Accomplished Leura author Catherine Jinks has added another string to her bow.
On August 15 she won a Children's Book Council of Australia award for the fourth time.
This time she won book of the year for A Very Unusual Pursuit, the first book in her City of Orphans trilogy, in the younger readers category for nine- to 13-year-olds.
The book also won the children's book category at the Adelaide Festival, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and has been doing particularly well in the United States, making it into the American Library Association's top 10.
A Very Unusual Pursuit is set in 19th century London where monsters (bogles) have been infesting the dark places, eating every child who gets too close. Pretty 10-year-old Birdie works for a bogler and is the bait that draws the bogles from their lairs to be killed.
Ms Jinks said readers wanted to be taken into another world, and loved reading about charming characters, and this contributed to the book's success.
"They feel like they're in Victorian England. They like that, they like a world, it's pretty pacy [the writing] and everyone loves a heroine. In this one Birdie is feisty and lovable and has got a lot of charm.
"A charming character will get you a very long way. And they [readers] want to spend loads of time with them."
Ms Jinks said she worked at writing the book "lean and mean", so it was a crisp and pacy read.
Ms Jinks is currently working on two books set in 18th century London and will visit the city later this year with her daughter Hannah after she completes her HSC. She plans to walk around the places she is writing about now, to flesh out the detail.
And when she's not at home writing or researching historical detail, she's being invited to speak at writing festivals around the country, including a book tour in the United States last year.