I’m so excited to be able to say that my debut novel, Stonebird, will be published by Quercus early next year!
The words I wrote in lunch breaks at work, and evenings at home, and every time I got a train or a bus, are going to be turned into a real life actual book. And a hardback, no less!
I still have to pinch myself every time I think about it. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind process. The idea came to me in the middle of last year, in the faintly magical way that they tend to pop into your head, and after discussing it with my superagent Gemma Cooper I started to plot Liam’s adventures.
I didn’t have to think too much, to be honest, because quite a lot of the story is based on real life events. My grandma suffered from quite severe dementia, and after watching her struggling with it, I quickly realised that I wanted to write about memories, and the power of storytelling.
In reality, Stonebird pretty much wrote itself. There were moments where I’d sit down at the computer and blink, opening my eyes to find pages and pages of story had appeared.
I don’t think I could have found a better home for the book than Quercus. Sarah Lambert invited me and Gemma out to London to meet the team, and after inwardly geeking out about the fact I was in Sherlock Holmes territory (and munching on chocolate chip cookies in the board room) I left feeling certain that everyone truly loved the book and had amazing plans for what to do with it.
I’m sure the months before release are going to whizz by. In the meantime, here’s a bit more about the book:
When ten-year-old Liam’s family moves house to be closer to his dementia-plagued grandma, he’s thrown into an unfamiliar place, filled with unfriendly faces—and a whole lot of crying.Liam feels as though he should cry too, but he can’t, because he doesn’t remember what his grandma was like before she became ill. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards.Then he discovers an old stone gargoyle in the rundown church, and his life changes in impossible ways. The gargoyle is alive! It moves unseen in the night, acting out Liam’s stories. And stories are dangerous things.Seeking revenge against the bullies at his new school, Liam tells a story about the gargoyle attacking them. When one of them ends up in hospital, a regretful Liam vows never to go near the gargoyle again.But his grandma’s illness is getting worse, his mum is turning to drink to ease the pain, and his sister is skipping school. What if the gargoyle is the only thing that can save his family?
Now, if you’ll excuse me…