Happy Release Day, NIGHTINGALE!
Like most of my books, this started with a premise: an accidental hero. Someone who happens to be in just the right place and make just the wrong (or right!) choice that ends up granting them superpowers. Or, in the case of Nightingale, an opinionated and charming magic sword. Out of that seed I grew my protagonist, Lark, a pragmatic, isolated, girl thief who wanted nothing to do with heroism.
I drafted and then revised this book during a period of great turmoil in my life (the loss of my beloved dog Charlie, major medical issues for close family) but it was a delight to write about Lark and her companions. Especially her loyal and trusty Sword, who was always stealing the scene.
As the story developed I read about real-world heroism in the form of labor right activists and real-world suffering in the form of such tragedies as the fate of the “Radium Girls” and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I hope that readers of Nightingale will go out and learn more about the history of worker’s rights in our own world, and learn about the real-life heroes who have fought and continue to fight against injustice and abuse.
Even from the earliest outlines, Lark’s journey involved recognizing that no one can be a hero alone, that there are all sorts of heroes and not all of them carry magic swords.
Similarly, no story can become a full-fledged book without the work of many. I was aided in this particular quest by my brilliant editor Julia McCarthy and my wonderful agent Hannah Fergesen, with help from the entire teams at Simon Kids and kt literary. The gorgeous cover art is by Marion Bordeyne and the fantastic design by Rebecca Syracuse . I am also incredibly grateful to my beta readers and writer friends who provided support, encouragement, and feedback just when I most needed it.
Signed and/or personalized copies may be ordered from my local independent bookstore, PRINT: A Bookstore!
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