I have a bit of a traffic jam of books waiting to be published over this summer and autumn.
It looks like I’ve been writing a lot of myths, legends and magic this year, but in fact, THIS year I’ve mostly been writing novels. It was last year and the year before that I was researching and writing lots of myths and legends, but some books take a while to be edited and illustrated. However, I think they are all very much worth waiting for.
So here are the books being published in 2013, and possibly a hint about what’s coming up in 2014:
Girls, Goddesses and Giants: Tales of Heroines from Around the World (A&C Black, July 2013)
This is my first ever collection of myths and legends, and I’m so proud of it. I have always been slightly disappointed that so many really exciting adventure stories are about boys, so I’ve spent years searching for authentic old stories with girls who fight their own battles. And now here are all my favourite heroines gathered together in one book! There is a Japanese girl who meets a sea monster, a Viking warrior who braves ghosts, a Hindu goddess with 10 arms, a Sumerian goddess who meets 52 monsters in one journey, and an early version of Little Red Riding Hood which I’m sure will surprise you! This book is illustrated beautifully by Francesca Greenwood.
Masha and the Bear & The Hungry Wolf (Barefoot Books, August 2013)
The third and fourth books in the Animal Stories series I’ve written for Barefoot Books, short chapter books retelling traditional tales from around the world, designed for newly independent readers. Melanie Williamson’s amazing pictures bring these stories to life beautifully.
Masha and the Bear is about a little girl who gets lost in the forest, then gets trapped by a bear in a cave. But she doesn’t need a woodcutter or hunter to save her, she gets home all on her own using brains and baking skills!
The Hungry Wolf is about a wolf who wants to eat a little lamb, and about all the ways the tricky little lamb fools the wolf and saves herself. It’s a combination of many of my favourite trickster tales, and was great fun to write!
Breaking The Spell: Stories of Magic and Mystery from Scotland (Frances Lincoln, September 2013)
I am so excited about this book – it’s a collection of all my favourite Scottish stories, illustrated by the fabulous Cate James. There are selkies, kelpies and fairies, but also witches, warriors, riddles and baby monsters. There are stories you might know, and stories I’m sure you’ll never have heard before, and one story that comes directly from my own family’s lore. And you might even recognise where the inspiration for some of my novels comes from…
The Magic Word (Picture Kelpies, September 2013)
Not a retelling! This is an original picture book, my only fiction of the year. The Magic Word is about a little girl who can’t be bothered to write her birthday thank you letters, and tries to take some unusual short cuts. The pictures by Claire Keay are really magical, and I’m very much looking forward to reading this to little ones!
The Magic Word cover
Winter Tales: Winter Stories from Around the World (A&C Black, October 2013)
Another collection illustrated by the atmospheric silhouettes of Francesca Greenwood – this time a collection of winter tales. I’ve included some of the oldest and most exciting myths explaining the cycle of the seasons (yes, Persephone is in there, but so are some gods and goddesses you might not have met before) and also lots of folklore and fables about snow, polar bears and wolves from all over the world. I was particularly pleased to find winter tales from the southern hemisphere as well as the north. I hope it will be ideal for sharing stories by a warm fire with snow falling outside!
And this is the one book published in 2013 that I did write this year (earlier on, in that very long winter!) so I don’t have a finished cover to show you yet! But I’m hoping for a wolf…
And next year? Floris Books are bringing out the first three novels in their new young adult list, TeenKelpies, and I’m delighted to say that my next novel will be one of them!
And after that? Well, I’m currently writing a fantasy adventure set in the northeast of Scotland, so if you enjoyed the First Aid for Fairies series, you might want to read this adventure too…