Four years ago, I sat down to write a children’s book. At that time, I was unagented, unpublished. But I knew, deep within my heart, that there was a story I wanted to tell. A story of friendship, of love, of hope – but most of all a story about making a difference.
That book would become The Last Bear.
When you write, you occasionally have a feeling that what you’re creating is special. This was my experience. I knew in my bones that this book had something. A spark of magic, maybe.
But even I couldn’t have foreseen everything that was to follow – not only the awards and the sales – but just how intensely children (and grown-ups!) around the world would take Bear and April to their hearts. It’s been incredibly touching to witness.
And yet, at the same time, the most common refrain I heard was the need to find out what happened next…
“I knew, deep within my heart, that there was a story I wanted to tell.”Hannah Gold
How could you leave Bear and April separated like that? Will they ever see each other again?
I am delighted to say that the answer is yes!
In Finding Bear, April returns to Svalbard on a quest to find her friend and along the way, discovers a tiny polar bear cub in desperate need of her protection. In this sequel, set in the thick of an Arctic winter, we reunite with favourite characters and meet new friends, including a team of husky dogs.
It was a joy to write, and I hope readers love April and Bear’s reunion just as much as I do. Although do get the tissues ready!
As with The Last Bear, Finding Bear touches upon the environment. It’s the same in The Lost Whale, which tells thestory of a boy who sets out to save a magnificent grey whale – I call it my love letter to the ocean.
Children don’t need preaching to, however. Instead, my goal is always to write big-hearted adventure stories full of emotion and excitement. But also, stories that act as a gateway into the natural world. That beg us to fall in love with it, to care for it, and ultimately to protect it.
There’s one last thing to say and that’s a HUGE roar of thanks. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I couldn’t have done any of this without you.