Authors: 9–12

Janelle McCurdy & Ana Latese

Janelle is an author and fully-fledged gamer. Having started writing and querying at only sixteen years-old, she joined JULA in her early twenties. After graduating from Royal Holloway University with a Criminology and Sociology degree, Janelle moved back home to London, and began writing middle grade fantasy. In her free time, you can find her holed up in her room, gaming and watching anime (some of her favourites being InuyashaDragon Ball Z and Death Note), or attending numerous comic cons and gaming events. Her FAB Prize winning story was acquired by Faber in a major auction. Mia and the Lightcasters is Janelle’s debut novel.

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Ana Latese is an illustrator based in North Carolina. Her passion is to produce beautiful imagery inspired by vibrant colours, the idea of diversity, fashion, beauty and nature. She has illustrated Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman, as well as working with editorial clients including The Washington Post. When she’s not illustrating, she enjoys playing video games, bundling up with her dogs and watching Criminal Minds 24/7.

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1 book

Mia and the Lightcasters

Beware of the shadows, the Reaper King is coming . . .

Mia always dreamed of being an umbra tamer until she met the wild creature on the Nightmare Plains. Since that day, she prefers to stay safe within the walls of Nubis. Safe, that is, until a surprise attack. With her parents captured, Mia’s only hope is to travel to the City of Light to find help. But with only her little brother, two friends and one solitary tamed umbra, the journey feels impossible. Mia not only has to overcome her fears, she also has to learn to harness her umbra taming abilities if they are to complete the quest in time.

For fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Legend of Podkin One-Ear and Nevermoor, this is the first in the sensational Umbra Tales series, illustrated by Ana Latese.

‘A fresh, wild, gripping adventure, full of shadowy magic and awesome creatures.’ Kieran Larwood
‘A thrilling, highly imaginative and action-packed fantasy with family at its heart.’ Louie Stowell

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