It was a winter they would tell tales about. A winter that arrived so sudden and sharp, it stuck birds to branches, and caught the rivers in such a frost their spray froze and scattered down like clouded crystals on the stilled water. A winter that came, and never left…
Last week, I headed to Chatham in Kent to see The Way Past Winter be bound. It was as ever a wonderful day, with the lovely Kevin showing Laura and Lucy (from Chicken House), my husband Tom, and me, around the amazing CPI Printing factory.
The Way Past Winter is my most beautifully-designed book yet. Helen Crawford-White has designed all my covers, and this is a hardback with gold foil, a gold ribbon, cloth feel, and stunning endpapers. I really hope you all love the inside as much as I love the outside! I also signed 2000 copies, which was most definitely a team effort.
You can watch the whole process on my Instagram saved stories. Just head to @Kiran_MH
Proofs of my third book for kids have arrived! And they are beautiful. These will be going out to a select list of readers, authors, teachers, reviewers, and of course my mum. They’re also my final chance to spot any typos before the first print run!
It’s always a nerve-wracking time, but I’m quietly very proud of this story. I can’t wait to start hearing what people think. You can pre-order from Waterstones here, Am*zon here, and from Hive – thereby supporting your local bookshop – here.
Here’s some news I’ve had to keep very quiet about…I’ve written a book for grown ups. Two weeks ago, it went out to publishers, and thirteen of them offered on it. Last week, I went to meet five of them, and ultimately decided to sign with Picador. The official announcement is here, and the Bookseller also ran a piece of the front page of the London Book Fair Daily:
Vardø has found a perfect home at Picador, and I can’t wait to get editing!
The Island at the End of Everything is now available in the States! Here are some lovely things people have said:
On the 22nd of March, Waterstones Piccadilly transformed into even more of a bookish wonderland, filled with balloons and children’s authors, all gathered to celebrate the shortlist and announcement of the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
It was a wonderful night, and in some ways even funner than the year before when I attended as a very nervous shortlistee, and later a very shocked winner! I did have one nerve-wracking duty – to give my speech as last year’s winner.
But at least this time I knew it was coming and so didn’t completely embarrass myself. The winner was announced as Angie Thomas for her astonishing book, The Hate U Give, which has already been a sensation this past year ad I sure will continue to be for generations to come.
A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to attend the Haringey Children’s Book Awards at Heartlands School. We got to meet lovely readers and run workshops, and I worked with my group on maps that would form the basis for stories. We also gave short presentations on our books.
Awards ceremonies are always fun, because you get to meet your readers as well as other authors. Here I am talking with SF Said, author of the amazing Phoenix, and Varjak’s Paw:
The Island at the End of Everything was on an brilliant shortlist with Maz Evans’ Who Let The Gods Out? , Christopher Edge’s The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, and Sita Bramachari’s Tender Earth, so you can imagine my shock when Island… was announced the winner!
This is the first school award I’ve won and I’m overjoyed that kids liked the book enough to vote for it. It was a really wonderfully organised event and I had a lovely time catching up with author friends new and old.
This is an award I will treasure forever, and I’m so grateful to all the kids that voted.
I have had some more wonderful shortlisting news recently – The Island at the End of Everything has been shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize, and for the Children’s Book Award! Both are special in their different ways.
The Jhalak Prize seeks to provide a platform for writers of colour, and also is open to all genres. Island is proudly repping kids lit on an incredible shortlist that includes some of my favourite books from the past year: Meera Kandasamy’s When I Hit You, and Kayo Chingonyi’s Kumukanda, which was on the Costa Poetry Prize shortlist I helped judge last year. More here.
The Children’s Book Award is voted for entirely by children, from start to end. Children’s books are usually reviewed, lauded, or judged by adults, and so to know that kids are connecting with Ami and her story to this extent is so special. More here.