My Catchphrases

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Saturday Spotlight: The Edge

I am completely fan-girling today. The Edge Authors have kindly written a guest post for me, they are such a fantastic bunch of Authors and inspirational to me as a Librarian and the pupils who read their wonderful books. I recommend you follow them and read their books, you won't regret it. 


Sara Grant:  The Edge is a project of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I invited several SCBWI members who had young adult novels coming out in 2011 and early 2012 to help me create The Edge. Most of us are debut novelists. Writing can be a solitary process. On The Edge we promote each other's work and help each other through the publishing process. We hope to find opportunities to work with libraries, schools and teens. We have a joint blog and are starting to work together on panels and other events for teens and writers. I feel very honoured to be listed among this group of amazing writers.
Dark Parties Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Neva was born and raised in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. Hundreds of years ago, her country constructed an electrified dome to protect itself from the outside world. What once might have protected, now imprisons. Her country is decaying and its citizens are dying.

Neva and her friends dream of freedom.

A forbidden party leads to complications. Suddenly Neva’s falling for her best friend's boyfriend, uncovering secrets that threaten to destroy her friends, her family and her country -- and discovering the horrifying truth about what happens to The Missing. . .

Dark Parties will be published in the U.S. by Little, Brown on 3rd August 2011 and in the U.K. by Orion on 20th October 2011.

About Sara Grant
Sara Grant was born and raised in Washington, Indiana, a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Sara now works as a senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. Dark Parties – her first young adult novel – was published in March in Germany (as Neva) and comes out in the US in August and in the UK in October.

Sara volunteers for SCBWI-British Isles. She has served as editor on Goldfish, the first anthology of Goldsmiths College’s creative and life writing programme, and is co-creator and co-editor of Undiscovered Voices, a bi-annual collection of writing from unpublished SCBWI members in the UK.

Savita Kalhan:
I was invited to join the Edge Authors as it was being formed earlier this year and I’m very proud to be amongst such a dynamic group of writers. What all eight of us have in common is that not only are we all committed writers for teens and young adults but our work has an edge to it that is relevant to teenagers and young adults. The themes in our work range from bullying and peer pressure, to asylum seekers, living in witness protection and child abduction.

Our blog, The Edge, is just the beginning of what we can offer. We hope to promote reading and writing and discussion of all the themes covered in our work to teenagers and young adults, book bloggers, and also to the gatekeepers such as librarians and teachers – and to anyone else who loves reading. Historically, teenagers and young adults have been somewhat neglected when it comes to literature tackling difficult issues. This is changing very slowly and we’re hoping to help that change along.

Synopsis - The Long Weekend
Two friends, Sam and Lloyd, get into the wrong car after school on a Friday night, each thinking the driver is the other friend's dad. They are taken to a mansion in the middle of nowhere and manage to convince themselves that this is part of a treat organized by Lloyd's dad - the alternative is far too terrifying. But when the boys find themselves trapped and separated, it soon becomes very clear to them that the man intends to harm them. Then boys struggle to find a way to escape the man's clutches during a harrowing weekend of fear and terror. No one knows where they are. No one is coming to save them. Will they escape unharmed?

Katie Dale : Although we all write for young adults, The Edge authors are very diverse, covering a wide variety of genres, from dystopia and paranormal to gritty realism, but we each tackle difficult subjects – abandonment, asylum seekers, child abduction, the fight for freedom, knife crime, medical ethics, the search for identity and witness protection, to name a few. Consequently, we felt that by grouping together for blogs, workshops and interviews we could offer teens a more varied and enriching experience, more value for their time, introduce them to a range of different genres, as well as raising sometimes controversial contemporary issues for discussion and debate - we aim to get teens thinking and talking about today's edgy issues through reading gripping, edgy fiction.

Someone Else's Life (published by Simon and Schuster, Feb 2012):
When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all...
Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all... "

Dave Cousins

Why we started The Edge
Put the members of The Edge together in a room and the talking starts. Get us on the subject of teen fiction, and you’d better pull up a chair and join in, because we’ll keep going until someone turns out the lights. We love stories that raise questions (even those we may not feel that comfortable answering); tales with characters facing difficult situations; books that leave you a slightly different person to the one you were when you started them. Though the subjects we cover are diverse, all our books have at their heart an issue, a sense of injustice that compelled us to write. We’re passionate about stories – our own and other people’s – and we like to talk, especially with our readers, because what they think matters the most. Which is why we became The Edge.

How will these books benefit teens?
Readers like to recognise themselves and their own experience in the stories they read, and teenage protagonists are at the heart of all our books. Stories can provide escapism, offer different perspectives and a wider world view, even a sense of companionship – the reassurance that you’re not the only one who is having a bad time! We also take care to put the best words in the right order – to write well, so the reader’s experience is a rewarding one. Our books will raise questions, make readers laugh and cry, maybe even keep them awake at night – but most importantly, we believe they’ll keep young people turning the pages … of these and many more books in the future.

Fifteen Days without a Head
by Dave Cousins
Oxford University Press, January 2012
Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it’s not easy when your mum can’t cope without a bottle of wine, and your six-year-old brother thinks he’s a dog.
When Mum fails to come home one night, Laurence tells nobody, terrified the boys will be taken into care. Instead, he attempts to keep up the pretence that she is still around: dressing up in her clothes to fool the neighbours, and spinning an increasingly complicated tangle of lies. After two weeks on their own, running out of food and money, and with suspicious adults closing in, Laurence finally discovers what happened to his mother. And that’s when the trouble really starts …
“A tough and turbulent tale of growing up the hard way, but with heart and soul on every page." – Keith Gray
Unputdownable! I adored Fifteen Days without a Head. Heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time, with the most loveable and memorable characters. SUPERB!" – Candy Gourlay

Paula Rawsthorne:
I feel lucky to be part of THE EDGE a group of dynamic writers whose novels provide stories for teenagers and Young Adults that will get then reading and talking.

Sara Grant, the author of Dark Parties, got us all together as she recognised that we were members of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators who were drawn to writing fiction (in various genres) that wasn’t afraid to tackle difficult issues. The first time we all met we realised that our novels encompassed such issues as- knife crime, medical ethics, child abduction, asylum seekers, rebellion, to name but a few. By the time that meeting had finished we were all fired up to take The Edge forward and offer panel events, workshops, talks etc to Young Adults, organisations working with them and anyone interested in gripping novels with teenagers at their heart.

Soon after our initial meeting we had our website up and running ( and we were taking turns to post thought- provoking weekly blogs on all aspects of YA fiction. We put the feelers out to libraries, nationwide, to see if they were interested in us doing an events with their teenage groups- the response has been great!

We believe that young adults deserve the widest choice in fiction and deserve stories that can be thought provoking and entertaining at the same time. The Edge hopes that they provide that and they want to spread the word to teenagers that making time to read a great story is time well spent.

Paula Rawsthorne author of The Truth About Celia Frost. Published by Usborne 1st August.

Title: The Truth about Celia Frost
Author: Paula Rawsthorne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
Celia Frost is a freak. At least that s what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of safety. No friends. No fun. No life. But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum reacts strangely. Suddenly they re on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows and when they find Celia, she s going to wish the truth was a lie... A buried secret; a gripping manhunt; a dangerous deceit: what is the truth about Celia Frost? A page-turning thriller that s impossible to put down.

Keren David:
Keren David has worked as a reporter, a political correspondent, a news editor, a comment editor, feature writer and in Amsterdam she was editor in chief for a photographic agency. Keren worked for The Independent for many years, and has written for many other national newspapers and magazines. In 2007 she signed up for a course in Writing for Children at City University where she started to write When I Was Joe. The sequel Almost True was published in September 2010. Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery will be published in August 2011.

Title: Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery
Author: Keren David
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication Date: 4 Aug 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon
Money can’t buy you love. But it can buy many other very nice things. Lia’s mum is a nag, her sister’s a pain and she’s getting nowhere in pursuit of the potentially paranormal Raf. Then she wins £8 million in the lottery, and suddenly everything is different. But will Lia’s fortune create more problems than it solves? Everyone dreams of winning the lottery - but what’s it really like? Find out in this hilarious story by Keren David, whose acclaimed debut novel, When I Was Joe, was Highly Commended for the Booktrust Teenage Prize.

Miriam Halahmy:
Miriam Halahmy has published fiction and poetry. Her work has been included in anthologies, read on the radio and performed on stage. She taught in London schools for twenty five years and now runs creative writing workshops and mentors developing writers. She is a frequent guest at writers' conferences and literary festivals, leading workshops. Hidden is Miriam’s debut Y.A. novel and it is the first in a cycle of three novels. The second and third books will be published in 2012. She is a member of English PEN, SCWBI, the Scattered Authors' Society, the Society of Authors and the Highgate Poets.

Title: Hidden
Author: Miriam Halahmy
Publisher: Meadowside Children's Books
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
Hidden is a brave debut novel, tackling the complex issues of immigration and human-rights laws, through the eyes of teenage Alix. A literary, coming-of-age novel dealing with prejudice, judgement, courage, preconceptions and the difficulty of sorting right from wrong. Challenging, charming, compelling. Fourteen year old Alix lives at the bottom of Hayling Island near the beach. It is a quiet backwater, far removed from world events such as war, terror and refugees. Alix has never even given a thought to asylum seekers, she has enough problems of her own: Dad has a new life that doesn't include her, Grandpa is dead and Mum is helpless and needy. Then one day on the beach Alix and Samir pull a drowning man out of the incoming tide: Mohammed, an illegal immigrant and a student. Mohammed has been tortured by rebels in Iraq for helping the allied forces and has spent all his money to escape. Alone, helpless, and desperate not to be deported, Mohammed's destiny lies in Alix's hands. However, hiding an injured immigrant is fraught with difficulties. Faced with the biggest moral dilemma of her life, what will Alix do, and who can she trust?

Bryony Pearce:
Bryony Pearce lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She completed an English Literature degree at Corpus Christi College Cambridge in 1998 and afterward worked in the research sector. She went freelance in 2004 so she could devote more time to writing. Her debut YA novel, Angel's Fury (review here) , will be published by Egmont on July 4th, 2011. If you’d like to know more about Bryony, please visit her website

Title: Angel’s Fury
Author: Bryony Pearce
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Publication Date: 4 July 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
Every atrocity. Every war. Every act of vengeance. One fallen angel walks the earth to bring mankind to its destruction...Turning love into hate, forgiveness into blame, hope into despair. Through the fires of hell he will come to haunt one girl's dreams. But what if everything she ever dreamed was true? Every time Cassie Smith tries to sleep, she is plagued by visions of a death: A little girl called Zillah. A victim of the holocaust. In desperation Cassie is sent for treatment in an old manor house. There she meets other children just like her. Including Seth...Seth who looks so familiar. Her dream becomes nightmare. And then reality.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did. Thank you to The Edge Authors once again.


  1. A big thank you for this fab spotlight Emma. It looks stunning! I hope your followers come over to our blog and check us out, and leave us a comment.

  2. Thanks for supporting The Edge, Emma – and congratulations on the great work Book Angel Booktopia is doing to provide a focus for promotion and discussion of great books for readers young and old!

  3. Many thanks for featuring us on your great blog Emma. Its great being part of a group like The Edge and we are hoping to become more and more busy as our group becomes better known.


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