So, I've been getting a lot of queries about the middle grade book I've been working on - lots of people wanting to know if I'm working on two books becuase they keep seeing interviews mentioning The New Newbridge Academy and then they see articles taking about Among The Ghosts, all of which is very confusing.
I am here now to set the record straight.
Yes, I am working on two middle grade books at once.
Uhm, I'm a liar.
The book was originally called 'The New Newbridge Academy' because that's the name of the boarding school my protagonist, Noh, attends. After I turned the book in to my awesome editor Liesa Abrams,over at Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, we decided that the book needed a catchier title. There was a lot of bandying new titles around - I think we went through pages ad pages of the damn things - but it was actually the Aladdin team who came up with the winner, 'Among The Ghosts'.
I loved it immediately. It had all the nuance of a Philip Pullman title ('His Dark Materials' anyone?), plus it gave you a just the tiniest of tastes as to what the plot had in store for you.
Basically, the book is a spooky Boarding School/cool girl heroine/ghost story and the title and book cover let you know it!
There are some coolio illustrationsan too, that my friend, Sina Grace, did especially for the book. He and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what Noh and her friends would look like, how spooky the school should be, whether or not ghosts should look normal or if they should be shadowy and creepy (we went for a combo of both)!
I have to say that Diana Wynne Jones is a HUGE inspiration, as are John Bellairs and Lemony Snicket. I get lost in those books, totally engrossed in their worlds - which are totally like my own, yet utterly different in so many ways.
(By the way, this is my first mobile blogpost and I have to say it's hard to be coherent when you can only read a few chunks of what you're writing as you work and you're sweating like a pig out in the desert getting harrassed by flies...)
Anywho, this post is to clear things up - which I hope I have done. As we get closer to the 'Among The Ghosts' publising date (Late August - two months away!) I will put up some of the first chapter -and maybe some illustrations, too - here for you all to peruse!
Sayanora for now from the Post-Apocalyptic desert that is my home for the next month!