Roz Kay

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Roz Kay is a writer and former newspaper and BBC radio journalist. Her published work includes her debut children's novel The Keeper of the Stones, which received a Kirkus star, and a number of literary short stories (under the name Roz DeKett), selected in international competitions for anthology inclusion or appearing in literary journals. She has also been published in the American children’s literary magazine, Cricket. She was a member of the SCBWI in the US and is now a member of the Society of Authors in the UK.

The Keeper of the Stones was published in March 2020 by a small indie press as a paperback with a limited print run, and all rights have reverted to Roz. She is working on the sequel and in addition is pitching a contemporary work of adult fiction, a novel written over the course of eight years and set in Philadelphia.

As a child, Roz lived in England, Ghana, Sabah (Malaysia), Brunei, and Canada. She later lived in the US for twenty-six years and her adult children live in Northern California and Seattle. She has a broad interest in sports, history, archaeology, travel, books, theatre, the environment, animals, and art, and was on the Board of Directors of a Philadelphia theatre for five years. She has owned horses most of her life and while she doesn't have one now, she has a pair of greyhounds. She has a BA in English Literature and History (combined honors/double major) from the University of Leeds, UK. Roz lives in Wiltshire, England.

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BY Roz Kay • POSTED ON Sept. 21, 2020

A Philadelphia couple whose marriage is on the rocks try to fend off their landlords, who are scheming to move back into their house, in this novel.

James Cowper is British, but he has spent his adult life in Philadelphia, married for 20 years to a nurse named Imani. They have one son who is away at college. After some financial setbacks and marriage counseling, they have moved into a historic house. James is working for a firm that secures art for auctions, but he’s had some problems there, too, and owes the owner several thousand dollars. The couple’s landlords, Bruce and Davorka Miller, have leased their home to the Cowpers for two years while the Millers have moved to Florida. But after a hurricane destroyed the home and all their possessions, the Millers have returned to Philadelphia with a plan to move back into their house and evict the Cowpers. Hanging on by only Imani’s nursing salary and the validity of the lease, James needs to get back in his wife’s good graces and also find a rare piece of art that will give him some financial security. But the Millers have house keys and are not the kind of people who will take no for an answer. Kay’s enjoyable novel has a robust plot that captures her headstrong characters’ mad dash to stay afloat in rapidly gentrifying Philadelphia. They all carry so much baggage that their eventual collision with one another in the story’s hilarious third act makes for a truly madcap dinner party like no other. The issues are many, but the dialogue is full of wit and gives clear insight into the characters’ obstinate and oftentimes amusing psyches. James is very British, but he’s after something uniquely American, and his thorny journey is written with charm and vitality.

A clever, timely tale about desperate people maneuvering through a tricky situation.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-8381914-0-5

Page count: 285pp

Publisher: Darley Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020



BY Roz Kay • POSTED ON March 16, 2020

After time traveling to the Bronze Age, a girl must save a community and her brother in this debut middle-grade novel.

The family farm in Wiltshire, England, where 12-year-old Lizzie Greenwood lives, stands close to the remains of an ancient stone circle called the Bull Stones. Her brother, Daniel, 14, is fascinated by the circle and a nearby Bronze Age site being excavated by archaeologists. As the two investigate the area on a winter solstice evening, they’re charged by a herd of eerie bulls. Lizzie and Daniel flee between the stones—and find themselves in broad summer daylight some 3,000 years ago near a village of roundhouses. The siblings learn that the villagers are called the Horse People, and their enemy is the Bullmaster, who kills women and children and steals men’s souls for his slave army. The Horse People’s queen could stop him, but she’s been mortally wounded by a bull. When the Bullmaster seizes Daniel, Lizzie realizes she must use the stones to prevent disaster by traveling back and forth through time. Time travel is a compelling theme, and Kay handles it well in her book. Lizzie’s trips through the stones make storytelling sense, as when she gets penicillin—used on her family’s farm to treat animals—to save the queen. Lizzie herself is brave and appealingly thoughtful as she wrestles with the question of whom to trust. Her special connection to the stones helps explain her ability to understand and speak the ancient language, often a sticking point in time-travel stories (although the supposedly Bronze Age tongue is closer to Chaucer’s Middle English). Kay’s writing is another pleasure, atmospheric and poetic even when describing small details: “Sheep’s wool straggles of smoke clinging to the air.” The black-and-white illustrations by debut artist Rothaus are skillfully shaded and composed, adding to the book’s sense of mystery.

Both gripping and lyrical—a fine time-travel tale.

Pub Date: March 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-910237-58-8

Page count: 204pp

Publisher: Hayloft Publishing Ltd

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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