A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
I often tell people the story about how I realised I wanted to be a writer when I was 13 after I saw Jurassic Park at the cinema, and how I wrote my first novel, a sequel to the film, in maths lessons with my notebook hidden under my work – you can read about that here.
But actually, that book wasn’t my first novel. Not quite. You see, although I didn’t have my I-want-to-be-a-writer lightbulb moment until I was 13, I’d been an avid reader for as long as I can remember (my parents taught me to read at an early age to stop me coming into their bedroom at 4am to tell them I was bored). And I’d always loved writing stories.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… my first novel, LILY COMES TO STAY. Here’s the blurb (possibly):
Tiggy and Lily, two mice, are cousins. This charming (ahem) tale, possibly modelled on one of the author’s favourite reads at the time, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, tells of their adventures when Cousin Lily comes to stay with Tiggy. Thunderstorms, flowers, bally (sic) lessons, visits to the dentist and presents from Grandma – it’s all here. But what happens when Tiggy and Lily find an ostrich bone? (As you do.) And what happened when Tiggy put on his wellies? Read on to find out!
The cover is simple, but striking, with the title and author’s name clearly visible (note the age of the author, added by her mother at a later date).
And so the adventures begin! The novel is written in a direct style, with simple line illustrations (er, WTF is going on with Lily’s feet? Not sure about those hands, either…).
They see things! (Again, illustrated for posterity.)
And here’s the ostrich bone… (in case you’re wondering, nothing happens. They leave it there. I mean, they are mice, after all.)
Then Lily gets her bally shoes. What d’you mean, it’s spelled ballet?
It’s bally, I tell you. BALLY. (Tiggy just walks. And grins like a psychopath. Yikes.)
So… yeah, you get the idea. Two mice. Stuff happens. More stuff happens. AND FINALLY…
They went home from Iles (??) to England! In a… what is that thing? A car? A plane? A shoe with wheels and a propellor on the end?
I’m not sure we’ll ever know – my six-and-a-half year old self is a little hazy on the details. But she was very certain that this was THE END so I think we can assume they got home safely. Hooray!
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut novel, dystopian thriller ACID, won the 2014 North East Teenage Book Award, was picked as one of YALSA’s Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for 2015 and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, THE FEARLESS, was also nominated for the Carnegie and won the 2016 Concorde Book Award. Emma lives with her artist husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the East Midlands, and, when she’s not writing, runs writing workshops in schools and community settings and is Patron of Reading at Titus Salt School in Yorkshire. She is also the co-founder of the UKYA and Children’s Extravaganza (UKYACX), a regional book event celebrating the huge diversity of children’s and YA literature in the UK.