In January 2020, I was feeling disheartened and disappointed, I couldn’t see a way forward with my writing. I had queried three books with agents and despite some full requests and positive feedback, I hadn’t received an offer of representation. Luckily, I happened to spot on Twitter that Amy was offering to mentor writers and I fitted the criteria and applied. I was thrilled when Amy chose to work with me. We decided to focus on ‘Libby and the Parisian Puzzle,’ after it had received good feedback from the child judges in the Write Mentor competition. It was a story that I couldn’t let go because I loved the characters and premise so much.
With Amy’s help, I rewrote the earlier version that I unsuccessfully queried. We worked on the feedback that I had received from agents and made the plot tighter and the mystery more complex. After working with Amy, I had the confidence to send it out in the world again. I submitted the new version to the Darley Anderson Mega-Middle Grade Competition where it was shortlisted and then I began to query agents. As I result, I was approached by Firefly Press who wished to read my manuscript and I received an offer from them and my agent in the same week.
Libby and the Parisian Puzzle is the first book in The Travelling School Mysteries, a middle-grade detective series, set in a travelling school – a mix of adventure, friendship, and mystery. Becka Moor’s gloriously fun illustrations will feature throughout.
Mystery-lover Libby is excited but nervous when she’s sent to live with her aunt while her mother is working abroad. Aunt Agatha is the headmistress of an extraordinary travelling school that moves from country to country…
Libby joins the school in Paris, where she is just starting to find her feet when Agatha is arrested, accused of a daring jewel robbery! Can Libby and her new best friend Connie find the real thief and save her aunt?
You can buy signed and dedicated copies from The Rocketship Bookshop:
Other places to purchase include:
To find out more about my book,’ access free resources or to book a school visit, you can visit my website https://jo-clarke.co.uk/