A local author has been nominated for the ‘Oscar’ of children’s book awards.
Maz Evans has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2018 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her title “Who Let The Gods Out?”, which is up for contention in the Younger Fiction section.
Ms Evans said she was “flabbergasted” to hear the news.
“When I first wrote this book in 2009, no-one would publish it.
“So to be nominated now for 17 awards is just staggering – the Waterstones Prize is like the Oscars of children’s publishing, so it’s incredibly exciting.”
The book’s hero is a young carer called Elliot, who is too scared to tell anyone his problems in case his mother is taken away from him.
The author said that she hopes the book “makes children think about each other”, adding that “perhaps there’s a kid in their class who seems unfriendly, but actually has a life they don’t know about.”
“Watch this space!”
Evans, a former journalist, has written several other books and hopes to build on the success of Elliot’s adventure.
She said: “Who Let The Gods Out is the first in a four-book series.
“The sequel, Simply The Quest, came out last August.
“The third book, Beyond the Odyssey, is out on 5 April and I’m currently writing the fourth, which will be out in 2019.
“After that…watch this space!”
The respective winners of each category will receive £2000, with the successful names being revealed by Waterstones on Thursday 22 March.
Evans modestly admitted that having to decide how to spend the money is “not a problem [she’s] likely to have”, but conceded she had thought about what she might do with the cash.
She said: “If I were fortunate enough [to win], I would donate some to charity and use some to do something lovely with my husband and kids.”