I've been writing some blogs to go with the publication of PHOENIX in North America by Candlewick Press. I thought my readers might be interested in them.
The first blog I wrote was for KidsReads, and it was about collaborating with my brilliant illustrator, Dave McKean. Dave and I have been working together since he illustrated Varjak Paw, nearly a decade and a half ago, and for me, his artwork is a vital part of my books. Here's a little bit of the blog:
"By the time I was working on PHOENIX, we'd become friends and collaborators. We'd spent a lot of time together trying to make a VARJAK PAW movie, with many adventures in Hollywood and beyond. As I was writing PHOENIX, I was telling him things like: "I'm writing a great big space epic about a human boy and an alien girl who have to save the galaxy! It's full of stars, black holes, dark matter – and also all the gods and goddesses of all the ancient mythological pantheons!"
The next blog was for the Children's Book Council Diversity Blog, and it was about how I think the books we read when we're young are the most important books of all. Here's a little bit of that blog:
"I write children’s books because I believe they’re the books that change people’s lives. My favorite book as a child was Watership Down by Richard Adams. I re-read it as an adult, trying to understand why I’d loved it so much. More than a thrilling adventure story about rabbits, I saw it was a story about the big questions of human life: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we belong? How should we live?"
And the most recent blog, which I wrote for KidLitFrenzy, was all about my love of science fiction, and how seeing the first Star Wars film as a wide-eyed 10 year-old eventually led me to write Phoenix. Here's a little bit of that blog:
"I was 10 years old when the first Star Wars film came out. It was a life-changing moment for me, as for many of my generation. As I looked up in awe at that first starship filling the screen, I remember thinking that I wanted to write a story as big as that one day. I wanted to see a sci-fi space epic for young readers – so I finally sat down and wrote one myself."
I hope you enjoy reading these blogs – and I hope you enjoy the Candlewick edition of Phoenix too! I'd love to hear from readers in the US and Canada – so if you have already read Phoenix, please leave me a comment below!
You can also WIN A FREE COPY OF PHOENIX – there's a giveaway on YA Books Central this month that anyone in the US can enter!