Congratulations to OV Catherine Randall (Co 81-83) whose debut novel, The White Phoenix has just been published! The White Phoenix is a children’s historical novel set in London in 1666, the year the Great Fire of London devastated the city.
After the sudden death of her father, thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hopper and her mother take over The White Phoenix – the family bookshop in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. But women aren’t supposed to run businesses, England is at war with France and everywhere there are whispers of impending catastrophe. As rumours of invasion and plague spread, Lizzie battles prejudice, blackmail and mob violence to protect the bookshop she loves. When the Great Fire of London breaks out, Lizzie must rescue more than just the bookshop. Can she save the friend she wasn’t supposed to have?
Catherine tells us the book launch was very exciting although obviously less of an event than it would normally have been. “My local Waterstones had offered to hold a launch party but all their events have been cancelled. However, they have been very supportive, putting my book and a poster in the window, and allowing me to go in and sign copies on publication day. I have had great support from many independent bookshops too – I think they like the fact that the story is about a bookshop!”
The book has had some great reviews from book bloggers and sales have been going so well that the publishers have already printed more copies. We were delighted to see that Catherine even slipped a King’s reference into her novel by naming one of the main characters after a boarding house at King’s – Sir Richard Creighton!