I’m really excited to be sharing with you today the cover of Imogen White’s newest addition to The Rose Muddle Mysteries, ‘The Secret Ruby.’ The follow up to the deliciously dark ‘The Amber Pendant‘ will be published on 3rd May 2018 by Usborne books.
So without further ado here it is…….
I just love this bold and wonderfully dramatic cover illustrated by Davide Ortu and designed by Will Steele. It captures brilliant the bold and fierce Rose and the loyal and clever Rui who prides himself on being able to solve any mystery. ‘The Amber Pendant’ is an irresistible combination of magic and mystery with rich, beautiful storytelling, so I can’t wait to read ‘The Secret Ruby.’
To celebrate the cover reveal, I’m delighted to welcome Imogen to the blog today with a special guest post about how important it is for children to find the right book just for them.
Why Finding the Right Book Matters! – Imogen White
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
This quote, by the incredible Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, reflects how I remember feeling as a child – and, how I’m sure many others feel too. Growing up, I was insecure and self-conscious, and I felt like I was very odd compared to everyone else. I’d make up my own worlds and disappear inside them; I had imaginary friends, and I constantly expected to find buried keys, lost treasure and underground passageways in my house and garden. I even wondered what would happen if I was to find gateways to other worlds – despite the fact we lived on a Croydon housing estate.
I believed in all things magical and improbable (and still do!) – from the existence of ghosts and fairies at the bottom the garden, and old magic waiting to be unearthed. But, I learnt quite early on that it was better to keep these ideas to yourself, hidden and secret, because it wasn’t “normal”.
But it was the discovery of books – and of the right books for me, that changed all this…
I remember first finding the likes of The Dark is Rising, The Owl Service and The Giant Under the Snow – and feeling just slightly less peculiar! It was like I had found other people who thought a bit like me, and I remember how wondrous this was to my twelve-year-old self.
This is the joy of reading, and the difference it can make to all children – once they find books that suit them. And this is, especially as we face ever more cuts to library services, exactly why all children need access to libraries and to librarians – so they too can find the rights books.
The remarkable stories that I found as a child have undoubtedly shaped my writing today. From ancient warlords and underground sects, to magical objects buried in Bronze Age graves, these have woven their way into my work in all sorts of shapes and forms.
There was also a very important part of my younger self that I carried forward into my work – what would happen if the fate of the world were to rest in the hands of an insecure twelve-year-old girl? I think my twelve-year-old self would have found lots to relate to in my heroine, Rose Muddle, who came from the workhouse – and thought she was a nobody, only to discover she had a very real and important role to undertake with her inherited magic pendant…
The Rose Muddle Mysteries combine elements of real local history with the fantastical – and this is the space I feel most at home with. The first book in the series, The Amber Pendant, is set in Hove on the south coast of England, and seeds in the dark elements that Rose Muddle finds herself pitted against. Book two in the series, The Secret Ruby, sees Rose escape to Jaipur – only to encounter even bigger problems, as the ways of old magic bleed foul across the globe – as the mystery of The Secret Ruby unfolds into a monkey filled adventure, full of danger, twists and hidden enemies.
I’m so excited to be sharing the cover of my second book, The Secret Ruby, with the world, and thank you so much to Jo – librarian blogger extraordinaire! – for doing this reveal!
I now can’t wait for May when the book will publish. I am certain I would never have been a writer was it not for those childhood books that made me feel like I belonged. So, here’s hoping every child finds the right books for them – just as I did.
Imogen White won her place in the Undiscovered Voices 2014 Anthology with the opening to The Rose Muddle Mysteries. Imogen loves local history, and children’s stories that aren’t limited to beautiful countryside locations or secluded seaside coves. Imogen lives in Hove with her husband, children and belligerent ginger-tomcat.
Davide is an Italian artist now living in Spain. He studies Art in Cagliari Arts Lyceum FOISO FOIS, Sardinia. Here, on the Italian island, he works as a graphic designer in advertising. At the same time, he develops his pictorial side showing in different exhibitions. In 2008 he moved to Madrid where he discovered the world of children’s illustrations.
Thank you to Imogen for this wonderful guest post and to Usborne for inviting me to host the cover reveal. ‘The Secret Ruby’ is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.