14th August 2016
Lily in the Mirror
Written by Paula Hayes
Released: August 2016
Book title: Lily in the Mirror
Author: Paula Hayes
Published by: Fremantle Press
Genre: Middle Readers Supernatural fantasy
ISBN: 9781925163872 (Paperback)
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Paula and I am an emerging writer. Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a publishing contract with the small and prestigious publisher Fremantle Press. My middle reader novel Lily in the Mirror will be release out of the mirror and into your hands August first.
What is your book about?
Lily in the Mirror is a fun supernatural children’s novel aimed at girls between eight and twelve.
Eleven-year-old Lily Griffin is the youngest of four and despite her hectic happy large family home, tends lives in her own world of Harry Potter, words and books. She is tiny, smart, sensitive and highly suggestible—an underrated quality.
On her annual holiday to her grandfather’s in the country, Lily decides she will hone these skills and channel her gifts to discover mystery in the Rosy Room—and indeed she does, unlocking a mysterious and magical family secret.
She finds a fresh detached finger in the storage room referred to as the Rosy room—named in obvious homage to the now vintage wallpaper. Armed with the finger and her journal, Lily explains how she uncovers her thirteen-year-old great aunt trapped in the Rosy room tall mirror. It is discovered that this girl’s name is also Lily and she is actually the forgotten twin sister of her grandmother Lucy, who is now suffering dementia and lives in a nursing home.
Lily and Grandad visit Grandma Lucy daily. Lily is sad that all the memories in her grandmother’s white wispy head are chomped up but the discovery of Other Lily and all the boxes and tins brimming with life from the past help to recreate her grandmother for her. And with a little bit of the best kind of magic, all is resolved!
The novel manages to look at issues such as dementia, anxiety and bullying in a humorous and heartfelt way.
Who is your target audience for this book?
A beautiful pink rosy cover with a sassy preteen posing on it set the book firmly in the girl camp. The book is targeted at young girls between 8 – 12 years old. I have also found due to its historical and nostalgic content of how life was in Australia in the 1940’s and 1950’s many older adults (male and female!) have thoroughly enjoyed the novel as well. Other Lily and Lily are timeless girls.
What was the most challenging aspect about this book?
The most challenging aspect was toning down Lily’s voice. I felt like I was chanelling her and her idiosyncrasies and it was totes too much. I streamed her back and think I have the best Lily.
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
There are many magical mystery books but there are not many that look comprehensively and sympathetically at family life, bullying loneliness, anxiety and dementia while bringing a great sense of history, time and place to a novel. These subjects are dealt with humour and in a thoughtful way making the story even more accessible.
How did the idea for this book come about?
The book was written for all the everyday Lilys out there. Over the years while reading to my children I was surprised to find how many down on their luck orphans get a great adventure. They deserve magical luck–of course but it got me thinking about an anxious struggling preteen with relatable problems. She is anxious, self-involved yet determined all in the same moment as she deals with sibling bullying and the fragility of her grandmother. Lily tells it how she sees it!
Lily starts out lamenting how she is doomed by her ordinariness but possesses the ‘gift of vibe’ which should lead her to ‘feel’ her way to adventure and it does!
Paula's Website: paulahayesblog.wordpress.com
Lily in the Mirror: www.fremantlepress.com.au/products/lily-in-the-mirror