Hilary McKay | 'You can’t have random magic floating in when it’s convenient'

Hilary McKay | 'You can’t have random magic floating in when it’s convenient'

"When I was writing it, I thought, ‘This is working out better than they usually do,’" says Hilary McKay of her 2018 novel The Skylarks’ War. "I had the feeling it was pulling itself off the page a bit more." The book follows the fortunes of a family growing up against the backdrop of the First World War, and has been McKay’s biggest critical and commercial success for years.

In January, it won the Costa Children’s Book of the Year and was picked for the coveted Waterstones Book of the Month slot; that was followed by a British Book Awards shortlisting in May. "I didn’t know what to expect...

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