Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 3, 2021

Book Giveaway: TRAILBLAZER by Elizabeth Dale

Elizabeth Dale has written a new picture book, TRAILBLAZER, illustrated by Carolina Coroa and published by Maverick Publishing. They have agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Elizabeth and Carolina.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: 

With one of the most powerful kicks in soccer, young Lily Parr is becoming a soccer star. That is until in 1921, when the Football Association in England bans women’s soccer―a decision that will affect future generations! Will Lily and her team be able to overcome this hurdle, or will they have to give up doing what they love?

Trailblazer is based on the life of Lily Parr, one of the most famous female soccer players of all time. Parr eventually came to the US and even played against men’s teams. Parr together with her teammates battled adversity to keep women’s soccer alive.

BOOK JOURNEY:

I am so delighted to have another of my picture books featured on this brilliant website again. Thank you, Kathy!

For many years I have been writing fiction books for children of all ages, but never before have I written a non-fiction book. But as soon as I read about the story of women’s soccer, I knew that it was one that everyone, especially children, would be fascinated to read. And so I just had to write it!

When I heard that a statue was being erected in England in 2019 to commemorate Lily Parr, a female soccer player who began her career just over a hundred years ago, I was interested and decided to read up about her. Little did I realise what an amazing and inspiring story my research would uncover. At just 14 years old, Lily Parr left home to go and live many miles away in a town I knew well, that I had actually worked in for nearly 10 years. But I had never heard about her. Lily had been given a job to work long, hard shifts in a factory – just so she could play for the factory women’s soccer team, which was generally thought to be the best in the country. Not only were Lily and her team-mates incredibly talented pioneers of the women’s game, some of whom possessed skills many thought were better than any man playing at the time, the setting of their story against the backdrop of the First World War and the prejudice they all faced was a real eye-opener.

More and more incredible facts were revealed to me – of the hard lives the team led, working long hours every week-day before training and playing at nights and weekends, the fact that they played to raise money for charity rather than keep the huge game receipts for themselves, (forgoing the high fees many top sportsmen and women customarily receive today), and the massive crowds they attracted. But perhaps the most amazing fact of all was that 100 years ago women’s soccer in the UK was more popular than men’s! How amazing that very few people know that?

Even more amazing was the reaction of English soccer’s governing body, the F.A., to the women’s teams’ incredible professionalism, skill and popularity. Instead of celebrating  their talent, the F.A. were so annoyed that women were stealing the limelight from the men’s soccer teams, that they banned them from playing on their grounds. And that ban lasted for 50 years! Until 1971! Did Lily and her team give up? No, they played on village greens and farmers’ fields and even organised a tour to Canada to continue playing the game they loved. But the English F.A. asked their Canadian counterparts to block them playing there, too. So Lily and her team  simply moved onto the States where they were given a warm welcome and played men’s as well as women’s teams as well as running races against US Olympic athletes

The story of Lily’s team’s incredible talent and their determination to keep on playing, no matter what, is so inspirational, I wanted children to read it at a young age. So I decided to write Lily’s story as a picture book. But not a book just for girls and boys who enjoy soccer – though hopefully they’ll love it – but, because Lily and her team-mates had to overcome so many obstacles to play the game they loved, I hoped their story would inspire others to persevere to achieve their life’s ambitions no matter what problems and prejudices they came up against.

When I pitched this idea to my UK publishers, Maverick, they were immediately very keen and agreed that this was a story that just had to be told. At the time the 2019 Women’s World Cup tournament was underway and the whole country was gripped with excitement as we watched the incredible talent on display. With their games eagerly viewed by enormous TV audiences around the world, it was amazing to realise just how far this women’s sport has come since the authorities had tried to squash it 100 years ago.

So, inspired by Lily’s story and today’s talented players, I started to write Trailblazer. And everything moved very quickly. The journey from initial idea to publication of the finished book was very smooth. As always, when working on a picture book, I found the most difficult part was not writing it, but cutting it! There were so many intriguing facts about Lily and her team, it was really hard trying to decide what to leave out. Lily Parr was such a character. There were countless fascinating aspects  – such as Lily’s countless practical jokes – that had to be omitted  because I didn’t want the book to be too wordy for young children. There were also facts I wouldn’t put in a children’s book but I can share with you – such as Lily was a fervent chain-smoker at a time when the health hazards weren’t known. Lily was an incredibly fit and nimble player so it’s amazing to think how much speedier she could have been without her smoking background!

The incredibly talented Carolina Coroa was commissioned to illustrate Trailblazer and her pictures really brought Lily’s story to life and firmly established its early 20th century settling.

To set Lily’s story in context, at my editor’s suggestion, a timeline and interesting snippets about the women’s soccer were included in the endpapers, so children seeking extra information could have further fascinating facts to pore over.  Here’s one – one of the first examples of women’s football games that we know of, was when women’s teams played against each other in the 1700s in the Scottish Highlands – and men went to watch them with a view to picking their brides!

Trailblazer was such fun to research and write and I hope children will find it fun to read, too. But even more than that, I would love to think that as well as informing children about how different life was then and the obstacles and prejudices Lily had to overcome, her message – that no matter how much you have to struggle, if you try hard enough you really can achieve your dream – will inspire all children who read it to follow their dreams too.

ELIZABETH’S BIO:

Once upon a time Elizabeth Dale dreamed of being a writer, but maybe because the wicked fairy wasn’t invited to her christening, she was led astray into the strange, confusing world of studying for a physics degree and managing the health service. Finally she came to her senses and began her writing career  labouring on a portable typewriter with keys that jammed, battling with re-writes, tippex and carbon paper to produce her big novel  that no-one wanted to publish. Vowing never again to spend so much effort writing something nobody wanted to publish, she bought a computer and quickly progressed to writing teenage and adult magazine fiction, which both shared the same major attractions – they were much shorter and far more fun.  After her three daughters were born, she was re-introduced to the amazing world of children’s books which, as well as being short and even more fun to write, came with the wonderful bonus of allowing her to stop pretending to be grown up and stay a child at heart.

Her picture book Save The Day for Ada May! has just won its third Award and she has three picture books due to be published  early next year – Mix Up Monday, Chase Those Witches!  and Delightfully Different Dilly.’

Elizabeth lives in rural West Sussex, where she sits with her laptop keeping her knees warm and looks out at the garden, letting her imagination run riot, exploring the child within and trying never to grow old.

Her three daughters have now grown up and all three, Katie Dale, Jenny Jinks and Caroline Walker, are children’s authors, too.

She has had over 2000 stories (teenage and adult) published all over the world, and has had  over 80 children’s books published/commissioned.

She is an active member of SCBWI and organises her local group. After representing herself for so many years, Elizabeth is now seeking an agent.

You can find out more about Elizabeth at: 

Website -www elizabethdaleuk.blogspot.com 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizdale33 

Twitter – twitter.com/LizDaleAuthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.dale.946/

CAROLINA COROA’S BIO:

Carolina is a brazilian illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland. She has illustrated a couple of picture books, search and find , and a puzzle. She is studying character design for animation and looking forward for a chance to work in an animation studio.

Born in Belém, north of Brazil, she graduated in Social Communication and in Fashion, specialised in Fashion at Istituto Europeo di Design in São Paulo and worked as a print and pattern designer for several years. In 2016 Carolina moved to Berlin and after attend Pictoplasma Academy in 2017, where she started to work as a full time illustrator. 

Carolina works mainly in digital and her favorite themes to illustrate are nature, folk tales, fantasy (gnomes, witches, dragons, etc), animals and the ocean. Sometimes she paints with watercolor, pencils and markers too.

Her work is represented worldwide by Advocate Art and in Asia by Yeon Agency

You can visit her website at: www.carolinacoroa.com

Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I always fine it nice to read the story of a successful woman young girls can admire. I am sure they will love the story and Carolina’s wonderful illustrations. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. What a fascinating story! I’m so glad you captured it for younger generations to enjoy and learn from. I can’t wait to read it. Congratulations!

    Kathy, I will tweet this and I follow by email. 🙂

    Like

  2. Great story!

    Like

  3. Congrats, Elizabeth and Carolina! Sounds like a winning topic. (I’m signed up for the emails as well.)

    Like

  4. Looking forward to sharing this book with children especially girls who need to be inspired by incredible feats.

    Like

  5. Great story ❤️

    Like

  6. Great post. I love that timeline! Looking forward to reading this book.
    Kathy, I subscribe to your email and shared via Twitter & FB.

    Like


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