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  • Orion Children's Books

Fiction, General fiction (Children's / Teenage)

Sparkling debut novel combining mystery, magic, and ghosts, from an award-winning picture book illustrator.

The old Dublin Button Factory hides a secret. There, Jessie meets a boy who walks through walls but can't remember his own name, and discovers the Timecatcher, a swirling, powerful Magic, which every seven years reveals the past, both good and bad, in a jumble of days. The Timecatcher is about to open now, and there are those who will go to any lengths to control it. Jessie and her friends - both ghosts and human - must stop them, before it's too late.

A fast-paced ghostly adventure, sparkling with humour and heart.

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Marie Louise Fitzpatrick

I'm a Dubliner, born, bred and edu-ma-cated. At the age of 2 I spent a few days in hospital with a broken arm so I decided I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up, but by the grand old age of 4 I'd announced that I would be an artist. I never changed my mind again!

At college studying graphic design I quickly zoned in on children's illustration, however making it my full-time occupation took about 15 years. My first 3 picture books were created in my spare time - real life was a ragbag of stints as a graphic design assistant, an illustrator of love stories in women's mags and a damp spell selling paintings on Merrion Square.

In 1999 I found my agent Eunice McMullen and my 4th book, Izzy and Skunk, was published with Gullane in 2000. Taking a leap of faith in my own work, I gave up the safety net of my job and got a studio.

Focussing completely on my creative work, I finally began to find my own voice and visual style. With picture books I like to explore the blurred line between the imagined and the real in childhood and those little/big moments of change and discovery. Recently I've begun to write novels. I'm really enjoying the process and I've discovered I can pretty much write anywhere - planes, coffee shops, waiting rooms...

Being a children's writer/illustrator allows me to indulge my love of travel as I often 'have to' go places to do research and I sometimes get invited to take part in literary conferences in far-flung places like Paris, Rhode Island, Cologne, Cork. As a history lover I really enjoy immersing myself in research.

I met my partner Michael Emberley in 2007 at the Frostburg Children's Literature conference. Michael is part of a big children's lit family - his dad, Ed Emberley, and sister, Rebecca Emberley, also write and illustrate picture books. The readings at our wedding were all thoughts on love from children's book characters including Winnie the Pooh and Adrian Mole.

Born in Dublin (where she still lives) in 1962, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. She frequently gives talks, workshops and conducts residencies for all age groups throughout Ireland. In addition, she has worked at the Irish College in Paris and was writer-in-residence at Hollins University, Virginia USA. Apart from travelling, her interests include photography, history ... and chocolate. Her books have been published throughout the world in various co-editions.

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