A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Looking for a great new book for your child? Introducing A Place Called Perfect, a quirky, creepy, and unforgettable adventure, perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton.

About the book

Violet never wanted to move to Perfect. Who wants to live in a town where everyone has to wear glasses to stop them going blind? And who wants to be neat and tidy and perfectly behaved all the time?

Violet quickly discovers there's something weird going on in the town – she keeps hearing voices, her mam is acting strange and her dad has disappeared. With the help of the invisible Boy, and a little imagination, can Violet save her family without making too much of a spectacle?

There’s something very wrong in Perfect, but the adults are too blind to see it…

Anne Finnis, Usborne’s Fiction Deputy Director says: “What I love about this spooky adventure is that Violet and Boy refuse to be duped by the villains who rule over Perfect and courageously set about uncovering a perfectly creepy plot. The story is hugely inventive, child-friendly and eye-normously fun, but at its heart is a pertinent message about the power in all of us to resist the bullies who would have us follow the herd."

Suitable for children aged 9+

Helena Duggan A Place Called Perfect

About the author

Helena Duggan is a children's author, graphic designer and illustrator from Kilkenny, a medieval town in Ireland, which was the inspiration for A Place Called Perfect.

Lately, a lot of new things have happened in her life. She got a puppy – he limped out in front of her car one morning and she couldn't leave him behind. She married Robbie in her parents’ hay barn, and welcomed baby Jo, born just months before the launch of her book. She's enjoying settling down with all these things and creating lots of new memories.

Meet Helena Duggan

What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?

The last book I bought as a gift was for my mam – it was Chris Riddell's Travels with my Sketchbook, but I ended up keeping it for myself! That tends to happen to lots of my book purchases!

What is your favourite children’s book?

I love Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy – Truckers, Diggers, and Wings. Also, anything by Roald Dahl is right up my street and then, of course, Harry Potter – I spent years with that story!

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

Procrastination is probably my biggest writing habit! Seriously though, I don’t have many rituals except that I’ve discovered I’m less productive if I sit at a desk. I write better in bed or with the laptop on my knees in an armchair. I think if I sit at a desk then writing seems like work and I don’t want it to feel like that. Writing for me is a release. I love to get lost in my own world for a few hours a day!

The last book I bought as a gift was for my mam…but I ended up keeping it for myself! That tends to happen quite a lot…

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

I’m not sure I can be the one giving advice as I’m not sure how I got to be a writer myself! I think that the best piece of advice I ever received was to never give up. Lots of people have talent and skill but not many can stick out the ups and downs of the publishing journey. I also think you should write to enjoy yourself, don’t write for an audience; if you do then the book might not feel like yours and you may lose interest in your own story.

Can you describe the room that you write in?

The room always changes but at the moment I’m writing from my parents' home as my mam minds my daughter, Jo. I hide away in their sitting room, my laptop on my knees as I snuggle into my Dad's old yellow armchair.

Book giveaway

We ask all winners to share their child's thoughts on the book on the discussion thread. Everyone who posts their detailed feedback by Monday 20 November will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

Buy the book from Amazon

This giveaway is sponsored by Usborne