Meet our speakers: Patrice Lawrence

Find out about Patrice Lawrence, who will be joining our BookTrust Represents training event in Bradford in September.

Patrice Lawrence

Author Patrice Lawrence will be joining our BookTrust Represents training event in Bradford, hosting a session entitled 'The Publishing Industry: A Case Study Start to Finish'.

Getting to know Patrice

Who was your favourite author and/or illustrator when you were growing up and why?
I read series because I loved the stories rather than the authors. All dead white people including PJ Travers, Arthur Ransome, Hugh Lofting and JRR Tolkien – some of it quite racially problematic. Later, it was Paul Zindel and SE Hinton. I also loved Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairy illustrations, though of course they reinforced the idea that brown-skinned girls can't be fairies.

Who are your favourite children authors and/or illustrators now and why?
I'm really interested in verse novels, such as Dean Atta's Black Flamingo and, of course, Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X. Yaba Badoe combines magic realism with a social edge. Josh Martin does the same with fantasy and a very diverse cast of characters. Joseph Coelho and Allison Colpoys' picture book If All The World Were is poetic and heartbreaking. Eileen Browne's books are written and illustrated with thought and respect. I was recently admiring the detail of Handa's hair in Handa's Surprise.

What advice would you give to a new author and/or illustrator that you wish you had been given?
It may take a while to come into your voice, but be patient.

What has been your career high so far as an author?
Winning the Waterstones Prize for Older Fiction with my daughter by my side.

What are you currently reading?
The Wild Book by Juan Villoro, translated by Lawrence Schimel in middle-grade; Kitch - A Fictional Biography by Antony Joseph in adult books and The Burning by Laura Bates in YA.

More about Patrice

Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer of stories for children and young people. Orangeboy, her debut book for young adults was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award, won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction and has been shortlisted for many regional awards. Indigo Donut won the Bristol Crimefest Prize for YA and was book of the week in the The Times, Sunday Times and Observer and one of The Times' top children's books in 2017. Rose, Interrupted, published in July 2019, was children's book of the week in the Sunday Times. Her books for younger readers include Diver's Daughter - a Tudor Tale, part of Scholastic's Voices series inspired by the UK's Black and Asian history. She was born in Brighton, reviews for Radio 4's Saturday Review and loves Bruce Springsteen and Korean indie music.

Discover Patrice's books

Rose, Interrupted

Author: Patrice Lawrence

A dramatic, thoughtful and compelling coming-of-age novel, in which 17-year-old Rose must learn to navigate the unspoken rules of a world increasingly focused on social media.

Read more about Rose, Interrupted

Diver’s Daughter: A Tudor Story

Author: Patrice Lawrence

This is a thrilling tale, with the expertly described Tudor world brought to hideous, harsh life with the same verve as Patrice Lawrence’s award winning teen books Indigo Donut and Orangeboy

Read more about Diver’s Daughter: A Tudor Story

Toad Attack!

Author: Patrice Lawrence Illustrator: Becka Moor

Leo is astounded when he is hit on the head by a flying toad on his way to school. His best friend Rosa is excited because one of her two dads is a television presenter and plans to make a nature programme about the pale, yellow amphibians with bulging red eyes. However, the toads have an insatiable appetite and as the town of Upper Dab is besieged by these …

Read more about Toad Attack!


Author: Patrice Lawrence

A boy that no one notices becomes a target on the run, when a tragic event prompts him to mix with a world of street gangs and drug dealers. This pacey crime thriller feels unique, realistic and truthful.

Read more about Orangeboy

Join us in Bradford on 21 September

BookTrust Represents

Our project promotes and supports children’s authors and illustrators of colour, so young readers find the books that represent them.

Learn more about BookTrust Represents