Current Release: The Last Wild
Describe your current release by starting out with "In a world".
In a world where animals no longer exist, Kester Jaynes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he is unable to speak a word. Then, one night, a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach come to help him escape, and he discovers that he *can* speak - to them. And the animals need him. The pigeons fly Kester to the home of the only creatures in the land who have survived, led by a great stag...The Last Wild.
They have rescued Kester. But will he be able to rescue them?
What are you working on?
I'm working on edits for the sequel to The Last Wild, The Dark Wild (which will be out in 2015). And I've nearly finished plotting the story for the final book in the trilogy, which you may get to hear more about in due course... In between all that I'm loving all my classroom visits, getting young readers excited about the world of books and trying to unleash their own creative potential.
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
Not so much a village as an entire city district, I think... so many. My fabulous former agent Jo Unwin didn't introduce the book to US publishers until it was absolutely ready, and my equally fabulous current agent Clare Conville has held the tiller steady as it prepares to launch. But the captain of the launch and the mayor-elect of my village has to be the wonderful and legendary Sharyn November at Viking Children's, whose vast editorial experience and great passion for this book has taken us on an extraordinary journey together.
Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?
Well, funnily enough, I do, but it wasn't direct. My aforementioned editor Sharyn was caught up in the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy on New York a year ago or so back. Queuing for a power (that's how it was), to recharge her e-reader (of course), she met a mother and her young daughter doing the same and they struck up a conversation about books. That daughter has now become one of my most perceptive readers, who looks at everything first and as far as we are concerned, is the one really good thing to have come out of Sandy!
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
So many, that I found it impossible to choose, and put off answering this question till last! But one of my favorites has to be listening to inspirational movie soundtracks, followed by keeping my apartment *extremely* clean and tidy, and doing often completely unecessary research on Wikipedia.
But procrastination is a vital part of writing, it gives the brain time to do the actual thinking, and if you never procrastinated you would never get anything done!
Thank you so much to all the fantastic independent bookstores who are already supporting the book through IndieNext, to the librarians and educators who have already championed the book - but most of all to the young readers who I hope will really enjoy it. And if you want to find out what happens next, The Dark Wild will be published by Viking Children's in spring 2015.