Fantasycon 2018 19th - 21st October.
The Queen Hotel Chester, UK
Fantasycon 2018 is delighted to
announce our Guest of Honour:
Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up Touch received widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as 'little short of a masterpiece'. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and her book The End of the Day was shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. Claire lives in London.
Reading Claire North
Cat, as she prefers to be called, has written under other names, first as herself, Catherine Webb, then as Kate Griffin and now as Claire North. Her name has she changed to mark the changes in her authorial voice and also her intended audience. However, I am going to focus on her work under the name Claire North.
The novels are very accessible to a mainstream audience, but include fantasy elements, reminding me of some of the writing of Cecelia Ahern or Joanne Harris.
The titular character of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is just a normal guy with a normal life, until he dies and is reborn at the start of his life again - with the memories of of the life he has lived before. It turns out there are other people like him too. The quest to understand his situation gives him insight into himself and incidentally finds him embroiled in a struggle to save the world.
In her next novel, a Touch is all it takes for "Keplar" to jump bodies, to take over your life for a minute, an hour, perhaps years... Keplar could live like this forever, jumping from one body to the next. But for the person whose body is hijacked - you won't remember those minutes, hours or years when Keplar has taken over. You'll just wake up older, but no wiser, your time stolen. Who has a right to survive?
The premise of The Sudden Appearance of Hope is that the main character, Hope Arden, disappears from everyone’s memory when she moves out of their sight. It began when she was a teenager when even her parents forgot they had a daughter. This makes having a job or any kind of relationship practically impossible, but does make her ideally suited for a life of crime.
Charlie is the main character in The End of the Day, he is the Harbinger of Death... I mean its not everyone's idea of a good job, but it works for Charlie. We meet the people that he is sent to meet and it's through seeing how a range of characters approach death that we explore how we all approach life.
In her latest novel 84K, Cat shows us a world where everything is assigned a financial value, even our own lives, and where you can get away with anything if you have enough money. Theo Miller works in the Criminal Audit Office, where he works out how much you need to pay to walk away from a crime without being punished. But when someone close to him is murdered, and her death risks becoming just an entry on a balance sheet, Theo decides that he must fight back against this corrupt system.
Cat writes novels that make us question what it is to be human and what the value of that life is. Based in either contemporary or historical settings, here books constantly offer great insight into the human condition and always offer fascinating reads.