Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: Bone Jack by Sara Crowe

Sara Crowe’s debut YA novel, Bone Jack, is one I have been eagerly awaiting for some time, and suffice to say it’s lived up to everything I was hoping for.

The book opens with Ash, out running in the mountains, training for the annual Stag Chase where he has the honour of being the Stag Boy – an honour that his soldier father himself bore in his time.

But all is not well. Ash’s father returns, shattered by the experience of war, casting a dark cloud over Ash and his feelings about the Stag Chase. But worse, strange things are stirring in the mountains – ghostly apparitions and strange happenings that cannot have an Earthly explanation – for the land is ailing, ravaged by sickness and drought, and the Old Ways are resurfacing, seeking blood.

This is an amazing debut. The powerful evocative writing brings the landscape to life in a way that can only be achieved by a writer who has a real connection with the countryside and history around them. Sara Crowe weaves a magical tale that moved me on many different levels. This was a book that compelled me to read it in one sitting and left me aching for more. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Sara Crowe is a writer to watch.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Literally Sand!

Who would have thought that I would find myself taking part in an author event at Sand Sculpture Festival, but last weekend that is exactly what happened.

Sandsculpture is a feature of many seaside towns and in Weymouth, Dorset the sand is particularly fine and the sculptures of an exceptionally high standard. There have been sandsculptures on Weymouth beach since the 1920s but four years ago the sculptures were brought together under one roof to form the sand sculpture park that is Sandworld.

This year Sandworld’s sculptures are themed around books and authors, and the sand artists have been working hard to bring your favourite characters to life – from Moby Dick to Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dickens rubbing shoulders with Tolkien – but this stunning Warhorse sculpture has to be my favourite. Who cannot feel moved by the tenderness shown between horse and boy?

In order to celebrate the Grand Opening of this fantastic sand sculpture festival, five local authors were invited along. Kit Berry cut the ribbon and declared us open and we took turns giving readings to spellbound audiences.

We were given out own special authors area where we set up our books while the sandworld staff kept us supplied with coffee and burgers. In fact I can speak for us all if I say that we had a really lovely day. But enough words. I’ll let the following pictures speak for me.

The author area
Carol Hunt introduces us to the Portland Mermaid
The five local authors, Myself, Carol Hunt, Kit Berry, Kathy Sharpe and Laura James
A young fan asks Kit Berry to sign her book
Moby Dick - note how the waves form the pages of a book!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Meet My Muse

This is Mimsy.

Whenever I settle down to write it isn’t long before she appears beside me, looking up at me and miaowing. Then she jumps up and settles down to sleep on my knee. So I sit and write while my furry black and white knee warmer snoozes.

So is it any surprise that I’m putting her into a story?