I’m so excited to be able to reveal the cover of Piers Torday’s incredible second instalment in the The Lost Magician series, The Frozen Sea (which has been brilliantly illustrated by Ben Mantle and designed by Samuel Perrett) which will be published on 5th September 2019 by Hachette.
I’m also super happy because the very lovely people at Hachette have given me five proof copies of The Frozen Sea to give away near to publication day!
Find out more below!
The Frozen Sea
‘If you can imagine it, it exists … somewhere.’
The second incredible instalment of a spellbinding fantasy adventure from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Last Wild trilogy.
It is 1984 and forty years since Simon, Patricia and Evelyn and Larry first stepped through a magical library door into the enchanted world of Folio. When Patricia’s daughter, Jewel, makes a mysterious discovery in an old bookshop, she begins a quest that will make her question everything she thought she knew. Summoned to Folio, she must rescue a missing prince, helped only by her pet hamster and a malfunctioning robot.
Their mission to the Frozen Sea will bring them face-to-face with a danger both more deadly and more magnificent than they ever imagined.
What Jewel discovers will change not just who she thinks she is, but who we all think we are…
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group
Number of pages: 352
I was born in 1974, in Northumberland, which is possibly the one part of England where more animals live than people.
My father Paul worked for the family engineering business in Newcastle, while my mother Jane ran a children’s bookshop in Hexham called Toad Hall Books. Alongside my younger brother Nick, I spent my very early years crawling around on the floor of that shop, surrounded by piles of books right from the start.
I was extremely lucky to come from a writing background. My grandfather Roger Mortimer was a racing journalist who wrote hundreds of very funny letters to his children and grandchildren, and you can learn the extraordinary story of his life in Dearest Jane, by him and my mother, Jane.
I enjoyed reading, writing and drawing from an early age. My parents loved reading to me, and I particularly enjoyed books with good pictures – such as the Moomin stories by Tove Jansson, The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien and Hergé’s Tintin graphic novels. Other favourites included Roald Dahl, C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series and Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. My mother was always writing as I was growing up – newspaper articles, gardening and cookery books, local history – and it seemed a normal thing to want to do.
My first cartoon, aged 7, was about a superhero called Super Sid, which won a competition in a local newspaper. Then I started making comics, and my first one was about all the sheep who lived on the hills around us, called…The Sheep! At school, I spent most of my time in the library or the computer room, where I wrote short stories and funny articles for the school magazine. Then I went to university, where I was meant to study English but mainly wrote, directed or produced plays and comedy shows.
My first job, in 1996, was in a fringe theatre in London, The Pleasance, where I started working behind the bar but was eventually allowed to read a few scripts and then help choose what plays were put on, both in London and at their Edinburgh Fringe Festival venue. I was very fortunate to be a Trustee for the last 15 years.
Then I co-ran a theatre production company, touring new plays and promoting comedians. I also worked in TV for several years, including a short spell in Los Angeles, coming up with ideas for everything from reality shows to hidden camera pranks.
On a break between TV jobs one summer in 2008, I booked myself onto an Arvon writing course at Ted Hughes’s old house on the West Yorkshire moors, and it was there I began writing the adventures of a boy called Kester who can’t talk to people but can talk to animals, in an environmentally precarious world.
Finally, after 17 drafts, and many early mornings and late nights later, The Last Wild was published in 2013 by Quercus Children’s. It was nominated for the Carnegie Award shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the UKLA Award, and won both Stockton Children’s Book of the Year and Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year. The book has been published in 13 other countries, including the USA.
That same year, I married Will Tosh, an academic.
In 2014, the sequel to The Last Wild, The Dark Wild, came out, and won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The third and final book in the series, The Wild Beyond came out in 2015, and was shortlisted for Islington Book of the Year.
After my father died in 2013, I found his last unfinished novel (a political thriller for adults) amongst his papers. With the agreement of my brother and his agent and editor, I finished the book for him , and The Death of an Owl was published in 2016 by W&N.
That Christmas, my fourth book for children, There May Be A Castle was published by Quercus Children’s. It was a Children’s Book of the Year in The Times and has just come out in paperback. You can also read some new short stories by me in Winter Magic (curated by Abi Elphinstone), Wisp of Wisdom and Scoop magazine.
I also occasionally write articles and book reviews for The Guardian, The Daily Expressand The Spectator, amongst others. I have judged the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and the Costa Book Award.
My adaptation of John Masefield’s classic The Box of Delights opened at Wilton’s Music Hall in London last Christmas, directed by Justin Audibert, designed by Tom Piper, starring Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle and was revived in Christmas 2018 starring Theo Ancient, Nigel Betts and Sarah Stewart.
I am now delighted to also be an Associate Artist at Wilton’s.
I am passionate about the opportunities for imaginative futures that reading allows, and have been a trained Reading Helper with Beanstalk Reads for five years, working with children on their reading on my local primary schools.
I am delighted to be a Patron of Reading at the inspirational St. Silas’s in Toxteth, Liverpool, and am a Trustee of the Ministry of Stories, a charity which works with children in East London and further afield to enable their creativity and storytelling skills in multiple different forms.
I am also a Patron of the magnificent Shrewsbury Book Fest, a visionary book award, festival and school outreach scheme all in one.
My latest book is called The Lost Magician, and was published in September 2017.
I am currently also working on the sequel to that book, alongside a new play and a new film, but spend most of my time wrangling our very naughty – but adorable – puppy, Huxley.
Ben was born in Leamington Spa in 1980, and developed a very early interest in things artistic, designing programme covers for school productions and even coming first in his local library colouring-in competition. From there he went on to study animation at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, graduating in 2003.. He then gained valuable experience working on Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” before moving to Brighton to work as ‘Head of Animation’ in a media company, focusing on Character and Background design.
He was also part of the Animation team creating the BAFTA winning ‘Big and Small’ CBeebies website. Since 2008, Ben has been working as a Children’s Book Illustrator from his shared studio in Brighton and he also produces screen prints and digital artwork to exhibit. He illustrated ‘Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit’ which won the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book prize 2013.
Samuel Perrett is Senior Designer at Hachette Children’s Group.
He also designed the cover for Piers Torday’s The Lost Magician and many more bestselling books from Hachette.
Biggest thanks to Piers, Emily and all at Hachette for giving me the wonderful opportunity to reveal this stunning and spellbinding cover and for providing copies for the giveaway!
I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
The very lovely people at Hachette have kindly given me five copies of The Frozen Sea to give away!
If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of The Frozen Sea, simply retweet (RT) this tweet!
Proof copies will be sent to winners when available from Hachette, as soon as possible near to publication day.