Puffin Announcement

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For the past two years Matthew Skelton has been living out of a suitcase in a borrowed room, surviving on ?12 a week whilst writing his debut novel, Endymion Spring. Just before Christmas 04 a furious bidding war began between five of the UK?s leading children?s publishers to acquire the rights to his debut novel which was plucked from the slush pile of an Oxford agent for its outstanding originality of style and content. Puffin?s Fiction Publisher, Rebecca McNally, finally clinched the deal, offering Matthew Skelton a life-changing six-figure advance and acquiring world English language rights from Catherine Clarke of Felicity Bryan... cont.

Matthew Skelton was born in 1971 in Hampshire and moved to Canada when he was four years old. He returned to the UK to study English Literature at Oxford University where he also completed his PhD at Somerville College. Taking up a variety of jobs including lecturing in book history and dusting books in a college library, two years ago he gave up his position as research assistant on an academic edition of the 19th century historian Macaulay, to write Endymion Spring. Once completed, he sent his unsolicited manuscript to Felicity Bryan agency, where the exceptional standard and originality of his writing stood out from the other manuscripts on the slush pile. Matthew?s only other previously published work is a short story, The Man Who Did Not Dream, which was selected for Richard and Judy?s Winning Stories published by Chrysalis in 2003. His story was one of 25, out of 10,000 entries, chosen by Richard and Judy to appear in the anthology.

Rebecca McNally says, ?Matthew Skelton has an extraordinarily rich, vivid and original imagination. He will not be a one-book wonder - he is a major talent with a long-term career ahead of him. Everything about the book is real to him - and that's a quality that sings off the page. This is the very best children's writing, and we're hugely excited to be publishing it.?

Endymion Spring is set in present-day Oxford and in Germany in the 1450s, at the dawn of printing. A young printer's apprentice discovers a mysterious chest, held tightly closed by clasps that look like snake's heads - with fangs that are rumoured to be poisoned. When he touches it, the fangs pierce his fingers, drawing blood, and the chest opens. It contains a secret that will endure for over 500 years ? until one lonely boy accidentally discovers it, beginning a quest for knowledge and power that puts him ? and us ? in grave danger.

Puffin are to publish Endymion Spring in hardback in late Spring 2006.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on January 21, 2005 6:46 PM.

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