I remember the exact moment Robin first thumped into my consciousness like some ‘oh yes’ meteor moment. I was a young editor then, and her first two books—The Blue Sword (Newbery Honor) and The Hero and the Crown (Newbery Award)—had just been published in the UK by the great Julia MacRae. I was sitting in a little green office, looking at a brick wall, opening a book I'd nicked from the publisher next door, and suddenly I was somewhere else. This wonderful writer had taken me away, entranced me, made me forget who I was and where I was and what I was supposed to be doing. She’d opened the door to a whole new world of fantasy and I jumped in and slammed it shut behind me. When, years later, I defected from the world of editing to the world of being a writer myself, hers was one of the sure hands I felt on my shoulder, guiding me as I wrote my first novel, Hootcat Hill. It’s not that I wanted to write like some fan-fic Robin clone—I have my own style and voice. It was more a case of a kind of writerly cameraderie, feeling as if she and I come from the same sort of universe—a universe where mythical dragons, women of strong opinions, and the minutiae of growing things in gardens are part of our mutual language.
What are your favourite comfort reads? And are you, like me, currently in need of them?
OUT NOW: Cleo 2: Chosen and Cleo (UKYA historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra VII) '[a] sparkling thriller packed with historical intrigue, humour, loyalty and poison.' Amanda Craig, New Statesman
Also out: Beasts of Olympus series "rippingly funny" Publishers Weekly US starred review