To celebrate the publication of The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips, and also to celebrate the fact that it's almost Halloween, Giles has set up a blog tour. Today, it is my pleasure to introduce Giles, who will be talking about writing, cheese, grandmas and scary, hairy monsters...
How long did it take you to write The Fearsome Beastie?
The text took about a day to write, but it took a bit longer to iron out the creases!
When you wrote TFB, did you have an idea in your head of how you wanted the original book to look like? If so, do Gabrieles illustrations live up to your expectations?
There are a few brief descriptions of the beastie in the book, but I left it fairly vague. I think Gabriele has done a magnificent job - I love the beastie he has created.
Is there anything that was edited out of the final edition of the book i.e a page, sentence, picture etc?
I almost re-wrote the ending, as I wasn't sure if we'd gone too far with some of the images at the end of the book, but my publisher reassured me and I'm so glad we kept it as macabre as it is.
If you could have a famous grandma (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Oh, I like this question! I think it would have to be Julie Andrews (who wouldn't want Mary Poppins!?). If I could have a grandad, I'd like Bill Murray!
Any tips for aspiring authors?
Just keep believing in your work and be tenacious, it only takes one person to say yes!
Where did you get your inspiration from for The Fearsome Beastie?
My children love playing monster games, hiding under blankets and being surprised. I was also reading a lot of alternative children's books, like Tim Burton's melancholy death of Oyster Boy and stuff by Hilare Belloc.
For people who haven't read TFB, could you tell us more about it?
It is a hark back to the cautionary tales of old - a beastie ventures from his cage in search of a meal, and the children in the near-by town are at the top of his menu!
Random question...what's your favourite cheese?
It's got to be brie, although I am partial to apricot Stilton.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
Chocolate or Cake? Chocolate.
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
Reading or writing? Writing.
Red or Blue? Blue.
Sun or Rain? Rain.
Thanks Giles! You can see my review of The Fearsome Beastie here.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Friday, 14 October 2011
Hetty Feather is a Foundling Hospital girl and was given her name when she was left there as a baby by her mother. But she always longed to be called Sapphire, after her sapphire-blue eyes. When she is reunited with her mother, she hopes her new name, Sapphire Battersea, will also mean a new life! But life doesn't always go as planned...Hetty Feather (or as she prefers to be known, Sapphire Battersea) has returned. Fourteen years old and her last day at the Foundling Hospital. Soon to be pushed into the harsh, unknown, outside world, she becomes a servant for a sly old man. Hetty tries to be reunited with her mother, but things don't quite go to plan.
Follow the twists and turns of Hetty's adventure as she goes out to work as a maid for a wealthy man. She longs to be reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jem - but also finds a new sweetheart, Bertie the butcher's boy, who whisks her away from her household chores to experience the delights of the funfair!
But Hetty's life may also take a darker path. Can she cope with the trials ahead?
I found this book really depressing and it really upset me in places. I actually read another review of this book on Amazon, where a woman's nine-year-old daughter actually burst into tears whilst reading this because it was so sad, and I can almost relate to that. Happy moments in this book were non-existent.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was really interesting, the characters were great and well-developed and the plot was gripping. Love the cover too! I was actually late for school one day because I couldn't put the book down! The only flaw is that I'd start reading the book happily and when I finished I was sad and miserable, and not because it was the end of the book.
Not a very light-hearted read and not entirely believable in places. Otherwise, though, this was quite a good book. Even though the age rating is 9+ I would recommend it to 11+. I recommend this book to fans of Jacqueline Wilson and fans of the Victorian-era. 3.5/5.
Note: You can buy this book HERE.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Skye and Summer Tanberry are identical twins, and Skye loves her sister Summer more than anyone else in the world.
They do everything together, but lately Skye's been feeling like second-best - it's the story of her life.
And when her friend Alfie confesses he's fallen for Summer, not her, it hurts.
Skye wants to be her own person, but with an effortlessly cool twin, how can she?
Will Skye ever step out of Summer's shadow and find her own chance to shine?Skye and Summer are twins. They have always been extremely close, but now as they grow older Skye can feel them growing apart. Skye - wears vintage style clothes, loves History, best friend is Millie. Summer - wears anything pink and anything cool, loves Ballet, best friend is Tia. They may look the same and occasionally think the same...but they couldn't be more different. When they find a dusty old trunk in the attic, with ancient love letters and musty velvet dresses inside, Skye and Summer grow apart just a little bit more...
I've always loved Cathy and her books, ever since my best friend lent me Scarlett when I was nine. I don't know how she does it but she always manages to create a realistic story, with a sense of magic included.
Marshmallow Skye starts off on Halloween, which was spooky. That was a nice change as Cathy hasn't written a horror story before. Marshmallow Skye isn't really a horror story anyway, but it's still a lot different from her other books. It's more of a mystery, I think.
Obviously I adored this book. Who wouldn't? I really wanted to save it, but I couldn't help reading it within an hour. One of the highlights of my year is always when Cathy launches a new book - and it's always just in time for my birthday!
I treasure this book - it's.... *deep breath* Amazfantasbrillgreatgoodexcelloveawesome! Yup. That new word perfectly describes ALL of Cathy's books.
Read this. Now. You need to, your life isn't complete until you read it...
Note: You can buy this book HERE.