Kintana and the Captain's Curse is now available from all good bookshops. I have been busy promoting my pirate adventure and was thrilled to be invited to my first in person school visit!
I had a lovely trip over to Ysgol Sant Dunawd in Bangor on Dee. I gave a talk to year 3/4, 5 & 6, showing them pirate flags, a replica elephant bird egg, a replica aye aye hand and of course telling them all about the inspiration behind my book! I also signed lots of books and answered lots of brilliant questions about being an author, pirate history and Madagascar.
If you would like a signed copy, you can buy them online from Beyond Books.
Kintana has been getting some lovely reviews, including this one in the LEP (Lancashire Evening Post.)
I was also made up to see Kintana featured on The Reader Teacher's July 2021 Children's Books I'm Most Excite About Youtube video.
You may also like to read an interview I did for the CILIP Youth Libraries Group blog about Kintana and the Captain's Curse.
Finally I have enjoyed a return visit to Write Blend bookshop to sign copies of Kintana. Thanks to Bob Stone for the invite.
I have been busy doing some school visits all about Kintana and the Captain's Curse in preparation for my book's publication on Thursday 1st July. I have spoken to schools in Wirral, Kent, Norfolk as well as 400 Year 7 pupils in Barnsley!
I have donned my pirate hat and answered lots of superb questions from pupils about my favourite authors and books, Madagascar animals and all things piratey!
I have been able to tell children about show off my giant elephant bird egg replica which was shipped all the way from America!
I also have booked in my first writing workshops for next term - do get in touch if you know a school that would like more information. I am currently piloting two sessions - writing inspired by setting and writing inspired by old newspapers and magazines.
I have also started a new job! After 12 years working in heritage education I decided it was time to try something new. I am thrilled that I have accepted a position as a library information assistant with Halton libraries. I am really enjoying my new role. I am learning lots of new skills including using a computer system called koha, shelving books, finding holds, choosing books for home library service members and giving out library cards to new joiners. I have also created a display for this year's Summer Reading Challenge which has a Wild Worlds theme and I am looking forward to helping with family events.
Back in 2016, I was chosen as a winner in the SCBWI British Isles Undiscovered Voices competition.
The opening chapters from one of my children's books - set in the Khmer Empire, Cambodia - was published in an anthology.
The competition runs every two years and is an opportunity for unpublished writers to get noticed by agents and editors.
This year's competition is open for submissions between 14th June and 18th July 2021.
You can find out more about the competition and read my recent guest blog HERE.
The first reviews for Kintana and the Captain's Curse are starting to come in - and I thought you might like to read some of them.
These early reviewers all read ARCs - advance reading copies.
Kintana is also available for request for review on netgalleyUK.
Thank you to Tony Higginson of Beyond Books whose review is here.
Thanks to Kelly Buxton of A Page Turner for her review here.
Thanks to Paperbound Magazine for featuring Kintana in their Summer edition. You can read the review here.
Shiver me timbers I am thrilled to announce that my new middle grade historical adventure will be published on July 1st 2021 by Uclan Publishing!
Kintana and the Captain's Curse is a pirate fantasy adventure set in Madagascar, 1733.
Kintana has grown up listening to stories of life at sea from her pa, an ex-pirate turned pet shop owner. So when a tall ship - The Nine Sails - berths at Pirate Island she eagerly joins the motley crew as a cabin boy - even though her main duty will be to look after the pirate's pets.
But someone on board is determined to disrupt the voyage, could the dreaded captain's curse be to blame? Or it it the lure of buried treasure that will draw the ship back to her island home?
One thing is for sure, Kintana is about to discover that sometimes adventure is found closer to home.
The cover has been designed by illustrator Jenny Czerwonka - whose style you may recognise - she also created the fabulous cover for Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest.
Nosy Boraha and Pirate Island are real places. In the 1700s pirates used Madagascar as a place of safety. Nosy Boraha is especially famous for its pirate cemetery! My book was inspired by rumours that Captain Kidd buried his treasure somewhere off the east coast of Madagascar, a childhood love of the film Blackbeard's Ghost and memories of working with ring-tailed lemurs as an education assistant at Blackpool Zoo.
I am extremely grateful to Dr Phil Boyle, former Ambassador to Madagascar for his very generous feedback on my manuscript, including insightful comments on Malagasy culture and Madagascar's amazing wildlife. I am also especially grateful to the Anglo Malagasy Society's Daniel Austin and Vaonarivo Brown for connecting me with Shaun Reveley and Nicole Ralay whose knowledge of Nosy Boraha has been invaluable.
Kintana and the Captain's Curse can be preordered from local independent bookshops and from Amazon.
I was delighted to be asked to record a video for the Twinkl Home Educators facebook page for Careers Week about becoming a children's book author. Click on the image to watch via YouTube.
I am also taking part in a book chat on Monday 11th January with Tony Higginson of Beyond Books. This chat will also be available to watch on Youtube and on Access North West radio on Thursday 14th January.
I will be talking about Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest and selecting some favourite tracks for the show, so do tune in!