A sparkling, original time travel novel - the story of Tom, who travels back in time to the 18th century where he meets a group of people who are displayed as freaks at Bartholomew Fair. Against a vividly-drawn historical background, Tom is able to help them tackle some of their problems, while at the same acquiring the strength to tackle his own, modern-day problems. BLOutstanding debut novel from major new author BLJulie Hearn was formerly a tabloid journalist, and studied Creative Writing with Philip Pullman, who is a supporter of her work
Julie Hearn used to be a tabloid journalist. After her daughter, Tilly, was born she began a degree in Education but switched to English after suffering a panic attack while attempting to teach maths to year six.
Something she read in Oxford's Bodleian Library, about a young girl who was shown as a fairground "monster" in the 17th century, inspired Julie's first novel Follow Me Down (2003). Since then she has written about witchcraft (The Merrybegot, 2005); the beauty and perils of the Victorian art world (Ivy, 2006), and the legacy of the Slave Trade (Hazel, 2007).
Rowan the Strange, she says, is as much about the craziness of so-called "normal life" as it is about a young boy's state of mind . The more she wrote the harder it became to hold onto, or defend, conventional definitions of madness.
Wreckers, another of Julie's titles, draws on the well-known myth of Pandora's Box, and has been widely praised.
Julie lives in Oxfordshire where she writes full time (most mornings anyway) in a pink and green office in her garden.