Change is coming. 2017 is on the way! And thank goodness, you might say, given how bonkers the past twelve months have been. Frankly, we've had just about enough change to last us a lifetime in one year, BUT - sometimes change is GREAT!
So we'd love to introduce you to three of our upcoming MKB authors, all new to the list and shiny in their own way. They are: Rachael Lucas, whose first novel for YAs is called The State of Grace, coming in April; Carlie Sorosiak, author of If Birds Fly Back, a stunning debut out in June; and Jennifer E. Smith, the prolific and brilliant author of novels such as The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight. We're so thrilled to be publishing Windfall, her next novel for young adults, in May.
These three authors have kindly offered to give our blog readers a hint as to what their new novels are about, and introduce themselves if you're not already familiar..
Without further ado - meet Rachael, Carlie and Jennifer!
The State of Grace, publishing 6th April
Hello. I'm Rachael. I live in a rambling Victorian house by the sea. It's full of books (hooray) and cobwebs (argh) and is the perfect place to curl up and read by the fire for hours. I've got four children, a very bouncy spaniel and two cats who have been at war for the last four years despite our attempts to make them friends.
When I was young, I used to go to the library once a week (use your library!) - back in the days when YA books weren't really a thing. I devoured every book on their Teenage Fiction shelf - I would have been in heaven with Bookstagram and Twitter back then, and I love them completely now.
I was a very bookish small person, and wrote my first novel at eleven, on a manual typewriter given to me for Christmas. I packaged the scruffy heap of A4 paper up and sent it to Pan books, who published all my favourites. I got a kind letter back telling me that it wasn't quite what they were looking for - and to keep writing... So I did. But not until I'd tried to get A Proper Job.
I fell asleep in a patch of sunlight at my desk in an office, set my clothes on fire working in a German kitchen and was very quickly removed from writing the Births Deaths and Marriages column in a newspaper, when they realised I spent all day weeping in sympathy with the people leaving In Memoriam notices.
Eventually I realised that perhaps I should stop dreaming about writing and just do it.
One day Grace started talking to me (it was outside WH Smith on Chapel Street in the rain, I suspect she would want me to tell you, and the title came immediately to me as well) and she would not stop. I scribbled down the first lines of an idea, and that was that. I've never written anything as quickly as The State of Grace because she was dying for me to tell her story.
It's about love, friendship, Doctor Who, a horse called Mabel and a family coming apart at the seams. And it's about how Grace - who also happens to have Aspergers - makes her way through it all, in a world where she feels like everyone else has a rulebook and hers got lost. I can't wait for Grace to be out there in the world.
If Birds Fly Back, publishing 29th June
The first thing you should know about me is that I’m terribly impressionable. If I see someone eating Mexican food on TV, I’ll want a burrito. I once embarked on a six-week archeological dig in Peru after a late-night viewing of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, where Bridget made archeology look devastatingly cool. And I ended up doing my first master’s degree at the University of Oxford because it was as close as I could get to Hogwarts.
The second thing is, before If Birds Fly Back, I wrote a novel called The Lady of the Tree; you’ve never heard of it because I was thirteen and it sucked. From what I can tell now, it was ninety thousand words of people riding around on horses for no particular reason. Anyway, my point is that I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and while If Birds Fly Backhas significantly fewer horses than my thirteen-year-old ramblings, it still showcases my whole heart.
Inspired by my experience volunteering in care homes and my lifetime love of slow, inevitable romances, If Birds Fly Back is about one completely transformative Miami summer. It’s about grieving for people who leave and loving those who stay. I wanted to write a story not only about finding your place in the world, but also about finding your place in the whole universe. I’m so glad that Birds is that book—and I’m deliriously happy to share it with all of you!
Jennifer E. Smith
Windfall, publishing 4th May 2017
Hi! My name is Jennifer E. Smith, and it’s possible you’ve heard of some of my other books, like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – but Windfall is my first one with Macmillan, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
Here are some fun facts about me: I live in New York City, I have a beagle named Tater Tot, I’ve been to six of the seven continents (and 46 of the 50 U.S. states!), and unlike the characters in this book, I’ve never won the lottery. But I often feel like I have, because being a writer has always been my dream, and I consider myself very, very lucky to be doing it now.
Windfall tells the story of Alice, who has been in love with her best friend Teddy for years. On his 18th birthday, sort of on a lark, she buys him a lottery ticket, and he ends up winning a hundred and forty million dollars, which of course turns their lives completely upside down. It’s a story about friendship and change, heartache and hope. But mostly, it’s about love and luck and all the unexpected ways they sometimes intersect, and I’m very excited for you all to read it!