Happy Publication Day to HAVEN!

HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE is out today from Candlewick Press! Hooray!

The cover of the book HAVEN: A SMALL CAT'S BIG ADVENTURE by Megan Wagner Lloyd

It’s available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. Happy reading!

For more about my inspiration for writing HAVEN, read below.

A s a child with animal allergies, I loved books with animal main characters. This may seem counterintuitive, but I think that, having no pets of my own,
I jumped at the chance to spend time with animals in one of the only ways I could—through my imagination. Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows,
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Redwall, Stuart Little . . . these books entranced me.
Like the anthropomorphized animals in the stories I loved, I was little and vulnerable and a part of a wider world that was mostly a mystery to me. I was also very shy and easily frightened. And yet, in my fictional animal friends, I saw how someone small and fragile could, step by challenging and treacherous step, become stronger and braver—and forge the best of friendships along the way.
In 2014, I moved to the East Coast after more than fifteen years away. That October, autumn unfolded before me like a dream. I drank it in. I couldn’t watch its reds and oranges and yellows long enough, couldn’t walk among the crispy crunching leaves far enough, couldn’t observe its constant changes fast enough.
I jotted down observations. A neighborhood cat silhouetted among the yellow leaves. A fox curled up in the sun, its muzzle tucked under its auburn tail. Deer stepping delicately among the trees, going still at every sound. It was a glorious surge of beauty and over too soon, like the last few dancing flickers of a fire before dying.
As the fallen leaves gave way to winter’s frost, which in turn gave way to the snowdrops of spring, a story grew in me. A story of the fall, the forest, a fox, an unlikely friendship . . . and a cat named Haven. A small, homebody, cozy-loving cat. A cat who, like my childhood self, would feel even smaller when faced with the call to adventure. A cat who would somehow find the strength to do what needed to be done anyway.
I can only hope that, like I once saw myself in Wilbur, Mole, Ralph, Matthias, Stuart, and others, today’s young readers will see themselves—and their ability to become bolder and stronger and braver and truer—in Haven.