Frances Hardinge: Globetrotter conquers the book world

When Frances Hardinge left the UK last autumn to travel the world, she would have described herself as a graphic designer who had just been made redundant. By the time she returns this autumn, it will be as a full-time writer and a name to watch in the children's book world.

Hardinge's first children's book, Fly By Night (7th October, 1405020784, £12.99), was snapped up by Macmillan Children's Books and aroused massive word-of-mouth interest at the Bologna Children's Book Fair last spring. This lead to a US auction where HarperCollins US agreed a six-figure sum for a four-book deal.

Hardi...

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