Judi Curtin, who comes from Douglas and now lives with her husband and three teenage children in Limerick, has made a major breakthrough into the British book market with the first of a series commissioned by Penguin’s children’s books imprint, Puffin.
The main character, a young Irish girl, is taken back in time and finds herself on the Titanic knowing its fate.
Ms Curtin has already established herself in Ireland with her eight-book Alice and Megan series, published by O’Brien Press.
Her latest book, The Time Spell, has now gone on sale in Britain.
She said: “O’Brien Press have been marvellous and I have also started writing a new series for them. Puffin are a worldwide publisher and my book is the first their Irish section commissioned. They have asked me to write a series of three, but like the Alice and Megan series, I think this number could grow. Getting into the UK market with Puffin is a fantastic breakthrough.
“I am very excited about this new departure for my work.”
Due to the success of her books, Ms Curtin, who studied at UCC and St Patrick’s in Drumcondra, has swapped a career as a primary school teacher for full-time writing.
Speaking of her new series, she said: “Lauren is an ordinary girl who starts out as a 12-year-old in present day Ireland.
“She discovers she has gone back in time and finds herself as a passenger on the Titanic in 1912, knowing the fate of the ship. She has to decide if she can save herself and people she has befriended on the ship and how she can achieve this. It is aimed at readers in the 8-13 age group.
“The next two books will take her back in time to different situations and will be published in April 2012 and April 2013.
“The past is a very big place and depending on the reader response, the series could continue beyond the first three books commissioned by Puffin. They can get books to readers in a huge international market.”