The Debut Dish: Laurie McKay (+ giveaway) and Abbie Rushton (+ giveaway)

Posted February 1, 2015 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 3 Comments

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay
February 3, 2015 from HarperCollins
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he’s always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Dragons, magic, lunch-witches, friendship, adventure

Why should readers pick up your book?
To me, it’s interesting to explore our world from the perspectives of characters who come from a magical land. Cars, cell phones, and middle school are new things to them and there are many fish-out-of-water moments. Also, there’s a horse named Sir Horace, dragons-in-disguise, and a evil plot that connects this realm to the other!

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
There have been several best things. One, was seeing the cover of my book and knowing it’s going to be published. Two, was meeting other authors and finding even more great books to read. I guess the best of the best so far for me, however, was when I was told a fourteen-year-old read my arc. Then reread it three more times. It feels great to know someone out there likes what I’ve written.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
KitKat – especially if it’s the white chocolate version.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
There is not one odd thing on my desk right now. Just papers, books, an e-reader, bottled water, and tissue. However, there is a beaded jellyfish (made from beads, not strung with them) hanging from the lamp beside it.

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Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
February 5, 2015 from Atom (Little, Brown UK)
Add to Goodreads | Author Twitter

Megan doesn’t speak. She hasn’t spoken in months.

Pushing away the people she cares about is just a small price to pay. Because there are things locked inside Megan’s head – things that are screaming to be heard – that she cannot, must not, let out.

Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can’t quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.

Megan would love to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?

Describe your book in five words or less.
It’s about finding your voice.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Er … I’m not very good at self-promotion/blowing my own trumpet kind of stuff. *Cringes* For a start, I’d say readers should pick it up just so they can ogle the stunning cover. As I had absolutely nothing to do with it, I feel OK saying that it’s perfectly beautiful and I adore it! My book is part thriller, part gay love story. It’s about a mute girl with a secret. As she starts to fall in love, she begins to find her voice, but if she lets the secret out, she risks losing everything else. It’s set in a quirky and charming part of the UK called the New Forest, and my character – like me.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
When lovely readers get in touch and tell me how my book made them feel. I have all kinds of guilt for being so happy when people say it made them cry, but as an author, there’s no better validation than knowing that your book made someone feel something.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Popcorn. Half and half. I always have been indecisive!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
An eraser from Highclere Castle, which is where Downton Abbey is filmed – just ten minutes away from my home. My brother bought it as a gift – he was housesitting while my husband and I were gallivanting around Tanzania on honeymoon.

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3 responses to “The Debut Dish: Laurie McKay (+ giveaway) and Abbie Rushton (+ giveaway)