Double book-series deal for Bath Spa graduate Candida Harper

Apr 20 2012 11:31 AM

Debut teen author and graduate from Bath Spa University’s specialist MA in Writing for Young People, Candida Harper has been signed up by Simon & Shuster Children’s Books in two separate two-book deals.

The first novels from each of the two very different fiction series will be published in 2013; the first a hard-hitting thriller set in a gritty dystopian future, and the other a humorous teen fiction about the fashion dilemmas and romantic dramas of a 14-year-old girl.

Published under the name CJ Harper in February 2013, The Disappeared is set in a future where children are segregated into institutions that range from comfortable ‘learning communities’ to prison-like ‘Academies’. When 17-year-old Jackson is moved from a top learning community to an academy he suddenly finds himself in a harsh, violent, society and he realises his whole life has been based on half-truths. The second book in the series is set to follow in 2014.

The second series begins with Have a Little Faith. Being 14 is a minefield and Faith is just hoping to make it through Year 10 without too many disasters. But when she and her best friend sign up to take part in an inter-school choir with the local boys’ comprehensive, Faith’s life gets even more complicated. Just how is she supposed to concentrate on becoming the next Cheryl Cole when she’s trying to understand how teenage boys’ minds work? Have a Little Faith will be published in May 2013 under the name Candy Harper, with a second book to follow.

Candida graduated from Bath Spa University in 2010 with an MA in Writing for Young People, a highly successful postgraduate degree which has seen many of its students go on to achieve publication.

Julia Green, Course Director said: "I am thrilled to hear about Candy’s success in achieving two book deals, but not entirely surprised! We were all excited to read chapters of The Disappeared as Candy developed her ideas for this story in the workshops, week by week. It’s a tribute to her hard work, energy and passion for writing and the success is very well deserved."

Candida, who grew up in Oxfordshire and now lives in Devon, has worked as a bookseller and a teacher. She is married and has a daughter named after Philip Pullman’s Lyra.