n an unusual move, bestselling children’s author and illustrator Cornelia Funke, whose fantasy series Inkheart and Mirrorworld have been globally popular, cites creative differences with her U.S. publisher, and a growing wish to be free of restrictions on her artistic output, as the motivating factors in her decision to start her own press, called Breathing Books. Funke’s partner in this endeavor is Mirada Studios in Los Angeles.
At issue was a request by Funke’s publisher Little, Brown, to move the first chapter of The Golden Yarn – the third title in her Mirrorworld series – to a different place in the book. After returning from a book tour in Germany where her publisher had released The Golden Yarn this February, Funke says she was “stunned” by the email she received from her editor at Little, Brown in the U.S., who she says was also speaking on behalf of the author’s U.K. editor. “It said, ‘We love the book, Cornelia, but could you please change the first chapter? It’s a birth scene. That’s a little drastic for our audience. Could you please put that somewhere else?’ ”
Breathing Books is releasing The Golden Yarn in November with a new design, cover, and title. “I will publish the “Reckless” series under the European sub-titles,” she says, “which are The Petrified Flesh, The Living Shadows, and The Golden Yarn In the U.S. the books were called Reckless and Fearless, and the third would have been Heartless. “From the very beginning, I had the problem of Little, Brown placing the Mirrorworld series in the 9–12 age group when I had told them it was age 14 and up,” Funke says. “The last seven years were bitter at times because of that argument.” She is grateful to Little, Brown, though, for giving her the rights back to the whole series, which has sold over 150,000 copies in the U.S.