Congratulations to Samantha Clark, Regional Advisor of the Austin SCBWI chapter, on the launch this month of two new middle-grade novels! In Arrow, releasing on June 22nd from Paula Wiseman Books, a boy who has grown up as the only human in a magical hidden rainforest must make a difficult choice when the magic starts to deplete and outsiders discover his home. American Horse Tales: Hollywood, coming out June 29th from Penguin Workshop, tells the story of a girl and her horse in present-day California who are determined to make it onto the big screen.
“I’m very excited to have more books coming out, especially another middle-grade novel coming out with Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster,” Samantha writes. “Arrow is my love letter to forests and the people who protect them. It was a challenging book to write. Like The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast, I found it difficult to get on paper what I could see in my head. But through the process, I learned a lot about writing and grew as a writer. I also did some amazingly fun research on nature and rainforests. I hope readers love the story as much as I do, and I hope they come away from it with a deeper appreciation for the majestic trees all around them.”
American Horse Tales: Hollywood is the second book in a brand-new MG series written by multiple authors; the first book releases the same day. “I heard about the opportunity to audition from my agent,” Samantha says, “and I highly recommend people tell their agents they’d like to hear about these kinds of opportunities if they’re interested in writing these kinds of books. Penguin had come up with the concept of girls with horses, but I could pitch whatever story I wanted to tell. Looking back at my work as a journalist and editor for a home entertainment magazine, I came up with the story of a stunt horse and the girl who wants so badly to be a stunt rider, until she discovers that it’s much harder than she had imagined. The book was enormously fun to write.”
While both books release at the end of June, Samantha will be celebrating the launch of Arrow in particular with a free virtual party hosted by BookPeople (complete with goodies and the chance to win a grand prize) on June 23rd at 6:00pm. Joining her at the party will be representatives from the local nonprofit Tree Folks—every pre-order of Arrow through BookPeople will lead to a new tree planted by Tree Folks in the Austin area.