Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Fairy Spell" cover reveal

On 8/7/17, the incomparable Betsy Bird kindly unveiled the cover of my next book, Fairy Spell, edited by Jennifer Greene at Clarion, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, and due 4/24/18.

In 1917, by a stream in England, 16-year-old Elsie took a picture for the first time. It showed her 9-year-old cousin Frances…and a group of fairies they insisted were real.

Their parents suspected a trick but did not know how children could have pulled it off. When Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of famous detective Sherlock Holmes, took interest, the world followed.

But what became one of the most reproduced photographs in history hid a secret that Frances and Elsie revealed only in old age. This true story is both magical and mysterious…whether or not you believe in fairies.

I did the majority of the research for this enchanting story in 2008 but then set it aside to focus on books about other flying figures (Superman and Batman—he has a plane). That ended up taking up more of my time than I anticipated…so nine years later (!), here we are. (I was hoping that the book would come out this summer, 100 years after the first of an eventual five fairy photos the girls took. But this is not an anniversary acknowledged on par with the sinking of the Titanic or the U.S. invasion of the Beatles.)

This story continues my pattern of writing about duos of history whose names were not household but whose accomplishments were (Siegel and Shuster, Finger and Kane). This time, however, my protagonists are different in at least two notable ways (nationality and nature of accomplishment aside): 

  • they are female
  • they are kids

If only it were as easy to reveal fairies as it is to reveal covers of books about fairies…

By the way, I did not call Betsy "incomparable" as quid pro quo for her using the humbling words "superteam" and "inestimable." I often describe Betsy with words starting with "i" (immeasurable, invaluable, irrepressible, instoppable…).

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