The Saturday Spectacular
with Guest Author
Caution: Witch in Progress
Book Genre: Children’s humorous fantasy
Publish date: 28/02/2013 Publisher: Ghostly Publishing
Gertie Grimthorpe is born into a society of witches and grows up in Vile Vale, but there is something very wrong with her... she is beautiful and couldn't be nasty if she tried. When she finds out that she is to attend a private academy for magical children, Gertie hopes to find her witchy way in the world. With a moat monster suffering from stomach ache, a short-sighted owl familiar and mishaps galore, Gertie's adventures are hilarious and heartwarming. Join Gertie as she struggles with growing up (and longing to grow her first wart), learning magic and working out how to deal with a grumpy enchanted umbrella, named Bat.
"What a wonderful read this book is! Fun and laughter from beginning to end. Are we getting anymore 'Gertie' books? Can't wait!" - Amazon Review
http://tinyurl.com/alyp7fo Caution Book UK
http://tinyurl.com/a884xfq Caution kindle UK
http://tinyurl.com/ajfwfrh Caution Book USA
http://tinyurl.com/ahd9lkd Caution Kindle USA
I live in the north west of England and work as a data analyst for one of the local Health Authorities. I have been a prolific reader all my life, and for many years have spent the majority of my free time writing. As well as being educated up to degree level, I have completed courses and received diplomas from ‘The Writing School Ltd’ and ‘The Academy of Children’s Writers’.
My aim in life has always been to write, and I have had a sideline of freelance writing for more years than I like to admit to having lived. This has mainly involved published articles in such magazines as ‘Prediction’. I have also completed two children’s novels, ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’ and ‘Zac’s Destiny.’
‘Caution: Witch in Progress' was published by Ghostly Publishing in 2013 and launched at Earls Court Book Fair. It is available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon worldwide. I am currently working on a very different children’s humorous fantasy, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’, and a fantasy novel for young adults titled ‘Dimensions’.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/Lynne.North.Author Facebook page
Caution: Witch in Progress
Gertie stared hard at the umbrella. ‘Right,’ she said, pondering, her finger in her mouth. After some time, she summoned up every ounce of her concentration. She pointed intently at the umbrella handle, and began her spell.
‘Come to life and be my friend,
Talk to me, so I don’t have to pretend.’
Well, she wasn’t used to making spells yet. This was her first try at thinking up a rhyme herself. Nevertheless, though Gertie tried very hard to believe, nothing happened. She concentrated even harder, and tried again. She had no reason to wonder why it shouldn’t work, so she believed with all her heart. This time, she felt sure she saw the bat’s little nose quiver. Encouraged by this, Gertie tried again. She wasn’t one to give up easily.
‘A…a…Atishooooooooo!’ sneezed the bat’s head. ‘Gor Blimey,’ he continued, ‘I’ve got a blinking cold. No wonder mind, being out in all weathers. How would you like it? Being upside down with cold water pouring down your ears? Never think of me do you? Oh no, you don’t take me out on nice sunny days do you?’
Gertie tried to reply, but didn’t get a chance.
‘No,’ the umbrella continued. ‘I only see light of day when it’s pouring rain. What a life. Don’t interrupt,’ he added, as Gertie tried to speak. ‘At last, I can have my say, and no one is going to stop me. I HATE rain, do you hear me? I hate it. Why I was put on this Earth to be an umbrella I don’t know. I must have done something really evil in a past life to deserve this, that’s all I can say.’
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all he could say. Because he continued.
‘Not only rain either. You take me out when it’s snowing too, and blowing a gale. My ears get blooming freezing. And what do I get when we arrive home for all my hard work? Cocoa? Hot chocolate? Kind words and a nice warm fire? No, a blooming good shake. That’s what I get.’
‘I’m sorry, I never thought,’ said Gertie in a small, ashamed, voice.
‘No. No one ever does. After all, I’m only a blooming umbrella. ONLY an umbrella! But what would you do without me, eh? YOU’D get soaked. See if you would like that. And do you hear me complain? No, you don’t. Why? Because we umbrellas blooming well can’t, that’s why! Well, believe me, things are going to be very different from now on. Mark my words. Hey, what are you doing? Put me down. Hey. Where are we going?’
Gertie had reached the wardrobe by now, and carefully stood the umbrella in the corner.
‘HEY!’ the umbrella’s head exclaimed more loudly. ‘IT’S DARK IN HERE YOU KNOW. THAT’S SOMETHING ELSE I DON’T …like.’
The last word came out muffled, as the wardrobe door was closed firmly. Gertie went off to tell her mother she didn’t think she would be using the animation spell again.
The umbrella bat continued to bemoan the fate of umbrella-kind from the back of the wardrobe.
What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
I believe that I found my niche in writing children’s fantasy mainly because I never quite left my first childhood. The stories I grew up with, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton, Fairy Tales, have always stayed with me as exciting books that are to be enjoyed in the knowledge that nothing scary or upsetting is going to creep up on me. They are adventurous, interesting, and safe. Because of this, I think my mind has always been set up to write in the same vein. When I first discovered fantasy in the form of ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, Terry Brooks ‘Shannara’ series and my favourite humorous fantasy writer, Terry Pratchett, then my chosen genre in life was obvious. So, the genre chose me just as much as I chose it. I write children’s fantasy, mainly humorous, because that is what I love to read. I believe I always will.
Are there any other genres you’ve written?
I am actually in the process of writing a compilation of thirteen macabre Twist in the Tale short stories that I intend to release just on kindle. This is partly to make my mind take on different themes to prove to myself, and readers, that I can! I also find that taking little breaks from my fantasy writing can help to stave off any possible writer’s blocks. Writing something else for a while gives my mind a rest, then the next part of my fantasy story becomes clear to me, as if by magic!
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
Yes. I am in the process of writing my third children’s fantasy novel. The second, a sword and sorcery children’s book, is already with my publisher for consideration. My third novel is a return to children’s humorous fantasy but on a very different theme. The hero of my tale is a leprechaun named Finn. Finn finds his idyllic life nothing short of boring, but since he missed being blessed by the Good Luck Fairy as most leprechauns are, Finn finds that his wishes for change throw him into an adventure that is not quite as he hoped...He finds himself far away from home with the help of only the strangest characters to help him survive and perhaps make his way back to his village. ”Be Careful What You Wish For” is now in its final draft.
Who is/are your all-time favourite author/s?
My all time favourite author is Terry Pratchett. What a writer. Terry has a way of making the simplest things so very funny. I have never read one of Terry’s books that has left me disappointed. For ‘serious’ fantasy my top author is Terry Brooks. I was fortunate enough to meet Terry once at a book signing. His fantasy books always leave me wanting more-the sign of a great author. I also enjoy reading children’s fantasy, and my favourite author in this field is Joseph Delaney, though there are many others I like such as J.K. Rowling, F.E.Higgins, Angie Sage and Christopher Paolini, to name but a few.
Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?
The story definitely comes first. During the writing, something happens that inspires a title in my mind. This might be an event, or something a character does. Even the way my main character progresses. Before I have completed the book, the title is clear in my mind and seldom changes from the point where it comes to me and is jotted down.
Do you have a day job, other than writing – if so can you share?
Unfortunately I do! There is nothing I would like better than to dedicate myself to my writing and its promotion. Promotion takes up a vast amount of writing time. I sometimes find it very difficult to get on with my next book because I am spending so long promoting the current one. Until I can make a living out of writing however, the day job must continue. I work as a Data Analyst for a local Health Authority, therefore my days are spent on computer producing facts and figures. This is a far cry from the fantasy I love to write, but it pays the bills!
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
Both actually. I like to have a good part of the story clear in my mind before I begin to write. Indeed, I sometimes write the end quite early on in the first draft. I aim for a clear beginning, middle and end, but what comes in between is a bit of a free-for-all. The story develops itself, with the characters sometimes taking me on paths that I have made no plans for. I enjoy writing this way, as I think it keeps my work sharp and varied. Some of the things that happen in my tales are even a surprise to me...
Which type of book do you prefer to read?
d. Non – I listen to audiobooks!
Paperbacks all the time, with hardbacks a close second but they can be a bit heavy to sit and comfortably read. I know ebooks are the way forward, but to me there is nothing like the look, feel and smell of a new book. I look after them as precious items, and hate to see anyone bending the covers back to back! It really goes through me. I don’t even own a kindle at the present time, but I will probably be investing in a tablet soon so I will be likely to add a kindle app then.
Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?
I am very lucky that my publisher was happy to let me have a lot of input into my cover. We went through several tries to get the right theme, then several more to tweak the chosen idea to be perfect. We wanted a book that at a glance introduces itself as humorous, but without giving too much away. I think we achieved that. Do you?
What is the very best thing about writing for you?
I enjoy the escapism of writing, especially fantasy. Fantasy comes from within, the world, characters, rules, creatures and laws are in the control of the writer. No one can say that my logic is incorrect, because this is a world I have created. I love to see my world develop, and the characters begin to take on their own characteristics as they stride across my land. I guess the best thing about writing to me is the creation of other realities.
What is your favourite genre to read at the moment?
My favourite genre to read has always been fantasy, since first discovering fantasy in my teens. That doesn’t mean I don’t read other genres, because I do, but my greatest enjoyment always reverts back to settling down with a new fantasy book written by one of my favourite authors.
How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
Definitely not as long as I would like to. As I work full time I’m lucky to get two or three hours a day to write on week days, but of course with more at weekends. If I could give up the day job, I could happily dedicate most of my day to writing, with a little time put aside to eat or sleep, I suppose...
Are you a:
a. Laptop Writer
b. Desktop Writer
c. iPad Writer
d. Pen and Paper Writer
Desktop, and pen and paper! Not necessarily in that order... I tend to write my chapters in freehand using pen and paper in the first instance. This is the easiest way for me to simply throw my ideas down as they flow, with little regard for writing rules. Once the chapter is complete to my liking, I then head for my computer where the chapter is typed up, corrected, punctuated and becomes legible! A lot of changes take place at this point, but my original ideas are all there. This is the way I have always found easiest to write. It means that by the time my book hits my computer, it is on its second draft already!
If you had a choice – a dream come true - which would be your preference: Your books serialised - a weekly show or made into movies?
That’s a hard one, because all would be great, I think however that my choice would be the movie. I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than seeing the characters that have walked across my life, walk across a great screen for everyone to see. I think it must be an author’s dream come true to see that happen. It would certainly be mine.
Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your novel?
‘Caution: Witch In Progress’ has had some great reviews, many of which are available to read on my website and on Amazon. Aimed mainly at children between the ages of around eight years of age to young teens, I also find that many adults respond well to the humour in my books. I have a habit of turning the expected and the usual on its head, and it seems to work well in my stories. In ‘Caution’ you will find great characters, a good story that flows, gentle humour throughout, but unpredictability about what the outcome will be. I defy anyone to guess the way all the loose ends will be tied up at the end, before they reach it.
Many thanks for sharing Lynne!
Thanks for joining Lynne and I, with her awesome kid's book! I will certainly be adding this to my TBR list asap and I do hope that you've enjoyed today's feature.
I'm back tomorrow with a Book Blog Tour, see you then if you have time.