I am Terribly Excited to announce that my second new author is Sophie Plowden, author of JACK DASH AND THE MAGIC FEATHER, a hilarious, anarchic adventure for 7+ readers.
If you found a golden quill pen that would make anything you drew come to life, what would you draw?
Sweets? A pet dog? A racing car?
This is exactly what happens to Jack. Except Jack isn't that good at drawing. And he ends up with a massive sealion in his room.
Now Jack has to work out how hide the sealion from his parents and his dad's scary boss, the Mayor, while drawing lots of fish for her to eat (the sealion, not the Mayor). It looks like Jack may have to enlist the help of the irritating - possibly insane - girl next door, Coco. With only Coco and his (questionable) drawing skills on his side, will Jack save the day (and the sealion)?
As soon as I started reading this, there were two things that I absolutely loved (obviously all the other things about it were brilliant as well, but I just took that for granted, lucky, greedy editor that I am).
1. The magic feather (I WANT ONE). A quill is already so much cooler to write with than a pen, so a magic quill that makes everything you draw come to life is probably the coolest thing ever. You can add it to the list of things I wish were real (Bernard's watch, the psammead, time travel, Ron Weasley). The magic feather opens up unlimited possibilities. You could draw ANYTHING! Sadly, like Jack, my drawing skills aren't brilliant, so I would probably end up faced with a load of real-life stick men, which would actually be quite scary.
2. Jack and Coco. One of my favourite double acts ever. I just loved that Jack immediately tries to avoid Coco, while she charges around after him like a crazed Violet Elizabeth, determined to be his friend. It's the perfect set-up for a comedy adventure. These two also provided me with my favourite line in the book (possibly all books), when Jack says to Coco, 'Are you out of your ginger mind??' When I met Sophie, I was interested (worried?) to hear that she'd based Coco on a younger version of herself.
Catnip have bought World English rights from Ben Illis at the BIA. JACK DASH AND THE MAGIC FEATHER will be published in September 2015. The sequel, JACK DASH AND THE SUMMER BLIZZARD, will follow in 2016.
You can follow Sophie on Twitter here.
So please join me in welcoming Jane McLoughlin and Sophie Plowden to Team Catnip!