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Jessica Townsend is an Australian author that writes YA novels. Even though she is a native of Australia, London has a special place in her heart which is why she spends so much time in the city. Before she became a published author, Jessica worked for Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo as a copywriter and editor.
Order of Nevermoor Series
She came to fame when she wrote ‘The Trials of Morrigan Crow’. The book follows Morrigan, a little girl who had the misfortune of being born on the wrong day. After being blamed for all the wrong things in her community, Morrigan was slated to die on her eleventh birthday.
But then a mysterious stranger swooped in and took her to a magical world where she was awarded the opportunity to fight for her future. Jessica was called the next J.K.Rowling when her novel debuted.
The Morrigan books were praised for their close thematic resemblance to Harry Potter. These opinions made sense to Jessica who grew up reading Harry Potter and was heavily influenced by J.K. Rowling‘s work. Though, she was quick to argue that the Nevermoor books were a separate entity from Harry Potter, one with a distinct signature.
When the author created Morrigan, she wanted to play with the ‘chosen one’ cliche that features heavily in most fantasy fiction. She wanted to create a character that was fated to die, a heroine that would forge a path for herself after being denied everything a child could ever want.
Jessica went out of her way to mistreat Morrigan because she wanted her beginning to be as terrible as possible so that her eventual triumph would be all the more heartening. Jessica Townsend’s upbringing was far from dysfunctional. She grew up in a family that loved and protected her.
She was 4 when she started reading fiction, a habit she picked up from her older sibling. She was drawn to works like ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, ‘Little Women’, and ‘The Babysitters Club’. While she read widely, Jessica was always drawn to adult fantasy, YA, and mystery, not to mention literary fiction.
Jessica was so enamored with reading that she would often leave the car and cross the road to her school with her nose buried in a book, a habit that her mother did not find amusing. Despite all the joys she experienced as a child, Jessica always felt lost.
She felt different; like she did not belong anywhere. As she matured, the author eventually found her circle. However, that desire to belong that she felt as a child is one of Morrigan’s defining traits. The heroine wants someone to accept her even with all her faults and this is why she continues to struggle against the hand that fate dealt her.
Jessica has been praised for the intricacy of her world. In the years that it took her to write the first Nevermoor novel, new ideas would come to her, concepts that tempted her to abandon Nevermoor in favor of writing an entirely new story.
But Jessica’s love for Nevermoor was so strong that she chose to simply add each new idea to the Nevermoor mythology. In this way, she built a massive world with a unique landscape.
Jessica Townsend Awards
Jessica won the ABIA for Book of the Year in 2018.
Best Jessica Townsend Books
Even though Jessica’s debut novel attracted quick success, it was the result of over a decade of hard work, with some of the best books in her bibliography including:
The Trials of Morrigan Crow: Morrigan Crow was born on Eventide. To her people, that makes her a cursed child, one that is responsible for every misfortune that occurs. Morrigan knew that she was slated to die on her eleventh birthday. She had resigned to her fate.
As such, it came as quite a surprise when a remarkable fellow appeared and whisked her away to the magical city of Nevermoor. Now Morrigan has a chance at a new life. But she must fight for it by competing in four dangerous trials.
The Calling of Morrigan Crow: Morrigan did what she initially thought impossible. She overcame her curse and survived the trials to join the Wundrous Society. Now that she is part of the prestigious society, Morrigan wants to believe that she will find the friendship and protection she has wanted all her life. However, someone is out to ruin her unit.
When Does The Next Jessica Townsend book come out?
Jessica Townsend doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Hollowpox and was released on August, 18th 2020. It is the newest book in the Nevermoor Series.