In this week's Undiscovered Voices writer interview, we're delighted to introduce Sarah Merrett.

Tell us what you write.

I write MG historical mystery adventure stories. I particularly like to write about interesting settings with plenty of atmosphere and I love the challenge of plotting out mysteries.

Why did you enter Undiscovered Voices?

I entered Undiscovered Voices because I've seen the success that past entrants have had. It's a well publicised and respected competition that realty gets the industry's attention.

Tell us about the book you submitted.

The Darlington Miracles is set in 1899. Nothing is going right for unlucky ice-cream seller Mason. When he is invited to a party at Darlington Manor, home of Darlington the Miraculous, he hopes that will all change. After all, Darlington is famous for granting wishes. What if Mason’s wish could come true? But Mason gets even more than he bargained for. Not only is Darlington his grandfather, but he and Mason share strange magical gifts. But Mason’s new powers come with some very old enemies, and when his grandfather disappears, Mason finds himself in a race against time to rescue him – or lose his magic, his wish, and his family.

Have you had any success with your book as a result of Undiscovered Voices? 

As soon as I became a winning finalist, everything changed. I was approached by lots of agents who were all keen to read my book. The sudden interest was overwhelming and exciting. As a result, I chose to sign with Lydia Silver at Darley Anderson Children's Book Agency. I feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful agent.

Tell us about about yourself.

I'm currently working on a new book which is the first in a historical mystery adventure series. Writing occupies all my spare time around looking after my two children and renovating our new house.

You can find Sarah here: sjmerrett@googlemail.com twitter.com/sjmerrett1

You can download the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology here to read an extract from Sarah's book.

Undiscovered Voices is an anthology published every other year by the British SCBWI and aims to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers. Undiscovered Voices has launched the careers of writers and illustrators, who have gone on to publish more than 200 books. These authors have been nominated for, and won, an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and nearly 30 regional awards. Visit www.undiscoveredvoices.com for all the details and news when submissions will open for the next anthology.

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