Carnegie Nominated On Your First Novel!: Jane Brittan

Funny how
things can just wallop you out of the blue when you least expect it – good and
bad. And when I opened my inbox a few weeks ago, the last – the very last thing
– I was expecting, was a Carnegie nomination for my first title, YA thriller,
The Edge of Me.

I believed
in my characters, from the get-go. They came and lived inside my head and made
such a nuisance of themselves, I had to write them down – had to find something
for them to do. And the fact that the book has had some luscious reviews from
teenage bloggers, experienced librarians and international organisations alike,
means I maybe, just maybe, did the right thing.

I’ve written
before about setting up a small publishing company, going it alone: just Lisa,
my partner-in-crime and me – about doing things our way – and looking down the
list of nominees, we’re almost the only truly tiny, weeny independent company
among them. We’re not affiliated; we don’t have four titles in the running. But
we’re in there, and what a result for the little people!

At the time
of writing, The Edge of Me has just been shortlisted (final five) for the Bath
Children’s Literature Award!

When you’re
small with little cash and even less knowledge about the arcane world of the
publishing industry, things take time. We’ve learned so much in the last year:
what typesetting actually means, about paper weights and fonts and colour
bleeds. We made a website; we’re on Twitter and Instagram – we’re even – over
our cold dead bodies – on Facebook!

We’re proud
of what we’ve achieved as a company, as publishers, and as writers ourselves.
It’s been a hugely steep learning curve and there are countless people we’re
going to need to thank. We love what we do, and we’ve got high hopes for our
books. A Carnegie nomination is a wonderful beacon on the way to where we want
to be.

My next book, also YA and one of two in a
series, is called Bad Blood, and it’s coming out in the new year. Lisa’s first
title, a Sci-Fi crossover with a big twist, Summer at the Methane Lakes comes
out next year too.

Jane’s novel The Edge Of Me is available to buy now. Blowfish Books is her publishing company and they can be found on their website here.

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