The Award-Winning Author
Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Piers Torday’s books include The Last Wild (shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize), The Dark Wild (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize), The Wild Beyond, There May Be a Castle (People’s Book Award finalist), The Lost Magician (Teach Primary Book Award) and The Frozen Sea. His latest book is The Wild Before. His work has been translated into 14 languages.
He has contributed short stories to Winter Magic, Scoop and Return to Wonderland, non-fiction pieces for The Writer’s Map and Swallowed by a Whale, reviewed books for the Guardian, the Literary Review and the Spectator, and judged the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Costa Book Awards and the British Book Awards. His plays include the world premiere stage adaptation of John Masefield’s The Box of Delights and A Christmas Carol.
Piers is also a Trustee of the Ministry of Stories and The Unicorn Theatre, Patron of Shrewsbury Book Fest and an Artistic Associate at Wilton’s Music Hall. Born in Northumberland, he lives in London with his husband and a very naughty dog. The son of Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), he completed his father’s final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl, and co-founded the Paul Torday Memorial Prize for Debut Novelists over 60. You can read some advice on writing for children from Piers here.
(Starts 1st September at The Novelry.)
If you can return to the site of your foundational childhood experiences, both real and literary, and rekindle the emotions they inspired, you can begin to remember what works for child readers on the page.
The Wild Before
One stormy, snowy night, a pure silver calf is born on an ordinary muddy farm by the light of the moon. This is the legendary Mooncalf, whose arrival has been foretold since the dawn of time.
According to a dream passed down from animal to animal, if the calf dies, a great terribleness will come – rising seas, a plague, skies raining down fire, the end of all things... and Little Hare vows to persuade all the animals to protect Mooncalf, whatever the cost.
But it’s easier said than done, and soon Little Hare realises that he is the only one who can save the world...
The Frozen Sea
It is 1984 and forty years since Simon, Patricia and Evelyn and Larry first stepped through a magical library door into the enchanted world of Folio. When Patricia’s daughter, Jewel, makes a mysterious discovery in an old bookshop, she begins a quest that will make her question everything she thought she knew. Summoned to Folio, she must rescue a missing prince, helped only by her pet hamster and a malfunctioning robot.
Their mission to the Frozen Sea will bring them face-to-face with a danger both more deadly and more magnificent than they ever imagined.
What Jewel discovers will change not just who she thinks she is, but who we all think we are...
The Lost Magician
1945. They have survived the Blitz, but when Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry step through a mysterious library door, it is the beginning of their most dangerous adventure yet. They discover the magical world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army.
The many stories of the Library are locked in eternal war, and the children’s only hope is to find their creator – a magician who has been lost for centuries.
What they find will change not just their own lives, but the fate of the world, for ever...
There May be a Castle
On a frozen Christmas Eve, Mouse Mallory and his family set off across a snow-white valley to visit his grandparents.
They never arrive.
As the wheels skid off the icy road, Mouse is thrown from the car. When he wakes, he finds himself in a magical landscape, with only a talkative sheep and a very bossy horse for company.
And they tell him: this is your story now.
So begins Mouse’s extraordinary quest through a world of wonder. A world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known.
All to find a castle, somewhere, beyond...
The Wild Beyond
This is the story of a boy named Kester. He has rescued the last wild animals in the world, and saved his capital city from destruction. But now he must face his greatest challenge yet, because:
1. The only blue whale on the planet has brought news from across the ocean.
2. A mysterious steel dome has risen from the Four Towers.
3. Out there, somewhere, a brave mouse holds the key to the future...
The Dark Wild
Twelve-year-old Kester thought he had discovered the last wild animals in the land. He thought his adventure was over. He was wrong.
Below the sparkling city of Premium, deep underground, a dark wild remains: animals who believe the time is right to rise up against their human enemies.
And soon Kester realises: he is the only one who can stop them.
Kester Jaynes saved the animals. Can he save the humans too?
The Last Wild
This is a story about a boy named Kester. He is extraordinary, but he doesn’t know that yet. All he knows, at this very moment, is this:
1. There is a flock of excited pigeons in his bedroom.
2. They are talking to him.
3. His life will never be quite the same again...
Kester lives in a land in quarantine. A deadly virus has killed all the animals except pests and it’s expected to be equally dangerous to humans. But when Kester realises he can talk to the pests, he finds they have great hope invested in him.
A captivating animal adventure destined to be loved by readers of all ages.
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