I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures of a boating excursion that I recently had with my agent Louise and editors Ali and Hannah from Egmont.
Boats – and in particular, a boat race – feature prominently in the sequel to The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, so for research purposes it seemed only appropriate to do a little rowing ourselves – in this case on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
Hannah and Ali take to the oars
Louise is taking this rowing business seriously
Are you sure you’re up to this, Woodfine?
Hilarity sets in
As it turns out, my characters are much better at rowing than I am. I don’t think I am going to be winning any boat races anytime soon, unless it is a competition to see who is best at rowing in a circle!
But in spite of my less-than-brilliant rowing abilities (and interruptions from some very curious geese) we had a fantastic afternoon – very Swallows and Amazons!
Naturally we followed our boating excursion with a delicious afternoon tea, which I think Sophie and Lil would definitely approve of.
It’s been so difficult to keep this one a secret – but the news is finally out! Next year my publishers Egmont are releasing Mystery & Mayhem a brand new anthology of mystery stories by twelve children’s authors, including… me!
The other authors featured (our very own Crime Club) include Robin Stevens, who as well as being a fantastic mystery author is also an assistant editor at Egmont, Helen Moss, Elen Caldecott, Frances Hardinge, Clementine Beauvais, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls and Harriet Whitehorn.
The stories are all absolutely fantastic – and I feel very lucky that I’ve already had the chance to read them, to help me write the introduction to the anthology! Here’s a few tantalising hints from some of the authors about what you can expect to find:
My story is called ‘Emily and the Detectives’ & it is part Sherlock Holmes, part Inspector Gadget, all the writing funtimes. #kidscrimeclub
As for my own story, it’s a solo adventure for Lil – the Edwardian chorus-girl turned detective who appears in The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. Lil has already attracted herself a lot of fans, and I had so much fun writing a story from her point of view.
The anthology will be published in May 2016 – stay tuned for more news from the Crime Club!
Exciting news – this morning my publishers Egmont announced that Sophie and Lil will be continuing their adventures in two more books!
I’m so delighted to be writing two more books in the series, which will follow on from The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, which comes out in March 2016. The new books will follow the gang as they solve even more crimes in Edwardian London, and will be publishing in spring and autumn 2017.
I couldn’t be happier that the series will continue and that there will be more in store for Sophie, Lil and company! Writing The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has been such fun, Egmont has been a wonderful publishing ‘home’ and it has been amazing to have such a great response to the book from readers. I was also very excited about this part of the announcement:
Katherine Woodfine’s debut, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has been one of the runaway hits of 2015. Selected as the Waterstones Book of the Month for June, and reaching number 13 in the Nielsen BookScan charts, it was the fastest selling debut children’s book across all ages for the first half of 2015.
As if that wasn’t enough, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is going interational! It will be published in the US by Kane Miller in June 2016, and publishers Ravensburger have also snapped up the rights to publish it in Germany. Audio rights have also been sold, so an audio version is also in the offing. Hurrah!
[This celebratory photo of ladies performing some sort of 1900s beach gymnastics comes via my ever-expanding Edwardiana Pinterest board!]
I am a huge fan of Waterstones. I vividly remember my frenzied excitement about getting to go to the big Waterstones shop in Preston when I was a child; and my first real job was working on Saturdays at Waterstones Lancaster when I was in the sixth form at school.
To this day, there is little I enjoy more than a rummage round flagship store Waterstones Piccadilly, where I can easily spend far too much money. It’s so important that we have such a fantastic high street bookseller, and I couldn’t be prouder that The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has been chosen to be a Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, and will now be available in Waterstones stores up and down the land!
I have already been absolutely blown away by the enthusiasm of Waterstones booksellers for the book. I’ve been posting pictures of their amazing Clockwork Sparrow themed displays and windows on social media like crazy – and have now started gathering them together on a special Pinterest board (if you see one, please do snap a picture and send it to me!)
Here’s just a few of the many incredible displays so far:
It was particularly special to see this amazing window display at Waterstones Piccadilly this week, complete with a plate of bon-bons and of course a gorgeous jewelled sparrow as a centrepiece.
As a few keen-eyed readers have already spotted, Sinclair’s Department Store is located on Piccadilly, and although it’s a very different building, I’ve imagined it roughly in the spot as Waterstones Piccadilly (which itself was once the home of a famous former London department store, Simpson’s).
This makes it all the lovelier to see such a beautiful Sinclair’s style display in the windows of Waterstones Piccadilly.
Here’s the display in progress, created by the super talented @annieopalfruit …
Find out more about the Baron (plus enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book!)
UPDATED: The lovely LaChouett also did this great interview in which I chatted to her about favourite mystery stories, the allure of red shoes, the most fun Clockwork Sparrow character to write about, and much more…