Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, and attempted to read and write her way to new places, developing a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she works for an auction house.
Alwyn’s debut novel, REBEL OF THE SANDS (Penguin/Viking (US), Faber & Faber (UK), February 2016) is a Young Adult Fantasy. Sixteen year old sharpshooter Amani Al’Hiza just wants to get out of the miserable one horse town where she was born. But when a shooting contest goes wrong she winds up running for her life instead, crossing a desert full of ruthless bandits, dangerous ghuls and powerful djinni, with nothing but a dwindling supply of bullets and a rakish foreigner wanted for treason.
- Favorite book growing up: ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine
- Childhood aspiration: Writer or pirate
- Favorite time of day/place to write: On a weekend, daytime, in a cafe, the moment when it clicks and you fall into the book.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: THE SHADOW CABINET by Maureen Johnson
- Surprising personal fact: Her first 3 words were “bye” in 3 languages: “ciao, bye bye, au revoir”
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: In YA 16 is the magic number, the age so many heroines get whisked off to life changing adventure. It didn’t happen when she was sixteen but being published in ’16 is even better.
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