Monday, 22 February 2016


Hello, and Happy Tuesday, Dear Readers! I hope you've had a great weekend and a good week so far.

The title of today's post might seem a bit confusing, since I announced as part of last week's blog that pre-orders for my next book were now possible. But a lot of people seem to have skimmed by that bit in order to get to the good stuff further down - at least, I assume so, because when I mentioned it on Twitter everyone was really surprised and shocked! So I thought I'd do another, proper announcement with a few key facts about the book. Here goes!

BAREFOOT ON THE WIND, my eighth novel, will be out on the first of September this year. You can pre-order it here.

The book is a re-imagining of the classic faerytale Beauty and the Beast. In my version, instead of a beautiful young noblewoman volunteering to be a hostage in an enchanted castle in order to save her father's life, we have Hana: a sturdy and pragmatic village girl, who takes to the enchanted woods that surround her village home in order to hunt down the terrible beast which terrorizes her people. It's one of my favourite things that I've ever written, probably because Beauty and the Beast is my second favourite fairytale of all time (after 'The Wild Swans') and also because I had to wait four years in order to finally get the chance to make the story I envisaged a reality.

The book is an official companion novel to Shadows on the Moon, set in the same fairytale Japan, called Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni.

There's more detail about the thought processes that went into the story here, this is where you can add it on Goodreads if you want, and you can listen to the writing playlist I used here. And this is the Pinterest board, for good measure.

Just between you and me, guys, the more pre-orders we get for this book the better. So if you were thinking of ordering/buying this book at some point, and you think you'll have the money to cover it when it's released in September, do me a massive favour and put your order in now. You will be helping to improve the chances of there being more books from me for you to read in the future, and, in addition, I will owe you an epic smooch (collect any time!).

In other - rather lovely - news, this Sunday (the 28th) between 5-6pm I'll be participating in the Guardian Teen Fantasy Twitter chat, hosted by Emily Drabble. Other authors participating are Sally Green, Samantha Shannon, Alwyn Hamilton, Taran Matharau and Lucy Saxon. Anyone can tweet us questions about YA, fantasy or both under the hashtag #GdnTeenFantasy. I hope to see some Dear Readers there, so please don't be shy and chip in with whatever questions or comments you might have!

Next week I'm going to try to (at long last) produce a post about the art and craft of world-building, so if you have any questions related at that, toss them at me on Twitter or in the comments. Read you later, my muffins!

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