It’s just over five years ago since a Waterstones bookseller from Oxford emailed me and excitedly told me that she’d read my book, liked it so much she recommended it for Waterstones Book of the Month, and it had been selected.
Much screaming and Prosecco ensued.
It was a fantastic month, seeing posters on the London Underground, pirate window displays all over the country, and my little book piled high on tables.
In the following years, I experienced a change of editors and sadly the pirate series ended after two books. I do however have the first half of book three and I’m determined to finish it and self-publish it one day, just for the satisfaction of finishing the story.
Success takes many forms, however. I was thrilled when my fourth book, Storm Hound won the Tir na nOg award last year. I’m also delighted that my book of Welsh Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends is doing well all over Wales (and, I hope, the rest of the UK.) I popped into Cardiff Waterstones yesterday and they brought out a big stack of them for me to sign. Lots of people have told me they’ve never come across these stories before and I’m so happy that people are discovering them now.
Then, there are little things. The look on a girl’s face when I said I liked her story. A friend’s son writing a poem based on one of my Welsh stories and being crowned bard at his school eisteddfod. Visiting schools and seeing children’s imaginations catch fire.
Actually, come to think of it, these are not little things. The most important thing you can do as an adult is to make a child believe in themselves and it’s a huge privilege to connect with children through stories.
The next five years? I’m proud to be taking part in The Mab project, a bilingual retelling of The Mabinogion, with a cornucopia of top children’s authors, all brilliantly illustrated by Max Lowe. There’s still time to pledge support and be among the first to get a copy when the book comes out next June. I’m also working on a new book, and will hopefully have more news on that soon, and several other projects are jostling about in my brain, including that third Pirates book. We’ll see which one comes out first.
In the meantime, thank you for your support, and remember, if you’d like to keep on supporting your favourite authors you can:
- Borrow books from libraries.
- Buy from independent bookshops.
- Leave an online review.