Hello, dear people. I am currently occupied with life rather than writing (Oh, as if the two could be separated! you exclaim, but yes it seems they can and indeed sometimes must), but now take a break from life-rather-than-writing to celebrate the US publication of A Single Stone earlier this month and wave across the distance to those new readers who have been stopping by.
People ask me how sales are going and I say, “I have no idea”, because I don’t.
People ask me how reviews are going, and I say, “As they always do,” because how could it be otherwise?
Because it’s a book, a story, a subjective thing, and some people like my writing and some people don’t and there is nothing at all I can do about that. What I can do is try and make the way that I write the very best version of itself it can be, and that’s something I work on every day. (Except for now. Because now is life-rather-than-writing. As I have said too many times already and will not mention again.)
I will return to writing-not-life soon enough and will bring you some A Single Stone-related news on that front. Which may seem odd, because how could a book which is well and truly already written be part of my future writing? Watch this space for an answer to this curliest of questions.
But for now, here is a sprinkling of US reviews which have filled my heart with gladness:
The prose flows gracefully, like rivulets down a mountainside … A beautiful, sparkling gem
– Kirkus (starred review)
[A] gripping story, McKinlay (Below) believably evokes the dangers inherent in Jena’s burgeoning autonomous thoughts and actions in a tightly controlled dystopian environment where her grace and power ultimately prevail.
– Publisher’s Weekly
McKinlay’s stark yet effective prose and layered world-building, reminiscent of the dystopian societies created by Margaret Atwood, combine in a haunting novel that will stay with readers. Younger readers ready to tackle the heavy subject matter will join older YAs in delving into this unusual, evocative title recommended for both middle and high school collections.
– School Library Journal
Utterly enthralling … a great story that will immediately hook a wide variety of readers.
– The Loud Library Lady
A Single Stone is incredibly unique. The world McKinlay has crafted is nuanced and thoughtful … The clever intertwining of religion, politics, and ethical dilemmas takes A Single Stone into territory beyond other genre hits.
– Sea Reads
Yikes. Just, yikes. This book has some serious grit in it. …It’s painful and gruesome to read, but so fascinating at the same time that I devoured the entire book in one sitting.
– Read Till Dawn
I ask you – how can you not love a review that starts with “Yikes” and then goes on to recommend the book?
A Single Stone has also been named as a Junior Library Guild Selection, which I’m told is a very good thing indeed.
US readers/teachers/librarians and folk of all stripes, if you’re looking for more on the book, including links to a bunch of interviews, teaching resources, and other bits and pieces, then do visit this page on my website. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I never thought I’d see myself two quotes down from Publisher’s Weekly! I’m so grateful to Candlewick Press for bringing your writing to new markets and putting it on my radar. I enjoyed A Single Stone so much. 🙂
Thank you! And thanks so much for your thoughtful review, which was very buoying indeed. I can bump it up above PW if that would give you an extra frisson of excitement? 😉
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