One person I’d love you to meet is Needle Luckett – he’s twelve years old and spends his time twisting, carving and etching long-lost and forgotten things dug from the muddy foreshore of the River Notion, crafting them into treasures to behold. He has another special gift too – he can hear sounds in colour. If you’re angry with him, red daggers fill his mind. If you feel sad, every word you utter is the deepest of blue. But, like me, his favourite sound is yellow – the colour of happiness. And these past few weeks, like Needle, my own head has been filled with every shade of joyous yellow imaginable… why?
Because, FINALLY, Needle Luckett will no longer only exist inside my (and my agent, Jo’s) head! He will be there, in black and white, for all to meet when my debut novel, ELSETIME, is published June 2020 by wonderful independent British publisher, Everything With Words. You can read the announcement in The Bookseller here. (The Bookseller! How mad is that?!)
ELSETIME is a middle-grade adventure, aimed at 8-12 year olds, and was inspired by, amongst other things, a real life tragic event: The Great Flood of London in 1928. I cannot wait for you to meet Needle and an impetuous jeweller’s apprentice called Glory Bobbin; a crow named Magpie and a hard-nosed taskmaster; a distinguished inventor and a deadly flood – all living their lives in Inthington Town just a stone’s throw from each other but with many decades between.
I haven’t had the chance to ask Needle what colour I’m sounding right now because, as well as feeling happy, it’s mixed with something else – gratitude. It has taken a cast of the best real-life characters to get ELSETIME to this starting point along with so much serendipity (remind me to fill you in) that it would be considered too unbelievable even for a work of fiction. For the moment, THANK YOU to everyone who helped me along the way, and long may the yellow last! Hooray!