April has bloomed. Tomorrow The Huntress: Sea is officially released. Yay for book birthdays!
‘Hmm, but wait!’ I hear you cry. ‘It’s already out, you big liar. I saw (lots of) photographic evidence of you galavanting around the towns, signing books and gawking at pretty window displays and everything.’
Quite right. And WRONG! The book isn’t *technically* out until tomorrow, but was released early, exclusively at Waterstones, due to being selected for March Children’s Book of the Month! This amazing opportunity made my publishing journey even more of a wild ride than ever. I’m blown away by Waterstones’ support, and I’m still pinching myself.
Throughout March I visited eleven Waterstones shops (Deep breath – Haywards Heath, Lewes, Brighton, Worthing, Hastings, Eastbourne, Rye, Piccadilly, Islington, Gower Street and Charing Cross) signed stacks of books (hooray for justified growth of Sharpie collection!) and met lots of lovely booksellers. Here I am with fellow Egmontee Lisa Heathfield, during the first leg of our Sussex signing tour!
I had my first bookshop event in Portsmouth (appropriate, as it’s home to the Mary Rose, one of my favourite research destinations!) where I read chapter one of Sea to a fantastic group of young readers.
The booksellers dressed up (wearing, amongst other wonders, splotches of silver ‘glitter’ – aka MOONSPRITE DUST!) made gorgeous displays and there were even cupcakes with icing whales!
I also had the chance to write a blog piece about five ‘touchstone’ books that inspired or influenced me, and you can read the piece here.
I wish I’d had time to visit every single store during my Book of the Month slot, because LOOK at some of these gorgeous displays…
Brighton (okay I know I *did* visit this one but couldn’t resist posting!)
The book launch itself was last week, at the Book Nook in Hove. If you’ve never visited this gorgeous gem of a specialist kid’s indie bookshop, you really should. They have a beautifully curated collection of children’s books, a pirate ship play area and a cafe, and they’re only a short walk from the beach.
The launch was the best celebration with family and friends I could ever have imagined. The publicity team at Egmont did the most fantastic job of making it a wonderful evening (check out the book cover cupcakes!) as did my editor Ali with her magical speech.
We were joined by friends from as far as California in the west and Prague in the east. But perhaps the most honoured guest of all was the amazing nine-year-old reader who sent me my first ever fan letter!
Today marked the start of the Huntress school tour, and I’m so excited to be getting out there and meeting more young readers.