BOOK 3 NEWS!! AARTI AND THE BLUE GODS!!!!!
Hey everyone!! Hope you’re doing well. I think that now the rain’s finally stopped we can start to enjoy the SUN!!!
So what’s been going on??? I have some news!!! My third book Aarti And The Blue Gods is coming very very soon. It will be published on 2nd September 2021 and if you’d like to pre-order you can use this link, so you are first in line to find out what this story is all about.
Very briefly, it’s an atmospheric, magical adventure with a stunning twist ... Aarti has lived on the island with Aunt for as long as she can remember. Like the weather, Aunt rules her world with rare warmth. Aarti's only comforts are a book of Indian myths full of blue gods, a fox's friendship, and a toy rabbit she finds in a locked room. Then, she learns Aunt has been feeding her lies. When she rescues a half-drowned boy on the beach, she makes her very first human friend. With his help, Aarti hopes to remember who she really is ... and perhaps find a way home.
This is a little bit of flag-waving – ‘A mesmerising third novel from Costa-winning and Waterstones- shortlisted Jasbinder Bilan, one of the most exciting writers of middle-grade fiction. Themes of identity, faith and belonging with a stunning twist in an evocative and remote island setting.’ – I hope you all love reading Aarti as much as I enjoyed writing her story!! Let me know what you think!
And here’s the pre-order link!!! https://www.waterstones.com/book/aarti-and-the-blue-gods/jasbinder-bilan/9781913322595
World Book Day News!!!!
So 4th March is World Book Day and all week too if you like!!! I really hope that you will all get to enjoy some bookish fun. A few years ago I loved the fact that there was a tiny baby dressed in a romper suit with the cover of Asha on – he was super cute! So I’d love to see what you all dress up as. You can share and remember to tag me on twitter or Insta so I can see – it would be cool to see some people dress in Tamarind theme…maybe Hanu the monkey or a wild Himalayan wolf or even Tamarind. Today I nipped into town and made a little video so you can take a look at it over here. Just excuse the squawking seagulls – I think since the streets have been quiet and nobody’s been dropping chips they are having a mighty complain!!! Now this is TOP secret but I have just finished line edits for BOOK 3!!!! So it’s all done. I have seen the cover and it’s VVVVV gorgeous. As soon as I am able to give more info you’ll be the first to hear, promise.
Hi everyone! Now you might have guessed that I’m a bit of a star-gazer. In fact when I was editing Tamarind And The Star Of Ishta this time last year, I would go out into my garden every night and I’d see the brightest star in the sky. Quite frankly it was like a spotlight and I couldn’t believe it was a star. I then found out that it was the evening star Venus. When I did some digging about – like authors do when they are writing, I found out that before Venus was called Venus, she was called Ishtar and she was originally a Mesopotamian goddess. Seeing the star shining so brightly made me feel so much closer to my story.
And the reason why I’m telling you all about this is that I’d love you all to go out tomorrow evening around 5.15 – look to the south west – that’s over to where the sun sets and you’ll see a really BIG star – in fact it’s 2 planets, Saturn and Jupiter. For the first time since around 400 years ago they will get super close and seem to be one star. You could think of it as the Christmas star. Try to find a spot that’s high up and where you can see to the horizon – good luck!!! This photo was taken on the Isle Of Wight by Jamie Russell. The planets are on the left of the photo and they've been moving closer and tomorrow until the 23rd Dec they'll look like a huge star!
Hi everyone!!! Hope you’re all doing OK despite all the tricky things that are going on at the moment. I just wanted to pop over here and say Hi to you! Tamarind And The Star Of Ishta has been out now for a few months and one of the lovely things has been to share the story with schools. Even though like so many of us, I haven’t managed to physically get out, I have been doing quite a few virtual visits – here’s one of the schools with the pupils engrossed in their copies of Tamarind in the photo.
The other cool thing is that Tamarind was long-listed for the Blue Peter Awards 2020 and is also on Derbyshire Schools Award and Calderdale Schools Award – I’m very grateful for all of this, so a huge thank you to the teams who chose Tamarind!
I have been head down working on book 3!!! YES book 3! I am editing at the moment and have just finished draft 3 and it’s all ready to ping off to Kesia Lupo who is my editor at Chickenhouse Books –
The other bit of news in our house is that the Christmas tree is going up, Enzo (my dog!) is going to get his Xmas jumper on and I’m hoping to start eating mince pies soon. I have already had a couple but those were teeny and that was way back in November.
Well that’s all for now – see you all soon and have a good Christmas!
Soooo!!! It’s here…publication day or book birthday which ever you like. Sometimes when you are deep in edits or maybe even at the thinking stage of your next book it can be hard to imagine that one day you will hold the actual book in your sticky palms! But it has happened and after editing over Christmas 2019 – yes you heard correct! This was what I was doing last Christmas in between munching mince pies and slurping hot chocolate. No wonder I had to put a bit of food into the story.
And what’s even more wonderful is that it is Indie Book Of The Month!!! This means that if you buy it from your local indie shop you can get one with a signed bookplate. Maybe if you do grab one of the signed ones you could post a pic of it? That would be nice.
I REALLY hope you enjoy this story – it has a cute golden monkey in it who every time he flicks his tail leaves a trail of gold-dust…
And another bit of very exciting news…My latest book Tamarind And The Star Of Ishta comes out on 3rd September 2020. It’s another magical story set in the Himalaya, about a girl called Tamarind who visits her ancestral home for the first time and while she’s there she begins to uncover family secrets surrounding her mother’s death when Tamarind was a baby. She discovers a magical garden, meets a mysterious mountain girl and her monkey Hanu and finds a special emerald ring that belonged to her mum which she thinks might hold the answers to her questions. You can take a look at this trailer to get a flavour of what’s to come. And if you want to can pre-order the book through Waterstones!
Even though this happened a little while ago – in fact it was way away in January 2020!!! I wanted to share the news with you. It was a very glitzy celebration in London with lots of people from publishing there. I got to feel like a bit of a celeb and had my photo taken by proper photographers and then I went on stage to collect my award.
Sorry to have been a little busy to post very much but hope you're all doing OK? A few days ago Asha And The Spirit Bird published in the US - and here is the stunning cover in a beautiful trailer for you to share.
I wanted to share some very exciting news. I found out a couple of weeks ago that Asha And The Spirit Bird has been selected for the Carnegie Nominations for 2020. This is such a huge honour and I am very very happy to be there. The wonderful thing about the Carnegie Medal is the commitment to public service. And to be committed to libraries and reading is in my view one of the best things. Libraries and access to books means so much to me. Not everyone is able to buy books from shops and so to be able to borrow from libraries means we can all enjoy the pleasure and excitement of reading.
At the moment my Patron Of Reading School Mellers Primary in Nottingham are doing a project all about Carnegie – who he was and his charitable work. So I will look forward to seeing their work.
On the 3rd September I was officially able to do my very own show and tell! It was the day that I could share the amazing cover of the US version of Asha And The Spirit Bird.
Here it is – and isn’t it amazing?
It’s been created by an American Indonesian artist called Dion MBD and I love that it’s totally unique and really different to the UK cover which was created by a Romanian artist called Aitch.
When I visited my old primary school, Mellers in Nottingham, the children in year 6 who are reading my book gave me their views on it which I’m going to share with you all here. This is what they thought:
“I like both of them but I like the US one because I feel like it makes more sense and it has the bird watching over and protecting Asha.”
“I like the US one because Asha is holding the pendant which relates to the bird and relates to her Grandma and this means something.”
“I like both but I prefer the US one because it has more meaning. The bird shows you more about the book.”
“I like how you see Asha – she didn’t look like I expected. I thought she would be wearing traditional Indian clothes but she was wearing a hoodie. This made me question things about the book. I know why her hair is short now because she cuts it in the book.”
And here are a few extra comments their teacher shared with me about Asha And The Spirit Bird in general.
“They were interested in the setting too and talked about similarities between the UK and India - there were more than they expected. They didn't think Asha would have electricity or the Internet! We talked a lot about what Asha was wearing and the colours used in the illustration. It was a great and lively discussion. I think on the whole they preferred the US one. After the discussion, I was also in agreement with them which surprised me!”
It’s fantastic that the cover has provoked such discussion!
Thank you once again to the amazing children and their teacher Mrs Buttress.
Hi I'm Jasbinder, thanks for visiting my blog page. Hope you have fun exploring the posts and finding out more about my life as a writer and more!