That was a long pause, eh. I've been kind of busy.
This week my book deal with Quercus was announced in The Bookseller: Crow Moon, the first in a Young Adult trilogy, will come out early Spring 2015. Exact release date TBC. My super-agent Ben Illis clinched three deals at Bologna including mine, and you can read about the others by Lu Hersey and Fletcher Moss here. Lu, my mind-twin, won the Mslexia Novel competition with her thriller Deep Water, and Fletcher just won the Times/Chicken House Novel competition, so I am in esteemed and intimidatingly good company.
My Editor and Publishing Director Roisin Heycock said: ‘I fell in love with the character of Danny. He’s a teenage boy full of energy, misguided love and more than a touch of selfishness. He is fighting a world he doesn’t want to become a part of but which needs him, and might just use him in terrible ways. Anna works with teenagers and she understands the way their hearts work; she brings such humour and observation to her writing.’ I love her. And I think it's not so much that I understand teens en masse, just that I remember vividly how I felt at that time - and it's not overly different to how I feel now. Or, maybe it's not, and I'm kidding myself, as a mid-30s sellout.
I opened a letter I'd written to myself as a teen last year. Among other things it said "I hope you are staying true to your principles". 17 year old Anna did not elucidate on what these principles were - presumably thinking that if I had to ask... I think they were probably generally "Fuck The Man; Wear rockin' boots; Be a feminist; Don't stand for any shit". Judge for yourself.
Anyway, I'm doing final rewrites right now, then straight back to writing book 2. You spend (theoretically) your whole life writing book 1, and then you're on a book-a-year schedule all of a sudden which frankly is AWESOME because you get to have actual work time dedicated to writing that no-one can say anything about, because, after all, you are getting paid for it now. A revolutionary thing.
I now also have a tumblr where I delightedly post animated gifs about Kara Thrace, witches, goth fashion and various other "cool" stuff. Cool to me anyway.
Hopefully soon I will be looking at cover designs, which is surely the best part of writing a book. If it doesn't feature crows and moons, and be all moody, I will be surprised.
But really the best part of writing a novel for young people is the idea that next year, maybe some teens will read it and like it. That's really what all the work is for - to write the book I always wanted to read and could never find. The concept that an introverted, moody goth girl might read Crow Moon and like it is amazing to me. I mean, that anyone will like it will be amazing. But especially someone like me at 17. Someone who hasn't forgotten their principles; who lives by them and believes in a better future. Because that, to me, is the definition of that stage in everyone's life. The ability to define truth and believe in it - to know you can make a difference.