Friday, 23 September 2011

Song Quest cover winner!

One for Shi
Two for Kashe
Three for Rialle
Four for Kherron
Five for the Silver Shore
Six for a golden cover…

...and seven for a secret now revealed!

Here is the winning Song Quest cover as chosen by YOU (with 54% of the vote, so it was very close).

It was designed by Mandy Norman  and drawn by Johanna Basford, and will be published by Catnip in February 2012, when you’ll be able to read the book and decode the unicorn's changes to the magpie rhyme above (if you haven't already guessed them).

And why did a magpie rhyme pop into the unicorn's head today? Well, as every muse knows, magpies like to collect shiny things that take their eye. This might be just a bit of silver foil, but they have been known to whisk away really valuable items to their nests. "Song Quest" caught Catnip’s eye as being the pick of Katherine's backlist titles (because it won an award), so it gets the golden treatment in paperback, while the rest of her backlist is coming out as cheaper but less pretty e-books in a moment of summer glitter madness.

The choice is yours. Would you prefer to read Katherine's back list (i.e. books that have gone out of print at their original publisher) as paper books or e-books? Let the unicorn know by voting on right of this blog!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Song Quest cover vote!

A first novel is always exciting, and the unicorn was kicking up his heels in joy twelve years ago when “Song Quest” first got published in hardback by Element Books. Here’s the original 1999 cover.

Katherine was kicking up her heels in joy, too, when she walked into Waterstone’s in Piccadilly and saw 150 copies of her book displayed around the top shelf of the foyer… though I can’t show you a picture to prove it, because that was back in the days before authors could afford digital cameras. In fact Katherine got lost on her way to the book signing after getting off the train at the wrong tube station, and had to run across half of London in her posh boots, which wore a hole in the soles so she had to spend her advance on a new pair... but I digress.

The following summer, Song Quest won the very first Branford Boase Award, awarded to the best debut novel for children published that year, and shared between the author and her editor. Here’s my author and Song Quest's editor Barry Cunningham joyfully kicking up their heels at the award party in London. (Obviously, Katherine is the one with the flowers, and my nose is just off the right of the picture, chewing a tasty lily...)

And here’s the award itself, a hand-crafted wooden box in the shape of a miniature book with a silver butterfly inlaid in the lid, which opens to reveal a silver plaque.

Shortly after that, Element Books got into trouble with the bank, so Barry Cunningham set up The Chicken House to rescue "Song Quest" (and me) from the pulping machine and oblivion. Here’s the Chicken House cover for the book, published in 2001:

Song Quest eventually went out of print with the Chicken House, but thanks to a tireless campaign by the lovely Becky Scott over at The Bookette, it has been rescued by Catnip Books, who are bringing Katherine's award-winning book back in a lovely new edition next February to accompany her new Pendragon Legacy series about King Arthur’s daughter.


Now for the really exciting bit. Catnip have designed a beautiful new cover for Song Quest, which Katherine and her editor love, but now we need your help to choose the colours!

There are two choices, gold or black...

Song Quest - Gold

Song Quest - Black

You can offically vote for your favourite cover over on Catnip’s Facebook page – but don’t delay! Gallop over there right now before you forget, because voting closes at 6pm on Friday 16th September. After that Catnip will print the cover that gets the most votes.

Also see this post over at The Bookette, (who has a lot more blog followers than me because she is a real person).

We are looking forward to finding out your favourite!


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