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Pitcher wins Brandford Boase
06.07.12 | Caroline Horn
Author Annabel Pitcher has won the Branford Boase Award for début writers with her title My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece, alongside her editor Fiona Kennedy at Orion Children’s Books.
Pitcher has previously been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Red House Children’s Book Award and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
The novel follows 10-year-old Jamie Matthews and his family after the death of his sister in a terrorist explosion five years previously. The tragedy has torn the family apart and the novel charts their challenges as well as their renewed sense of hope.
Pitcher, who wrote the novel while backpacking in South America, said: “The idea for the novel came to me quite spontaneously and felt very different from anything else I had tried to write before. The writing process was effortless; I felt confident in it and loved writing it.”
She added: “I don’t see it as a bleak story, but an optimistic one. In my view life is neither really awful nor really fantastic, it’s a mixture. Jamie is not a tragic character and there are plenty of lighter moments and humour within his story.”
Her second book, Ketchup Clouds, will be published by Orion Children’s Books in November and is aimed at older teenage readers. Pitcher said: “I definitely see myself as a young adult writer and while I would like to write a crossover novel, I am more likely to write for younger readers in the future than for adults.”
She added: “This is a great award to win because it recognises the role of the editor. As a first-time author, that relationship with your editor is really valuable.”