Published by Odyssey Books
“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.
When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
This fresh, inventive tale is an ideal read for younger teens.
I was born in Brisbane, Australia, and now live in Sydney. Apart from writing and reading, which take up most of my time, I love walking, travelling and playing piano (badly).
As a child, I was called Dizzy Lizzy – which I regarded as an insult all my life, until I started writing! Now, daydreaming is a central part of what I do. My favourite childhood books included the Chronicles of Narnia and Enid Blyton’s adventure stories. I was such an avid reader that my godfather gave me the complete works of Shakespeare when I was ten. (Still haven’t read them all…) My reading tastes nowadays are eclectic, ranging from classic authors such as Jane Austen, to the works of modern YA writers, including J.K. Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Melina Marchetta and Maggie Stiefvater.
I love movies almost as much as books. Dreamlike films – such as the works of Hayao Miyazaki – hugely appeal to me, as do any clever psychological films and TV series which revolve around female characters, such as Buffy and Veronica Mars.
I used to enjoy writing as a child, but then I grew up and was sadly waylaid by more serious pursuits. Reading to my own kids reminded me of how much I missed getting lost in other worlds, and once I started writing again, I couldn’t stop. I am also fascinated with people’s motivations and personalities, and now I get to explore them on the page. I am a member of the SCBWI, the CBCA, and a reviewer for CBCA’s Reading Time.
- What is on your nightstand?
Piles of books, including I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa and Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley, an Australian author, which is mostly set in a bookshop – can’t resist that!
- What author would you totally fan?
J.K. Rowling. Reading the Harry Potter series to my kids reignited my long-dormant interest in fantasy and ultimately got me writing. Her accessible approach to world building – dripping in details bit by bit, without overwhelming the reader – is what I aspired to emulate in Esme’s Wish.
- What makes you cringe?
Things left on the floor. My kids don’t use their cupboards. We’re working on it… (Thanks for giving me the opportunity to whinge about this.)
- Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
I didn’t plot at first, which is why it took me ages to finish my first book. In an attempt to stop the second book taking another seven years, I’ve done a lot more planning this time around. I’ve found that the more I know what lies ahead, the more I unconsciously thread in foreshadowing and thematic resonance. However, I also like the freedom of letting the story grow organically, so I don’t hesitate to deviate from my plan if I come up with a better idea on the fly.
- Is there a word you love to use?
There’s no one word in particular, but I remember having to edit out the words “drifting” and “floating” a lot. There are only so many words you can use to describe a watery city full of ferries and gondolas, and I was forced to greatly expand my vocabulary of water-related verbs.
1 winner will receive an eBook of ESME’S WISH, International.