New Vintage edition
Vintage Publishing, the division of Random House which focuses on publishing quality literary fiction and non-fiction, is crossing Out of Shadows over into the adult market...Find out more
Awards - Out of Shadows
Out of Shadows
Costa winner 2010 - "...a unanimous winner... A stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think."Read more about Out of Shadows
Coming soon (...ish)
A new book is on the way, hopefully published in the spring of 2013. Watch this space for more news.
Born in Cheltenham in 1969, I spent my earlier years growing up in south-west London until my family upped and packed for a new life in southern Africa.
Specifically, in Zimbabwe, where I encountered a tough, but excellent boarding school and a world of fantastic experience.
Descendent of an International cricketer and sea-sickness sufferer - in the days when the only means of reaching the tour of Australia required many weeks at sea – I realised ambition was similarly never going to be easy when I decided, at the age of seventeen, that I wanted to be an author.
I'd always had a fertile imagination, but as far as I'm concerned it's the school I need to thank for inadvertently nurturing my will to write through strong discipline (there was no such thing as an excuse) and a sound education, both inside and outside of the classroom.
I returned to England with my life-plan in my pocket, and set about a university degree and then jobs. Needless to say, getting published didn't happen overnight, and writing had to become "the other job" for which I didn't get paid while life continued.
But the main thing is, I wrote – late at night, on the train to work, in my lunch hours… There was never a good enough excuse to let me stop.
And besides, it's all I've ever really wanted to do.
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Alternatively, you can write, phone or fax:
Andersen Press Ltd.
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London SW1V 2SA
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7840 8701
Fax: +44 (0)20 7233 6263
You can visit the Andersen Press website for lots more information about them and the books they publish: www.andersenpress.co.uk
If you'd like to ask me anything, please feel free. I'm afraid I might not be able to reply directly, but I'll try to post your question (with an answer!) on this site.
I am also available for events, creative writing workshops and school visits.
The Book Awards were established by Whitbread in 1971 and encouraged, promoted and celebrated the enjoyment of reading. They became the Costa Book Awards in 2006… See more
The UKLA Book Award, sponsored by MLS is a national award conferred by education professionals and it is held in high esteem by teachers, who regard the shortlist as a reliable indicator of the best books of the year for inclusion in class and school collections… See more
The Branford Boase Award was set up to reward the most promising new writers and their editors, as well as to reward excellence in writing and in publishing. The Award is made annually to the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first time novelist... See more
Out of Shadows
Rights sold to USA, Norway, France, Turkey and Brazil.
a children's classic - Daily Express gripping - The Times a powerful, devastating read - Patrick Ness impossible to look away - Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief excellent - Independent on Sunday a provocative story, powerfully written - Keith Gray mastery - Kirkus Magazine, starred review original...thought-provoking and ultimately shocking - Good Book Guide one of those rare, outstanding books - Browns Books for Students extraordinary... startlingly original - The Bookseller expert and disturbing - Book Trust memorable, moving and disturbing - Lovereading4kids gripping - Write Away
The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and the start of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he is forced to understand a new way of thinking, because for some of his classmates the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on… white boys who want their old country back, not this new black African government. Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning, wicked Ivan. For him, there is still one last battle to fight, and he's taking it right to the very top…
New Vintage edition
Vintage Publishing, the division of Random House which focuses on publishing quality literary fiction and non-fiction, is crossing Out of Shadows over into the adult market.
The new edition is set to be released in October 2012 with a fresh, exciting new cover.
Did you realize you wanted to be a writer when you were young?
As a young child I certainly had a very vivid imagination and was always losing myself in daydreams. And my mum was forever having to tell me to turn the light off because I’d be up deep into the night with my nose in a book of some sort. But it wasn’t until I got to senior school that I realised how much I enjoyed writing (and I seemed to be pretty good at it too). I was about seventeen when I decided I wanted to be an author and write for a living.
What sorts of books did you enjoy when you were young? What was your favorite?
When I was very young I would spend hours reading the likes of Roald Dahl, and I loved the Winnie the Pooh stories (I still do as an adult!). And comic books like Asterix and Tintin were never left alone for long. As a teenager I fed myself a diet of horror, practically eating the pages of James Herbert and Stephen King. In fact, Stephen King was a huge influence on my desire to write, I always wanted to emulate the way he tells a great story and molds tremendous characters.My favourite Stephen King book probably has to be Misery – a master-class of suspense and character development!
What made you decide to start writing Out of Shadows?
I had been writing books and trying to get published for a number of years before Out of Shadows. It was at a time I’d thought about giving up writing for good when it suddenly hit me to write about what I really know – growing up in a boys’ boarding school in Zimbabwe.
Initially, it was only going to be a “character” story about school, and how evil could be allowed to breed in such an environment – politics wasn’t going to come into it. But Robert Mugabe had been in the news a lot at the time I started to write for his so-called “land grabs”, when he stole another election and endorsed the brutal policy of taking white-owned farms. A great “What if…?” suddenly popped into my head, and the story practically wrote itself.
This is your first novel. How would you describe the experience?
Writing a novel is never easy, and there were certainly moments when I thought I should give up, that it wasn’t ever going to be as good as I wanted it to be. But ultimately it was a pleasurable experience, because a large part of the story was based around personal experience, and it was great to be able to re-live some great memories of mine (remembering school in general, that is, the extreme violence that happens in the book is fiction!).
How did your experience in Zimbabwe influence your book?
A tremendous amount. My memories influenced the book hugely. And by that I don’t mean that all the events you read actually happened (it is still fiction), but I could see the colors of southern Africa, I could smell the smells and hear the accents when my characters spoke. That helped breathe real life into the book, and was a huge advantage to me when putting pen to paper.