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Led Astray – Longlisted for Write Now! Prize

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I’m overjoyed to say that my first book, Led Astray, has been longlisted for Macmillan’s competition to find an unpublished/unagented children’s author.

Progress. Wow. It feels good.

Cool things about this:

1. Macmillan publish three of my all-time favourite children’s authors: Eva Ibbotson (*sob), Frances Hardinge (goddess of magical worlds in my head) and Richmal Crompton (no words needed).

2. Somebody in at Macmillan read my book and liked it. That person also wrote their own description of my book. This amazes me. So this means other people are now sharing in my little cat world of handsome but lazy danglepaws, Eyelight, sky-battles, the clumsy, oafish Bluntpaw humans, wildcat kittens, Ruficul the Demon Cat,  dangerous slavehounds – a world ruled by claws, teeth, fur, scars and cat gods, purrs and hisses.  I loved writing this book. I’m so glad somebody else enjoyed reading it, and had their own interpretation.

3. MY NAME appeared in The Bookseller magazine. In black and white print, on the same page as other author’s names. Look, here is proof:

Write Now

So, along with my fellow-blogging longlisters Lorna Fergusson and Daniel Whelan who have written blurbs of their books on their blogs, here’s a taster of Led Astray:

Feral kitten Hattie is born into poverty in a family ruled by evil tomcat Scarab Razorclaw, destined to fulfil his dream of returning to her wildcat roots by shunning humans.

When Hattie is banished for falling in love with a despised ‘danglepaw’ housecat she struggles to survive, but using knowledge from both the wildcat and danglepaw worlds she eventually becomes queen of a vast colony of stray cats… only for everything to unravel when Hattie realises the truth about the true destiny of her species.

Here’s the first paragraph:

Hundreds of pairs of eyes glowed, unblinking, all directed to their queen. The Daughter’s Eye shone brightly, fully open, her reflection rippling in the waves. The sea was calm tonight, the air hot and still, the sand dry under their paws. Mice scuttled in the shadows, but the cats made no move to catch them. It was a perfect time to hunt, but tonight they would all go hungry.

Thank you for reading! You can find out more about the Write Now! Prize on their website.

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