The Messengers by Edward Hogan
  

The Messengers

Written by Edward Hogan

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

This is an another compelling and thrilling novel for teenagers by the young author of the highly acclaimed Daylight Saving, shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. When Frances is sent to her aunt's house to escape difficulties at home she meets a man unlike anyone she has ever known. He's a messenger who never brings good news and he believes that Frances is a messenger too. Beautifully written with an 'utterly distinctive voice, strong, emotive and haunting' says Hilary Mantel and we agree.

Synopsis

The Messengers by Edward Hogan

Perhaps we're here to save a few people. Maybe that's the gift. Fifteen-year-old Frances has been sent down to the coast for a little break. Her brother, Johnny, is out on bail after punching an off-duty policeman, and some shady characters have thrown a brick through the window of their flat. Frances' mum went off to stay with her boyfriend and Frances is sent to Helmstown, to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Max. Frances befriends Peter Kennedy, a somewhat tramp-like character who lives in a beach hut along the helmstown seafront. As soon as they meet, Peter recognizes that Frances is a messenger, just like him. As messengers, Frances and Peter experience black-outs. Afterwards, when they come round, they have the ability to draw, in minute detail, the scene of an accident. Peter lives with the burden of telling the people in his drawings about the circumstances of their death. He believes that if he doesn't, something bad will happen to his family. While Frances lives in dread of anything happening to her brother Johnny, she begins to think more positively: although she can't change the past, she can change the future, at least for a chosen few.

Reviews

Ed's voice is utterly distinctive: strong, emotive, haunting. His powers of observation seem almost supernatural. Hilary Mantel

There's a subtle magic to Hogan's prose. Independent on Sunday

About Daylight Saving:

Brighton-based Edward Hogan's first YA novel is a triumph and would make a great movie! We Love This Book

About the Author

Edward Hogan

Edward Hogan was born in Derby in 1980 and lives in Brighton. His first adult novel, Blackmoor, won the Desmond Elliot Prize and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Daylight Saving is his first novel for teenagers.

AS A CHILD

"I grew up in a small village in Derbyshire. It had a big park, a Co-op, and some woods, and that was all I needed. I spent a lot of time reading, and the rest of the time playing football with my brother, Blake. I played for the city and stuff, but really I wasn’t very good. I didn’t much like tackling, physical contact, or getting my socks dirty, but I could do kick-ups with a piece of chewing gum. Not very useful. On a trip to Germany to play football for Derby Boys, I spent most of the time as sub, but I won the competition for the best diary. Unsurprisingly, this did not make me very popular with my teammates. Derbyshire was a fantastic place to grow up, because the slightly spooky landscape really stirs the imagination. It’s full of old quarries and cross-looking sheep."

AS AN ADULT

"I went to university in Derby, and then in Norwich, at UEA, where I did an MA in Creative Writing. It was good to have other people reading my work, there. It made me think a lot about what readers might want. I’d been writing, quite secretly, since I was very young, and there was always this tension between writing being quite a private thing (like diaries), but also a way of communicating (like letters). It takes quite a bit of courage, I reckon, to start showing your writing. My first novel took many, many years to write, and I did the usual odd jobs along the way. I used to strim the council house gardens in Derby, which is fun until you hit a dog poo or a dead hedgehog. Later, I got a job teaching in a college in London, which I really enjoyed (although it was hard work). These days, I work in a university, as a mentor to students with mental health issues. It’s a great job, and I meet some truly inspiring people."

AS A WRITER

"I like to write very early in the morning, as close to the violence and weirdness of dreams as possible. I write with a fountain pen, because it feels good, and it’s simple. I carry a notebook, as I often have ideas when I’m out walking or working or doing the shopping. Then I write ideas for scenes on little index cards. I haven’t worked out the best way of writing, yet! My first book was called Blackmoor, and was about underground gases seeping up into a village from a disused coal mine. My second book, The Hunger Trace, was about two women living on a wildlife park. One of them is a falconer (I did a lot of research on falcons, which was fascinating). Both of those books are set in Derbyshire. Daylight Saving, my first novel for young adults, is about a boy, Daniel, who goes to a sports holiday complex with his depressed dad. While there, Daniel meets a girl called Lexi, who swims in the fake lake. She has cuts and bruises that seem to get worse with time and her watch ticks backwards. It’s a sort of mystery story. My second YA novel is called The Helmstown Messengers and is about a girl with a frightening gift. That’s all I’m saying for now!"

TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT EDWARD HOGAN

1. Because I was born on the 29th February, a leap year day, I’ve only had 8 real birthdays. This means I can get into Alton Towers for free. Probably.

2. As research for The Helmstown Messengers, I did several training sessions with a boxer, which was pretty scary.

3. My favourite book, when I was a very young, was Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel. Then, when I was a bit older, I loved The Eighteenth Emergency, by Betsy Byars.

4. I have a seriously bad sense of direction and can’t read maps.

5. Like Daniel, in Daylight Saving, I take hayfever medicine. I also spent a week at a sports holiday complex. My time there was much less eventful than Daniel’s, although I did graze my knee a bit.

6. When we were 12, me and my best friend Keir designed our own range of clothing to be made out of old sacks. It was our way of snubbing the trendy ‘in-crowd’ kids at school. Fortunately, it never made it to the production stage.

7. I failed my driving test five times. Once for speeding. I didn’t do it on purpose.

8. My favourite film is Moonstruck. It’s about an Italian-American woman who falls in love with a baker who has a wooden hand.I watch it at least 3 times a year.

9. When I was young, I was a member of the Young Ornithologists Club.

10. I moved house a lot when I was working on my first novel. It was written in 11 different bedrooms, in five different English cities.


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Book Info

Format

Paperback
224 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Edward Hogan
More books by Edward Hogan

Publisher

Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th September 2013

ISBN

9781406337181

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