They’ve arrived! My first copies of Walking on Gold, all ready for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which opens on Friday 26th September. Bath Festival of Children’s Literature
It’s exciting after all these months of writing and editing to finally have the finished book in my hands, and it’s come a long way from the first draft that I began when I was sitting on a windy cliff, very like the one Effie climbs in my story.
Now I’m busy planning lots of writing workshops with local schools – and one on October 5th at The Roman Baths Museum, in their amazing Education Room. Its window looks over the misty, green Great Bath– a perfect place for beginning a writing adventure….
At The Bookseller Children’s Conference last Thursday, John Lewis (The Bookseller’s charts and data editor) reported that the UK children’s publishing market was up by 10% in the first eight months of this year – making it the fastest growing book sector, with most children’s categories showing growth. The Bookseller’s Y/A Book Prize was launched: the first ever prize for Young Adult books in the UK and Ireland. Y/A books published between 1st January and 31st December 2014 are eligible – the winning author will receive £2,000.
The Frankfurt Book Fair, traditionally the trade’s ‘grown-up’ fair and now only days away, is signalling its interest in children’s publishing, too. For the first time in its history the Fellowship Programme, designed to create networks between young publishing professionals, is choosing to focus on Y/A and children’s literature. The Book Fair says it is sending out a “global signal” about its commitment to children’s and Y/A publishing, recognising this sector’s “dynamic development.” 2014 Fellowship Programme
The 2014 Fair is also acknowledging the growing importance of independent author-publishers, with a two-day International Self-Publishing and Author Programme Frankfurt Fair self-publishing. And in 2015 the Fair will be expanding the exhibition area it is devoting to self-publishers 2015 Frankfurt.
Seems it’s an excellent time to be a children’s author – and an independent one, at that.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Bath Children’s Literature Festival this week, do come along and say Hello!
Co-founder, Electrik Inc
Walking on Gold
It’s like discovering hidden treasure and having to keep it a secret. That’s how the Electrik Inc team felt when they first read Walking on Gold, the new novel by children’s author and Bath Spa creative writing lecturer, Janine Amos.
Aimed at 8-12 year olds, the book is the fourth novel to grace Electrik Inc’s independent publishing list and will be published in paperback and as an ebook on October 1. Among the first lucky readers will be children attending the Bath Literature Festival where Janine will be presenting ‘Buried Treasure!’, a children’s writing workshop organised in association with The Roman Baths on October 5.
Walking on Gold is a gem of a read with an intriguing archaeological twist. The story concerns young Effie, a city girl who is transported to a wild and remote island, her mother’s childhood home. The roaring sea and howling wind are strange at first but she soon begins to love her new home, especially when she accidentally uncovers an ancient golden brooch. But there are family secrets as well as buried treasure on the island and when things go wrong, Effie needs all her determination to save everything she cares about.
Apart from having an exciting and moving plot, the novel manages to mix gritty realism (particularly in its handling of family relationships) with a writing style that is both magical and lyrical. No surprise to learn that Dylan Thomas is the author’s favourite poet and word juggler. Janine’s own Welsh heritage shines through, as does her passion for archaeology. She regularly takes part in archaeological digs herself, which you can read about here on her website.
At this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival Janine will be teaming up with The Roman Baths and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, taking inspiration from Bath’s Roman coin hoard. There’ll be Roman coins to handle and props and activities to help children get started on a writing adventure of their own.
Janine, who co-founded Electrik Inc and gave the group its name, has worked as a children’s commissioning editor in London, Bath, Berlin and Chicago and is already a successful author with books translated into 14 languages.
Walking on Gold can be ordered online via Amazon and will be available at local bookshops to coincide with the Festival. Janine will also be signing copies after the children’s writing workshop.
Co-founder, Electrik Inc