Mary Hoffman; Stravaganza

Alia

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I love it when authors visit our site and stay as members.

Mary's official website... Mary Hoffman - children's writer

Books:

Stravaganza:

City of Masks
City of Stars
City of Flowers

Picture Books:
The Colour of Home
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
How to be a Cat
Three Wise Women
Clever Katya
An Angel Just Like Me
Grace And Family
Henry's Baby
Leon's Lucky Lunchbreak
The Babies Hotel
Catwalk
My Grandma has Black Hair
Nancy No Size
A Fine Picnic
Animal Hide and Seek
The Perfect Pet
Clothes for Sale
The Return of the Antelope
Buttercup Busker's Rainy Day
Amazing Grace

Novels:

Special Powers
White Magic
The Falconer's Knot

Anthologies:

Lines in the Sand
Stacks of Stories
Ip, Dip, Sky Blue

Story Collections:
Kings and Queens of the Bible (soon to be release!)
Animals of the Bible
Miracles
A First Book of Fairy Tales
Sleeping Beauty and other stories
Women of Camelot
Brother & Sister Tales
Parables
Treasure of Nursery Stories
Hansel and Gretel and Other stories
Puss-In-Boots and other stories
The Gingerbread Man and other Stories
A first Book of Myths
A Twist in the Tail
sun, Moon and Stars
A First Bible Story book
Song of the Earth
Bump in the Night

Junior Fiction:
Bravo, Grace
Encore, Grace
Starring Grace
Virtual Friends Again
Comet
Virtual Friend
A Vanishing Tail
Quantum Squeak
Trace in Space
Cyril MC
The Four-legged Ghosts
Max in the Jungle
Min's First Jump
Mermaid and Chips
Dog Powder
Dracula's Daughter
The Second-hand Ghost
King of the Castle
Beware, Princess!
Just Jack
All About Lucy
Specially Sarah

Non Fiction:
Amazing Mammals Kit
Wild Dog
Seal
Antelope
Bird of Prey
Whales and Sharks
Dangerous Animals
Wild Cat
Giraffe
Snake
Bear
Lion
Zebra
Hippo
Gorilla
Tiger
Monkey
Elephant
Panda


Books for Adults:
Our Names, Our Selves
Reading, Writing and Relevance
 
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Mark Robson

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A busy lady indeed, Alia, and a most personable one too, I might add. As you can see from the above list, Mary has a wealth of experience as a writer for children of all ages. She is also not backwards in coming forwards, which is fantastic news for anyone here who wants to know more about her work, or about what it means to be a writer for young people.

I hope those who frequent this part of Chronicles will take the time to check out some of her work and make her welcome. It's can be all too easy at a site where we are blessed with a number of professional writers willing to discuss their trade and their work, to take their presence for granted. Those here at Chronicles can count themselves very fortunate. Aside from sites specifically set up for authors, I've not come across another where there is such a gathering, so do make the most of it. :)

For my own part, I'd love to know what inspired the Grace stories. I noticed my daughter (7) reading one for homework recently. I must confess to having had a sneaky peek through and I was struck by the clever use of simple language to create a most touching story.

Edit: Don't bother to answer that one, Mary - I just read all about it: Mary Hoffman - Amazing Grace Fascinating!
 

Mary Hoffman

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Oh, spare my blushes Alia and Mark! Not so much busy as knocking around in this field for a good many years.

For the sake of members of this particular forum I think Stravaganza is the way to go. I had written only one junior SF (Trace in Space- Hodder) and one teenage Fantasy (Special Powers - also Hodder) before I had the idea for a trilogy of books set partly in 21st century London, where the teenagers come from, and mainly in a 16th century version of Italy in another dimension.

The three books released so far - City of Masks, City of Stars and City of Flowers are set, respectively, in alternative versions of Venice, Siena and Florence (all published by Bloomsbury). Each features a different "stravagante" a traveller in time and space by means of a series of talismans.

They all go to the same school - an Islington comprehensive built partly on the site of the laboratory of the Elizabethan alchemist William Dethridge (based on John Dee before this became fashionable!). He was the creator, through an alchemical accident of the portal to 16th century Talia.

Since then our world has moved on but the portal, although very unstable, remains in that time and country. Each talisman takes its owner to only one city.

I am within three weeks of finishing Book Four (the beginning of a new trilogy, I hope) City of Secrets, based on an alternative Padua. It has involved research into 16th century printing with wooden presses and moveable type, the anatomy theatre of Aquapendente and dissections, the Evil Eye, dyslexia and the university of Padua. (It required a trip there, of course).

This book will come out next Spring so you can see that I ought to be writing it instead of this post. But I wnated to say I feel very welcome on the forum already - thank you for encouraging me to join, Mark. I am spreading the word.

My editor at Bloomsbury is the same as JK's as is my publicist and also, coincidentally, accountant. Surely that must mean something? Well the books do have 29 foreign editions now (though some of these are described as "bijou" like Bulgaria and the Faroe Islands! - you should bear this in mind when you hear that a book has been published in x number of languages).

I sahll, when time permits, start or contribute to another thread on historical fiction, since this is another direc tion of mine. The Falconer's Knot came out this year (also Bloomsbury) and my next title will be Troubadour. I love the research.

Aspiring writers feel free to pick my brains which make up in longevity for what they lack in youthful enthusiasm.

Mary
 

Alia

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Mary, are your books on bookstores in the US?

Also, did I list them all? I hate missing or messing up book lists, such as this.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I've seen the Stravaganza books in stores, Alia, and at the library. I don't think you would have a hard time finding them here.
 

Mary Hoffman

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I belong to the "other SAS" - Scattered Authors So
Yes, Alia, the Stravaganza titles, The Falconer's Knot and all the Grace books are available in the US but not every single title is.

You did a splendid job with your list; just a few minor corrections:

Amazing Grace should be under Picture Books
Under Anthologies, the third title should be Ip, Dip, Sky Blue
Under Story Collections, Kings and Queens of the Bible won't be out till next Spring
Under Junior Fiction, the title should be Dog Powder

There's a new Grace Picture Book coming out this October called Princess Grace. I'll be making quite a fuss around then about the slew of synthetic princess,fairy, unicorn, pony, mermaid books now being targeted at young girls - all pink and glittery. Princess Grace does its best to subvery all that!

Mary
 

kcs_hiker

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May 13, 2007
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Hiya Mary

Glad to have you with us. I'm a long time reader of YA fiction, and absolutely love sharing and discussing stories with my own two children. My wife is a high school librarian (what a joy that is!). We are reading family.

I have not come across your books before, but I will look for them when I next visit Borders (which is very nearly a daily occurence :)).

Again welcome.
 

Alia

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Thanks Teresa! I'm not in the books stores as often as I like... Nor am I surfing the kids websites at the moment. For some reason life is busy. :(

Mary... Thank you for the corrections. I think I fixed them all. I do remember seeing the Amazing Grace in book stores the last time I visited.

I have to ask, after having so many books out is it still exciting to have another one being released? I would think it would be like Christmas, I still get all anxious about it and I'm over 35. :)
 

Nesacat

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Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
I knew I'd heard the name and read the books but not the Stravaganza ones. Went home and checked and yes. No wonder your name was very familiar. I've got most of your illustrated story collections and some of the non-fiction ones about individual animals. They are beautiful books. Thank you.

Have been watching out for the Stravaganza books for some time now and will pick them up soon. I've seen them in several of the shops here and have been quite curious about them. You say that three have been published so far ... I guess they are all stand alone then?

I ask simply because the stores here are not often good at bringing in all books in a set of books.
 

Mary Hoffman

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I belong to the "other SAS" - Scattered Authors So
I'm not alone among writers in finding actual publication day often underwhelming. Some publishers send a card - occasionally flowers - but usually it's a big fat nothing so you feel let down.

Now the exciting times are
• Getting an idea accepted
• Hearing that your advance will be good and more than last time!
• Finishing the first draft
• Sending off the CD/e-mail/printout of your text
• Receiving a royalty cheque higher than you expected
• Getting a good review
• Hearing that your book has been shortlisted/longlisted for an award

And not least:
• Getting a piece of fan fiction that shows you have really reached a reader.

When the daughters were small we always had iced bun-round when a book was accepted (I realise this might sound VERY rude to American members but it is a kind of pastry with white icing on top arranged like a wheel of individual iced buns with a round one in the middle).

I stole this idea from The Railway Children by e.Nesbit where the writer mother gave her children iced buns when she got an acceptance letter from publishers.

But they became blase over time - or just grew up maybe - so we don't have that ritual now. They read the proof copies though and my husband has the first drafts read to him chapter by chapter, which is very fruistrating for him because he wants to know what happens next and I don't always know myself!

Yes of course it's still exciting when the finished copies come and I have to find room on the shelf for them. But more and more I just think that writing is what I do and having seen a fair bit of the publishing industry I don't find it glamorous.

Mary
 

Alia

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Mary, I had to chuckle at your list of things to get excited about... There would be no doubt in my mind I would get excited about getting more money then expect. That's better than Christmas!!! *giggles*

I think it's great that you have your traditions with your family every time a book is written. I know I would be sending myself flowers (because I loooovvvveee flowers) to myself if I each and every time I had a book published.

Do you ever feel that you'll run out of ideas?
 

TruBellezzan

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My name is Ellie, I adore writing, and I adore rea
I've signed up, like you said, Mary! :) First post, though (it feels so weird to be back on just one).

Oh, and I forgot to say - I read The Falconer's Knot as soon as it came out (of course). I keep meaning to write a review or something, but I have so much coursework I keep getting put off. Anyway, I really liked it, though Stravaganza is my all-time favourite book by you - though I had no idea you'd written so many! And I can't wait for 2008 (it rhymes!) for City Of Secrets! That'll be a nice antidote to GCSEs.

I would love to have someone write fanfic for something I've written. It really shows that they actually loved your story.

I need to go and prod Jules (aka Duchessa) about this thread. ;)
 

Eleniel

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May 2, 2007
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Mary, I loved City of Stars! The whole idea the Stravagante, and the parallel worlds is just brilliant. I love the short stories on your site too. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get any of your other books, living in Argentina. Have the books been published in Spanish? I might be able to get them then.
 

Mary Hoffman

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Hi, Lavita!
I finished City of Secrets yesterday but it doesn't quite count as done because I have to spend all tomorrow on the edits before e-mailing it to agent and publisher. I'll start a proper thread as soon as it has gone off.

You will love it here - full of threads for you to join in on.

Mary
 

Mark Robson

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Hello, Lavita. It's great to see more of Mary's fans here on Chronicles. It would be really good to see more discussion of her work. If enough threads are started, then they will be gathered into an author forum of her own in the author section. There are several other authors who frequent their own boards here, but it would be great to see Mary with a place to call her own! :)
 

Nia

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Had to add me too :] Though I never registered in the old forum I read it regularly. If there really is going to be some discussion here I may even participate this time :p

~Nia~
 

Mark Robson

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Great to see you here, Nia. With the steady stream of Mary's fans arriving, I would hope to see Mary get her own author board soon. The normal criteria is for there to be six discussion threads running about a particular author's work before a board is set up. I've noted at least three already, so it would be good to get a few more running. The six thread criteria is not a hard and fast thing, though. With Mary sort of 'in residence' here now, I imagine she will get her own board soon anyway.

Maybe we should start a sort of informal interview thread - a 'Questions for Mary' thread perhaps. This might well spark separate threads on issues raised. Just a thought.
 
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