Thursday, 27 November 2014

Two new authors for Team Catnip! (part 2)

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!  

Two new authors for Team Catnip! (Part 1)

Today is Terribly Exciting Thursday and I am delighted to announce that Catnip have signed TWO fabulous books to be published next year!

This is also Terribly Exciting for me personally, as these two lovely new authors are my first signings as Catnip Editor. I feel a bit like Jose Mourinho. (I am assuming Jose also dances happily around the room when he signs new players).

First up is Jane McLoughlin, author of THE CROWHAM MARTYRS, a brilliantly frightening - and frighteningly brilliant - ghostly thriller for 9-12 year olds.

Maddy Deeprose is your average thirteen-year-old. If your average thirteen-year-old could see ghost. But it’s not the ghosts that are bothering Maddy. Because something far worse is lurking at Crowham Martyrs boarding school.

Could there really be witches and demons here at Crowham? Are the badness and ‘fings’ real? And do all these things have anything to do with Hannah going missing? Do they have anything to do with me?

When I was a child I was desperate to see a ghost - on trips to old houses and castles I used to lurk about in the corridors, willing the ghosts to come out and scare me. So not only am I quite jealous of main character Maddy, I've also been waiting a long time for this book. THE CROWHAM MARTYRS is genuinely spooky (I think the best measure of this is that one scene had me completely spooked while sitting on a crowded train). It has the markings of a classic ghost story - the crumbling old school building with its many secrets and the ever-fascinating theme of witches - but with its own truly original twist and truly awesome, contemporary heroine in Maddy.

Catnip acquired World rights (excluding US and Canada) from Sallyanne Sweeney at Mulcahy Associates. THE CROWHAM MARTYRS will be published in June 2015.   

You can follow Jane on Twitter here and read her blog here.