My new novel for young adults, Cybele’s Secret, has been released this week here in Australia. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share Kinuko Craft’s gorgeous cover painting with you. Unfortunately, the American edition doesn’t come out until September 2008, so anyone wanting a cute Knopf hardback to match their copy of Wildwood Dancing has a long time to wait. Macmillan’s UK hardback comes out in December 07 and, of course, both that edition and the Australian one can be purchased online.
Cybele’s Secret was a fabulous book to write. My protagonist, Paula, accompanies her father on a merchant voyage to Istanbul in early Ottoman times. This story gave me a great excuse to visit Turkey myself in search of information about Islamic religious faith and practice, Anatolian folklore, commercial wheeling and dealing, and Black Sea piracy. The characters come from many different cultures and speak a variety of languages, so there were all sorts of challenges in getting the details right and telling a good story at the same time. I hope I succeeded. It was certainly fun.
Now it’s back to the work in progress, an adult fantasy novel that will probably end up with the title Heir to Sevenwaters. I’d love to say I’m at the polishing and refining stage, but actually I’m still writing the last couple of chapters and THEN I have to revise some of the earlier part before I’ll be quite happy with the ms. But at least I have reached the section of the book that more or less writes itself. By this stage, the story knows exactly where to go. The loose ends tie themselves up, the characters resolve their difficulties, the sun comes out and we all live happily ever after … Well, maybe not that. I’ve never believed that the happy endings of fairytales apply for every single character. There’s always darkness to balance the light. But I do at least allow my protagonists the hope of a bright future.
Research for this book has been a different kettle of fish. [Read more…]