HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12My Writing and Reading Life: Sophie Cleverly, Author of Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin
My Writing and Reading Life_ Sophie Cleverly, Author of Scarlet and Ivy_ The Lost Twin

My Writing and Reading Life: Sophie Cleverly, Author of Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin

The Children’s Book Review | May 9, 2016

Latest published book …

In the US, it’s my debut Scarlet and Ivy – The Lost Twin. In the UK, I’ve just finished writing the third book in the series.

You wrote it because …

The story appeared in my head, almost fully-formed, during a Creative Writing class at university. We were given an exercise to imagine a character returning to a room that they hadn’t set foot in for a very long time. I imagined an old-fashioned room with twin beds in it, but I only saw one girl entering the room. By the end of the class I had a story about a lost twin and a secret diary, and I knew it was one I really wanted to tell.

Best moment …

There have been so many great moments in the journey of the book. Getting my US deal was one of them – it was completely out of the blue. One of the best shocks of my life!

Your special place to write …

I almost always write in my study, which has a lovely view out over fields and a churchyard. It’s also got rather too many books in it, and I sit next to my pet degus who have a habit of throwing sawdust at me.

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

I love to write to music. Some writers find this distracting, but I find it fuels my creativity and helps to keep me focused. My genre of choice is symphonic metal (a cross between heavy metal and classical music) because it’s so cinematic and beautiful.

Favorite bookshop …

I think the shop I’ve visited most is my local Waterstones in Bath where I grew up. It’s a beautiful shop with a great selection (especially of MG and YA lit) and some wonderful booksellers. They hosted my UK launch for The Lost Twin with so much enthusiasm. The building is Georgian (built in the 1700s) and I was amazed to discover that the upstairs of the shop used to be a ballroom, and actually still has a fully sprung dance floor. I also love my local indies – Topping & Company in particular is a fantastic place to spend your time.

Currently reading …

I just finished The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle, which is a breathtakingly creepy YA novel set in Ireland. The mystery had me gripped from page one and I couldn’t put the book down – I read it in less than a day.

All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t write…

It’s such a difficult choice, but certainly one of my all-time favourites is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I played in graveyards a lot as a child (they just happened to be nice, green, open spaces), and I’ve always wanted to write a book set in one, but I think Neil beat me to it with a perfect story.

An author you idol …

I would love to be an author like Neil Gaiman. I love books that are funny, scary, sad and beautiful all at the same time, and I think his work (along with Terry Pratchett) is the epitome of that. I think it would be fabulous to be able to write so diversely and do it so well – he does everything from picture books to adult books to comics and screenplays.

Favorite illustrator …

I’d have to pick Paul Kidby, who illustrates Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. He captures characters just as imagine them. I’m also a big fan of Marc Simonetti and Chris Riddell, and I think my cover artists in the UK and US are fantastic, too. There’s nothing better than seeing your own characters brought to life.

A literary character to vacation with …

My favourite place to go on vacation is the Greek islands, and especially the Ionian islands. I’d love to take Odysseus to Ithaca and show him how easy it is to get there these days. It certainly takes a lot less than 20 years, and you don’t have to worry about witches or sirens!


Scarlet and Ivy The Lost TwinScarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin

Written by Sophie Cleverly

Publisher’s Synopsis: Ivy, I pray that it’s you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you’re the new me…

When shy Ivy’s troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to “take her place.” But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school’s true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it a secret?

Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn’t about to disappear without a fight. She’s left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy’s going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She’s got to.

But the staff of Rookwood is always watching, and they’ll do anything to keep their secrets buried…

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | May 3 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1492633396

Available Here: 

Connect with Sophie Cleverly …
Sophie Cleverly_2.8.16_credit Aeryn Ivy

Sophie Cleverly
Photo Credit: Aeryn Ivy

Sophie Cleverly began writing Scarlet and Ivy in her second year at university, where she studied Creative Writing. She knew she had to finish telling the story, and when she heard that the university offered an MA in Writing For Young People she realized it was the perfect opportunity. She lives in Wiltshire, England. This is her debut.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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