I’ve written a bunch of YA books, including My Life: The Musical and the Morgan Rawlinson books (Why I Let My Hair Grow Out is the first of that series).
This year I launched my first middle-grade series, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book I: The Mysterious Howling. It’s set in Victorian England, and it’s the story of a 15 year old governess whose three pupils were actually raised by wolves. It’s been an amazing experience. I love the series, and since the book came out I’ve had a fabulous time visiting kids in schools and howling up a storm with them!
And my new YA series comes out in July. It’s called The Poison Diaries and was inspired by the real-life poison garden at Alnwick Castle, which is in northern England. The idea for the book came from the Duchess of Northumberland; if you go to www.poisondiaries.com there’s a great video of her giving a tour of the garden.
What else about me? I live in New York with my kids and pets. I have the world’s most excellent boyfriend, who has kept me sane during this exceptionally busy year. And I’m really glad that spring and summer are upon us! I’ve been working in the garden a lot and am going to do my best to get in some kayaking and camping this summer.
2. Are there any special events, panels or galleys you are looking forward to?
I’ll be participating in the “speed dating” event, which I’m really looking forward to. It lets authors and booksellers get to know each other really fast! I’m looking forward to the fun and energy of meeting so many people so quickly.
To me, the best part of BEA is seeing so many writers in one place. It’s just fun to wander around and run into people.
3. Will this be your first time attending BEA or are you a veteran? Any advice for those who are going for the first time?
I’ve been to BEA a few times before. My advice is to wear comfy shoes and plan ahead. If you get there without already knowing what events you’re most interested in, it’ll be harder to figure out when you’re in the middle of everything and overwhelmed by it all.
Also, be careful of ARC fever. Just because someone’s handing you a free book doesn’t mean you have to take it. If it’s not a book you’re genuinely interested in, you are not going to be happy lugging it around all day.
4. Will you be doing an autograph signing at the expo? Any other fun stuff on your agenda?
I’ll be signing The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book I: The Mysterious Howling, and the ARC of the The Poison Diaries. That’s from 1:30 – to 2 PM at table 16.
I’ll be at the Children’s Book & Author breakfast too, that’s always a great way to start the day. Breakfast is my favorite meal!
5. What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
Right now I’m finishing up book II in the Incorrigible Children series. It’s called The Hidden Gallery, and it’ll be out in March of 2011. After that I’ll be writing book II in the Poison Diaries trilogy! It’s a busy, exciting time for me. I’m also thrilled that The Poison Diaries launches in the UK during BEA, with a pub date of May 27th. It’ll be released in Australia on July 1, and in the USA on July 20th.
Synopsis (Product Description):
Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.
When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.
When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…
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