Happy New Year to you all!!! And time to showcase some of the amazing debut authors who will be published this year.
To kick off the celebrations, we have debut author, Amy Wilson.
Have you seen the book cover and how did it make you feel?
Seeing my book cover was one of those moments I know I’ll never forget. I was in a meeting with my lovely editors Rachel and Lucy and they presented it to me, and I was so fixated on seeing my name on a book cover that I didn’t see the owl silhouette for a couple of moments! (I don’t know what that says about me, something ego-ish that I should probably have kept to myself…?) I feel incredibly thankful to the team at Macmillan Children’s Books for making A Girl Called Owl such a beautiful thing; both the cover and the interior illustrations are so wonderfully done. The owls make me smile every time I see them.
What was your reaction when you knew it would be published?
I was in such a daze! I’d imagined that moment so many times over the years and I’d be jumping up and down, screaming, calling the world, and then when it did actually happen I was feeding my tiny week-old daughter, sitting in a little bungalow we’d had to rent at the last minute – our house was (haha cliché) being worked on – and it just felt so surreal. I remember the purple chenille throws on the white leather settees, my agent Amber’s voice, and various details and figures coming at me, and I was so delighted, so overwhelmed, that I didn’t know what to say! I don’t think it actually felt real, for quite some time. I remember looking down at my new daughter and then around at the strange sitting room and just thinking ‘wow, is this really my life?’ (Honestly it still feels like a magical dream most of the time!)
What has been the most memorable moment of the run up to your debut?
There have been so many wonderful, out of the ordinary moments but I think the one that feels most special was receiving my first reviews from the children who had read the proof copies. The way they described it, the way they had enjoyed it, took me right back to when I was that age and devouring books and just hoping that one day I would have one of my own out there. That they had so many lovely things to say about it was such a thrill, and also somehow really grounded me, reminded me why I wanted to write in the first place.
What are your hopes for 2017?
I hope that people buy the book, and enjoy reading it! I hope that I can deliver an interesting and maybe even inspiring talk to groups of children at schools. I hope that I get really good at juggling, so that I can achieve everything I want to achieve and still have time for my family. And I hope that all of my friends and family have a good, healthy year.
How will you spend publication day?
I have no idea! It will be busy, with children and getting things ready for my launch, which is early evening, but also I think it’ll seem like a really long day, and I’ll be full of adrenaline and nerves, and obviously excitement. I’ll check twitter and email far more than I should. What I really should not do is have a last minute impulse haircut, but actually I’m already beginning to like the sound of that!!
As an exclusive, I can now reveal some of the stunning artwork from A Girl Called Owl.
Aren't they gorgeous? They were created by Helen Crawford-White.
It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else.
So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father?And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?
A glittering story of frost and friendship, with writing full of magic and heart, A Girl Called Owl is a stunning debut about family, responsibility and the beauty of the natural world.
To find out more about Amy Wilson: