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Janelle is an author and fully-fledged gamer. Having started writing and querying at only sixteen years-old, she joined JULA in her early twenties.
After graduating from Royal Holloway University with a Criminology and Sociology degree, Janelle moved back home to London, and began writing middle grade fantasy.
In her free time, you can find her holed up in her room, gaming and watching anime (some of her favourites being Inuyasha, Dragon Ball Z and Death Note), or attending numerous comic cons and gaming events.
Janelle says 'The Umbra Tales trilogy was born from my love of gaming, anime and fantasy books. Growing up, I hardly saw any fantasy books with Black girls and boys front and centre. Mia and the Lightcasters is a nod to all the anime, manga, fantasy books and games I loved both now and as a child. It's a book about finding your inner strength, friendships and hope. I want kids to know that they are enough, they're resilient and stronger than they think. I want them to get lost in this world and let their imaginations run wild. I can't wait to share this story.'
Her FAB Prize winning story was acquired by Faber in a major auction.
Check her out on Instagram @janellemccurdyy
Photograph © Dujonna Gift-Simms
August 2022 Debut of the Month | Readers who like their heroes brave, resourceful and caring, magical and with a skill in martial arts are going to love twelve-year-old Mia, star of Janelle McCurdy’s gripping new fantasy adventure Mia and the Lightcasters. Mia lives with her parents and little brother Lucas in the city of Nubis. Most towns in their kingdom are dark, plunged into night years ago by the powerful and evil Reaper King. When his forces arrive in Nubis and take the population prisoner, including her own parents, it’s up to Mia and her friends TJ and Jada to rescue them. In this she’ll need help from the umbra. Umbra are mysterious, magical creatures, which take different forms but bond with a particular human. Following a terrifying incident when she was much younger, Mia is going to need to dig deep into her resources of courage to discover her own umbra taming abilities. Like the best fantasy (and the best video games, McCurdy is a big fan), this fast-paced adventure allows readers to escape into a totally different world, one full of danger and excitement, and provides a chance to imagine themselves in situations that bring out the very best in people. This is book one in a series that is sure to be really popular.