Sea Star Summer awarded the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize

My sixth novel for young adults, Sea Star Summer, has been named as the joint recipient of the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for youth literature awarded by the English Academy of South Africa.

My co-winner (twinner?) is Penny Lorimer for Luntu Masiza Tells the Truth.

This is what the judges had to say:

“There were two novels that stood out. Both are not only well-written and – crafted, but also explore current issues as part of the lived experience of the protagonists and are very distinctly youth-centered. Both are engrossing and embody hope.”

Published in 2020, Sea Star Summer follows sixteen-year-old Naomi’s journey of self-discovery while on holiday in the Eastern Cape town of Jeffrey’s Bay. 

You Magazine wrote:
“A story about young love and self-discovery which cements Partridge’s status as one of SA’s best young adult authors.”

The award ceremony will be taking place in July.

Out this May – The Witches of Hogsback

Inspired by the absolutely breathtaking mountain town of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, and my love of a good old-fashioned whodunnit, comes my eighth book for young adults, The Witches of Hogsback.

It has been a dream in the making.

As a child, I devoured anything by R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike and yes, Agatha Christie. I love the fast pace, whittling down the list of suspects and navigating the red herrings. Today there has been a resurgence in the good ol’ teen crime caper, and I am beyond excited to have finally added my own interpretation to the mix.

My crime solver and lover of true crime podcasts, Zelda Scott is a detective for the new generation. Smart, quick-witted and razor-tongued, she’s ready to put herself in danger to unmask killers, and find justice for those society has turned its back on.

After a humiliating breakup, she gatecrashes a school hiking trip to Hogsback, and discovers a wild world of intrigue, secrets and mystery.

Here’s the blurb: 

A girl on a high school hiking trip to the mountain town of Hogsback.
A fatal accident.
A coven of witches who seem to be the obvious suspects.
None of these are what they appear to be.

Zelda is a self-proclaimed do-gooder who simply cannot stay silent if she sees something wrong. Unfortunately, this doesn’t win her any popularity votes. Even her boyfriend Dylan couldn’t put up with it anymore.

Desperate to escape from everything for a while, Zelda signs up for a school hiking trip to Hogsback. Her illusion of having a nice, relaxing time shatters when she stumbles across a mystery nobody seems to care about: the death of local teen Stefan Dale.

Soon, Zelda finds herself knee deep in trouble: from having her room vandalised to nearly being killed by an unknown assailant. Someone clearly doesn’t want her looking into Stefan’s death. Her prime suspects are a group of teenagers known as The Witches of Hogsback, but are they really the most dangerous people in the forest?

The book will be hitting all good bookshops and online stores in the coming weeks. I’ll update this post with links when they become available. 

Cover reveal! The Witches of Hogsback

Happy New Year! It’s January, which means I can officially reveal the cover of my new YA murder mystery, The Witches of Hogsback, coming out in May this year with Lapa.

Here’s the short of it:

Seething from a recent breakup, wannabe sleuth Zelda Scott ditches Muizenberg and heads to magical Hogsback, where mystery and murder lie in wait.

The novel was inspired by my own holiday in Hogsback, which is a wonderland of forests, waterfalls, valleys and clear night skies full of stars. Its the perfect small mountain town to set a murder in, with a suspect pool of some very strange characters.

This book was a joy to write, so expect plenty of mystery, twists, love, friendship and of course MURDER.

Here is the cover in its full glory, teasing one or two important plot points from the story! I’d love to know what you think.

Book sale and signing at Tokai Library

Join me and a host of other local authors, radio and TV personalities at Tokai Library on Saturday 10 September 2022 for a morning book sale and signing.

I will have most of my books on sale, including limited edition signed sets of selected titles. For those looking for copies of some of my older out-of-print books, I will have copies of Fuse, very limited copies of The Goblet Club and one very rare copy of Dark Poppy’s Demise for sale.

See you there!

The Girl Who Chased Otters audiobook featuring Daniel Lasker

The Girl Who Chased Otters will be available as an audiobook from 1 August 2022!

The main character, Nathan, is voiced by actor Daniel Lasker, who many will recognise from TV shows like Raised by Wolves and Noughts + Crosses.

The book is written in first person and told from the perspective of Nathan, a keen observer of human behaviour. I can’t wait to hear him speak in a voice that isn’t mine! And based on what the character looked like inside my head, Daniel is perfect!

Here’s Daniel at Kirstenbosch Gardens next to the otter statue. I was told by producers that he really loved the book!

The audiobook was produced for Modjaji Books by BiB, Africa’s Audio Library. Check out their app on 1 August.

If you’d like to read the book, you can buy the paperback version here.

Some love for The Girl Who Chased Otters

The Girl Who Chased Otters is a sensitive tale of friendship, love and acceptance set in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. A keen observer of human behaviour, Nathan has never cared about fitting in, but when Olivia asks for his help becoming popular, he can’t refuse.

The Girl Who Chased Otters has been out for a few months, so I thought I’d do a quick round up of some of the love its been getting in the press.

Continue reading “Some love for The Girl Who Chased Otters”

Notes from the Paula Hawkins masterclass

The marvellous Fiona Melrose has put together a series of courses and workshops that draw on her own wealth of knowledge, as well as those of special guest authors and members of the publishing industry. I signed up for the Craft Masterclass with Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl On The Train, Into the Water and A Slow Fire Burning. 

I needed a bit of a motivational boost and this class seemed just the thing to do it, and it was.

Continue reading “Notes from the Paula Hawkins masterclass”

My Book Dash storybook is free to download

Last year I signed up to participate in Book Dash, a 12-hour book making marathon featuring teams of writers, editors, illustrators, and designers gathered together to create brand new relevant children’s books for young South African readers. The books are free to download and print, and are distributed for free to kids across the country.

Continue reading “My Book Dash storybook is free to download”

What to read of mine in 2022

It’s a new year of …. much the same really. I’ll be the first to admit that getting back to (the new) “normal” has been extremely difficult. Sometimes it feels like the rest of the world has switched off their panic button, but mine seems to be stuck in place. But I hope to panic less and to write more this year. And most importantly, to live. The world just has to stop being so scary. 

Last year was quite a productive one, with both English and Afrikaans novels and several short stories hitting shelves. So far this year I have one novel out and one short story coming soon. 

The Girl Who Chased Otters is out at bookstores now. The story is about a boy who befriends a girl and neither of their lives are ever the same again. It’s a slice of life tale about being young and feeling different in contemporary Cape Town.

Buy it now:
Exclusive Books

Next month I have a short story out in Please Like What You See and other stories. Mine is the title story, about a girl obsessed with social media. Having just taken a break from Instagram myself, I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to just live to live, not just for a picture’s sake. The anthology also features stories by Pamela Newham, Nerine Dorman, Toby Bennett, Dumisani Hlatswayo, Ekow Duker, Cicely van Straten, Edyth Bulbring, Fred Khumalo, and others.

Please Like What You See and other stories will be published in February.

If you would like to review a copy of The Girl Who Chased Otters or request an interview, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you and get the word out about my books.