Local author, Sam Gayton, has been awarded the 2013 Tower Hamlets Book Award for his children’s novel ‘The Snow Merchant’.
The award, voted for by children from 35 local schools, was selected from a shortlist of the best fiction books from 2012 and 2013.
Now in its seventh year, the children’s book award was presented to Gayton in a ceremony on November 29 at Swanlea Secondary School.
Gayton, 27, published ‘The Snow Merchant’ his first published work, in October 2011, while he was living and working as a teaching assistant in Bath. The book tells the story of Lettie Peppercorn, a young girl living on the Albion coast, a fictional seaside town.
According to Gayton, the book attempts to answer the question of whether “winter is magic or misery?” He said: “Sometimes winter can be amazing and sometimes it can be cold and miserable.”
Gayton, who now lives in Peckham Southwark, visited the Tower Hamlets’ schools that took part in the voting: “It’s a lonely job sometimes, sitting on your own, trying to come up with ideas, so it’s really good to get out and meet the kids and see how they enjoy reading.”
“My aim in writing is to become a millionaire and retire somewhere like Barbados,” Gayton joked: “The goal is to definitely get kids to read, it’s great to win but it’s also great to see children reading your book.”
Gayton published his second novel, ‘Lilliput’, a sequel to ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, last March.
Other nominees for the award included “The Unforgotten Coat,” by Frank Cottreell Boyce, “Goblins,” by Phillip Reeve,” and “The Sword of Light,” by Katherine Roberts.