13 Questions shine Operation Awesome's Spotlight
2022 Debut Author
Small! by Hannah Moffatt
1- What are three reasons we should check out "SMALL!"?
- It’s a fun story about a normal boy attempting to survive giant school…on stilts. And don’t we all need a bit of daftness right now?
- It’s got a big heart - underneath the silliness there’s an endearing tale about a boy who thinks he’s bad luck, trying to make friends and fit in under very difficult circumstances.
- Where else are you going to meet an escaped zombie circus elephant?
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Your first drafts don’t have to be funny. It’s often easier to get your plot straight first and layer in the humour later. #WriteTip
3- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
Joy, mostly. If I can get readers giggling, I’ll be happy. But if they feel a little braver, believe in themselves more and realise that tough things that happen aren’t always their fault, that would be wonderful, too. (In SMALL! Harvey, the main character, spends a lot of the story blaming himself for his parents’ divorce.)
4- Can you, or anyone you know, walk on stilts?
Sadly not! It’s something I’d love to try, but I have terrible balance. As a child I grew very tall very quickly though, so my own legs felt rather stilt-like!
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with a back-to-school breakfast idea?
I think giants would enjoy Heston Blumenthal’s snail porridge. So here’s a photo of the dish I took when I visited for my honeymoon with SMALL! added in 😅
6- How do you support your fellow debut authors and have any of them supported you?
I’m in a Twitter group with lots of other 2022 debut kidlit authors who are all wonderful! We chat most days, asking qs and sharing advice about our experiences. We boost each others’ competitions, go to launches and generally shout about each others’ books as much as we can. I also started a primary-age #ReadingAdventure - a summer holiday booklist that describes books as holiday destinations. It features SMALL! and 15 other debuts from the group.
7- Time to double-down on social media! What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
Also, can you please recommend a favorite #bookstagram account profile?
My Twitter handle is @MissDePlume - do follow me! My #WriterWednesday shoutouts go to my best writing buddy @cowfishdreams : her hilarious debut Michael The Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog is out next year. And @Eve_Mc_Donnell : she’s with the same publisher as me ( @EveryWithWords ) she’s been SO supportive, her first book, Elsetime is brilliant and her next one - The Chestnut Roaster, out in October, sounds just as good.
My Instagram shoutout goes to @goldenbooksgirl for her fab reviews. She’s a great champion of debuts, too.
8- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
Time spent not writing? What’s that? I’m a very occasional knitter but right now I’m either working (as a business writer) writing stories, creating or going to events about SMALL! or doing things on social, my website or Canva to promote it. It’s 24-7. Luckily, I love it.
9- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
I hope SMALL! encourages kids to be more accepting of difference and challenge what they may have been told about people (giant-human relations are rocky to say the least at the start of the book.)
One character I’ve loved meeting this year is Onyeka from @TolaOkogwu Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun. She’s got the makings of a kickass new superhero and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
10- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? #WriteGoal #BucketList #WriterBucketList
Children’s Laureate? I think it’s good to dream big!
11- What was the query process like for you?
I queried agents in small batches of 5 or 6. After each round of rejections I edited more. Between rounds 2-3 I took the Curtis Brown Edit and Pitch your Novel course. It was brilliant and I had two requests in my third round. After doing some edits with her first, my agent Lydia Silver at Darley Andersen ultimately signed me. There was still a long road to go after that, though. The book we worked on wasn’t picked up, so SMALL! was actually my second book. I was thrilled when Everything with Words bought it.
12- Would you please ask our audience an intriguing question to answer in the comments?
SMALL! is set in Madame Bogbrush’s School for Gifted Giants. Which fictional school do you wish you’d gone to?
13- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
⭐️AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY⭐️— Hannah Moffatt (@MissDePlume) July 30, 2022
To win audible downloads of SMALL! and ELSETIME (both narrated by the brilliant @MrChrisDevon):
🎧Follow me + @Eve_Mc_Donnell
BONUS Prize: tag a friend + follow @OwlBookshop to win signed print copy of SMALL!
UK + Eire only. End 7 Aug 7pm BST pic.twitter.com/O9P4dx5Ldl
My website: http://hannahmoffatt.com
My Twitter handle is @MissDePlume
Me reading the first chapter on YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Tl0jlnWw8V0
My author Facebook page: https://facebook.com/MissDePlume