ‘wafty’ because it began with a single idea and I didn’t really plot it before I started; I just let the story evolve. This is my favourite way of working, and A LIBRARY OF LEMONS is very close to my heart because it’s about the importance of making emotional connections with people AND it’s about the love of books. I’m looking forward very much to meeting the team at Piccadilly and beginning the editing process with them too. This book will also be out in 2016, I believe.

I can’t really state just how happy I am about this right now. It’s been a long time ‘between contracts’ for me, and the past year has been really hard, trying to make what I do fit what people are looking for, and starting to wonder if my time in children’s publishing was coming to an end. I feel by no means on solid ground any more – things are changing very quickly in publishing – but it is a lovely lovely boost to know that there will be two more books with my name on the front in 2016.

Thank you to all my friends and family who continue to support me through all the ups and downs of this crazy business. You know who you are 🙂


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