In 2004 The Seal Children was published. It was my first longer piece of writing, written in the 1990’s and it took a short while to find a publisher. The thing is, I kept it hidden, didn’t show it to anyone, but when I did, to Janetta and Jude at Frances Lincoln, it found a home straight away. It was the first story I wrote on a computer. Tidying up, some time ago I found the printed out manuscript and the edited manuscript.
So interesting for me to look and see how this is changed. Even the ending.
The book was published, in the UK, in Denmark, Korea and USA. It won the Tir Na N’Og, my first book award. It continued to sell steadily, it went into paperback……and then I realised that people were contacting me because it was impossible to get hold of. Hardback copies online were being offered at ridiculous prices. It was out of print. A couple of times I asked my publisher if they would reprint, but answers drifted off into the ether. Eventually, after more people getting in touch I asked for the rights to the book back. I knew there was a demand for it. The Hamilton Trust had built a program of lessons around it.
The book will be available again in hardback from April, with a new cover and a few changes, beautiful paper that isn’t shiny, and there will be a launch for the book in Solva Woollen Mill on 16th April. The book is on Solva Woollen Mill’s site now and as ever I am happy to sign and dedicate books. Anna and the team will post them anywhere in this world.
For teachers here are some ideas of how to work with The Seal Children.