Book Review: The Time Traveller and the Tiger

TitleThe Time Traveller and the Tiger

Written by: Tania Unsworth

Illustrated by: Helen Crawford-White and Laura Brett

Published by: Zephyr

The Time Traveller and the Tiger is a remarkable book about a young girl called Elsie who aspires to be a writer. She goes to stay with her Uncle John where she discovers a tiger skin in the spare room and an exotic flower in the greenhouse..

This book is different from other books in that it is cleverly written from several points of view. The first chapter is from John’s point of view of the inciting incident that sets the story in motion – when he killed the tiger which he regrets. The story continues from the future in Elsie’s point of view until she is transported back in time to 1940 India where Great Uncle John is a boy again. From that point the story is mainly Elsie’s point of view, with intermittent chapters from Mandeep’s and the tiger’s point of view, really getting into the tiger’s head with dramatic effect and in a humorous twist from Sowerby, the antagonist’s point of view and his untimely death. I enjoyed the different points of view and gaining a deeper understanding of the character’s motivations and emotional state.

I was captivated by Great Uncle’s John’s regretful decision to shoot the tiger and carried along with Elsie’s goal to prevent him making the same mistake again, changing both their futures and ultimately saving his brother’s life. Tania’s writing flows easily from scene to scene with realistic dialogue and amusing exchanges. She creates a stunning, colourful world set in India with her vivid and evocative descriptions of the animals and vegetation. These are enhanced by the truly breath taking charcoal illustrations of the Tiger scattered throughout the pages.

The Time Traveller and the Tiger touches on issues of sexism and racism as the attitudes and opinions of the time are perceptively portrayed and expertly balanced by Elsie’s views and feelings of these dated and bigoted opinions.

The timeless message of preserving our wildlife rings loud and true from every page as the plot highlights the plight of the tiger and other endangered species and gives young reader’s options at the end of the book how they can help protect their planet from such species dying out altogether. The timeless message of preserving our wildlife rings loud and true from every page.

An interview with… Anna Ellory

In the March issue of Writers’ Forum I talk to Anna Ellory about the research for her historical novel, The Puzzle Women, and how she combatted travel restrictions.

Anna explained her books always start with a character.

“My characters talk to me, often annoyingly, and once I have their voice firmly planted in my head I can find their time and place in history. The story develops from there as a collusion between history and voice.”

Anna Ellory

She first encountered her character Rune, whilst she was editing her first novel The Rabbit Girls. At that time, he was a small boy, younger than when we meet him in the THEN sections of The Puzzle Women, he had a story to tell and Anna was listening. It wasn’t until Lotte found her too that the book made some sense and she knew she was on to something. Lotte was cheerful and unaffected by the abuse their mother endures, she was protected and lived within her own bubble.

It took Anna many full drafts before she realised Lotte had Down’s Syndrome. Anna revealed Lotte had hid this from her and she wrote her entire character without this knowledge – she was her full complete person, before the ‘label’ of Down’s Syndrome and Anna hopes this comes through in the book. The Down’s Syndrome does not in any way define who she is or what she has to say.

Anna used to be a children’s nurse and has worked professionally with children and young people with Down’s Syndrome during her career. She was able to draw on this experience as part of her research. She had also read a number of novels that feature a character who has Down’s Syndrome including children’s literature and YA books. Many adult novels feature Down’s Syndrome as THE character, a mother who gives birth to a child who has this diagnosis and the journey they go on thereafter. Anna did not want that to feature in her book.

Lotte is her own person, offered love and support and a great deal of time and space by Rune and Mama to be able to be very independent. Anna told me:

“I think a great deal of literature out there is highly negative of Down’s Syndrome and with screening and abortion options available now, it is important to understand the power of language we offer women at the time of diagnosis and, I hope, seeing fictional characters offers an alternative way to imagine a child who has Down’s Syndrome rather than the leaflets which list possible ‘health complications.’”

Anna Ellory

The Puzzle Women is also about domestic abuse, but seen from the child’s perspective. Anna explained that everything the children in her novel witness has been done to a woman, many women, maybe even a woman who lives next door. Anna felt it needed to be treated with the sincerity of refined and clear research so readers were not jolted away from the story by the uncertainty of facts. Anna wanted her research to be accurate and then to fade into the background so the characters could take the stage.

It is set in Berlin during the cold war. There is a theme of survival, of fragmented knowledge and of overcoming trauma that is still relevant now as much as it was during the cold war. As part of her research Anna watched many German movies, including The Lives of Others, Goodbye Lenin and Barbara, staring Nina Hoss. She found that a national trauma can be translated into art, informing and inspiring further creativity too.

At the time Anna was living on benefits, a full-time single mother with a part-time job that made almost nothing. She had no ability to go to Berlin, to see these places. She had a small child and a house she could barely afford, relying on food parcels from family and friends to keep us going over many months. Anna told me:

“I think it’s a luxury to be able to travel and now due to the coronavirus, there is a universality to restricted movements. I made do with what I did have and used all the information available.”

Anna Ellory

Anna’s research consisted of speaking – via google translate to many people at libraries and museums in Berlin for the small details she wanted to know. She also used her local library. She found maps and old documents which she used google translate to read. She used trip advisor for places she would have loved to have gone to, but couldn’t. A one-star review of Teufelsberg gave her the noise of what it must be like on the roof of the old listening tower in Berlin where Rune sits and contemplates his future.

And many documentaries, YouTube videos, books and art allowed her the insight into a world of Berlin, torn apart by a wall, that she had no access to. Anna highly recommends not writing a book set during a turbulent time in history, where street names are changed regularly, before technology and in a completely different language to your own as it was a real challenge. There are easier ways but Anna just didn’t have access to them.

“I wanted to offer the truth to the history I was re-creating in my novel. I wanted it to be as close to real as I could possibly make it, because I wanted the reality of the characters’ lives to become real to the reader.”

Anna Ellory

Anna explained that being very clear on what you want from your research enables you to fill in the blanks when you reach them. But not just ‘what does it look like?’ but ‘what aspects of this would my characters see?’ Each character would see the same building completely differently. To some the Berlin Wall was a monstrosity, to others it was a blank canvas. Knowing who is walking around your world enables the world to be rich in the eyes of your characters and therefore the readers too. 

You can discover more about Anna Ellory on her website: www.annaellory.com and follow her on twitter @AnnaEllory

To read the complete feature you can purchase a copy of #230 Mar 2021 Writers’ Forum by ordering online from Select Magazines.

To read my future Research Secrets or Writing 4 Children interviews you can invest in a subscription from the Writers’ Forum website, or download Writers’ Forum to your iOS or Android device.

Book Review: The Wild Way Home

Title: The Wild Way Home

Written by: Sophie Kirtley

Illustrated by: Ben Mantle

Published by: Bloomsbury

The Wild Way Home is a unique book where the gender of protagonist, twelve-year old Charlie Merriam, is not revealed and is left up to the reader. The story works well with Charlie as a boy just as it does if she is a girl and to be honest I did not think her gender was relevant. However, my preference by the end of the book was to think of Charlie as a girl in that when she is whisked through time to the Stone Age and discovers Harby, he is searching for his baby sister. In contrast Charlie is running away from her baby brother.

Charlie has always wanted a baby brother but when Dara is born on her birthday and the doctors discover he has a heart defect, she is unable to deal with emotional turmoil of her brother’s life-threatening condition and sharing her special day. Her response is to run from her problems and hide in the forest where she loves to play with her friends. A place where she normally feels safe.

Written in the first person we get a deep insight into Charlie’s feelings and wave of mixed emotions at the hospital and on her adventures in the forest that used to be so familiar but has (like her family life) suddenly changed into a ‘wild’ almost unrecognisable landscape. Sophie Kirtley paints vivid descriptions of a Stone Age environment, complete with cave paintings, wolves, spirit songs, primitive tools and a strange new language.

Charlie discovers it is alright to be afraid of change and it is ok to worry about things that happen, which they are unable to control.

“Things happen, bad things sometimes and sometimes people get a bit broken…”

The story emphasises how things are easier when you don’t try to deal with them alone. In this way, The Wild Way Home carries a message of hope that together with love and support from friends and family we can get through the bad times.

A great book for PSHE sessions for discussing the different ways people react and cope with scary situations and ways we can safely manage circumstance that make them anxious.

An interview with… Michelle Robinson

This month for my Writing 4 Children slot in Writers’ Forum I talk to Michelle Robinson about her latest picture book The World Made a Rainbow, about a young girl’s experiences of being in lockdown.

I reviewed this beautiful picture book written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Emily Hamilton on the 5th of January. You can read my review here. Michelle explained to me the idea came after a hectic book week visiting schools and suddenly being told to stay at home. She couldn’t stop thinking about how they all the children must be feeling. .She has two young children of her own and found helping them stay confident and happy through these very sudden, very huge changes to our lives was extremely challenging. Michelle said:

“There have been times when I’ve found myself wanting a grown up to tell me everything’s going to be okay. The World Made a Rainbow is basically me trying to embody that grown up — calm, confident, reassuring and soothing.”

Michelle Robinson

The book is essentially the ink-and-paper version of the rainbows that appeared in windows throughout lockdown. It’s a way of showing children that behind closed doors we’re all in the same situation, and what really matters is to feel safe and loved. Michelle hopes young children will recognise their own lives and feelings within the book’s main character. Her protagonist really demonstrates all the emotions we encounter are legitimate: it’s okay to not love every minute of being stuck indoors with your nearest and dearest, and it’s okay to admit to missing more carefree times.

Michelle revealed she loves writing picture books; she loves the whole process, playing with language, curating words on a page and seeing what direction her stories will take. She never starts with a plan. She explained that she prefers to write in the morning and if something’s not working she just chuck it out and have another go until she is happy.

“Writing early in the day is like running on rocket fuel. I can achieve much more in a couple of premium hours than I can in a whole day of distractions and mind-clutter.”

Michelle Robinson

She explained problems often resolve themselves when you’re not looking directly at them. She also believes that when writing books for children you need to change the scene frequently. No one wants to stay still too long. The best books surprise and delight, take us out of our ordinary worlds and put smiles on our faces.

She also believes that the most difficult part of writing a picture book is getting published. Even as a successful author, with multiple publishers actively seeking texts there are still so many hurdles to leap. This is particularly true since the COVID-19 crisis. Texts now need a really clear message or selling point to get backed — they can’t just be ‘fun for fun’s sake’. It’s a shame. Without the odd leap of faith we’re never going to create miracles.

Great picture books have a magic somewhere you can’t quite put your finger on. It happens between the words and the pictures, and in the idea at the book’s heart. Ideas are what it’s all about. We all enjoy discovering fresh ways of looking at tried and trusted themes.

“Writing for children is a total privilege. Children are the very best humans around, and they deserve our very best work. I love knowing that I still haven’t created my best books.”

Michelle Robinson

If you’re trying to write picture books, Michelle’s tip is to try copying out the text of a few great ones into Word documents. Stripping away the art lets you focus on the skill of writing. Leave breaks for page turns, take note of how many words there are per spread, not just the overall word cunt. How does the document look compared to yours? Most picture books land on editor’s desks in this form, they never arrive fully realised. Is yours truly strong enough to make someone want to work on it for two or three years?

You can find out more about Michelle Robinson and her books on social media:

Website: www.michellerobinson.co.uk

Twitter: @micherobinson

Facebook:  @micherobinsonbooks

Instagram: @michellerobinsonbooks

YouTube: @michellerobinsonchildrensauthor

To read the complete feature you can purchase a copy of #229 Feb 2021 Writers’ Forum by ordering online from Select Magazines.

To read my future Writing 4 Children or Research Secrets interviews you can invest in a subscription from the Writers’ Forum website, or download Writers’ Forum to your iOS or Android device.

Book Review: Nina’s Amazing Gift

Title: Nina’s Amazing Gift

Written by: Maya Lunde

Illustrated by: Hans Torgen Sandnes

Published by: Wacky Bee Books

Nina’s Amazing Gift by Maya Lunde and Hans Torgen Sandnes

The Wacky Bee Buzzy Reads series were launched in 2020. They are a quick read books ideal for children to read independently.

Nina’s Amazing Gift is about a young girl whose best friend, Choco has moved away. Nina is convinced her life will never be happy again. Then a mysterious envelope arrive from Choco. It contains five strange brown beans. Meanwhile, Raymond and Nigella and their sous chefs arrive in town for a cooking competition. Nina watches the contest from high up in the branches of the cherry tree she used to climb with Choco in the town square. She has the beans Choco sent to her in her pocket. Unknown to Nina the beans are cocoa beans.

It is hard to imagine a world where people have never tasted pizza, pancakes, chips and spaghetti. When the contestants start cooking these ‘new’ foods the judges get extremely excited. Maya Lunde weaves a hilarious creative tale of how Nina discovered chocolate, which she names after her best friends and becoming a late entry into the cooking competition.

At the back of the book there are some interesting true facts about chocolate and it is revealed the original illustrations by Hans Torgen Sandnes that have been reproduced throughout Nina’s Amazing Gift were actually made with chocolate. They are currently stored in a cold basement at a secret location, safe in plastic folders. After reading this amazing fact I had to go back and study each illustration in depth to absorb the fantastic detail and use of colour. Ingenious!

There is also a recipe for chocolate brownies at the back of the book, which could be undertaken at home or as a food technology session within school.

An interview with… Aliya Whiteley

In my Research Secrets slot in February issue of Writers’ Forum Aliya Whiteley told me about her debut non-fiction book, a fascinating insight into fungi entitled, The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries from a Hidden World.

Aliya usually writes speculative fiction such as her horror short stories Fearsome Creatures from Black shuck Books (Oct 2020) and her novel Greensmith from Unsung Books, which deals with seed banks and viruses and the current global threat to diversity. (Nov 2020). She explained she had no plans to write a non-fiction book on any subject.

Her novel, The Beauty, imagines a future in which fungi and humanity combine, and since its publication in 2014 people have sometimes sent her photographs and news clippings about fungi. She has always been interested in the subject, but the way it resonated strongly with readers really struck home.

Aliya was contacted by an editor at Elliott & Thompson who had read a few of her novels and thought she might be able to bring something unusual, elements of strangeness and surprise, to a non-fiction book about fungi they had planned. This interest from an editor just gave her the push she needed.

As can be imagined fungi is a huge area of knowledge – fungi are connected to all aspects of life and death on this planet – and Aliya knew there was no way for her to approach an expert level of understanding in the time she had available for writing the book so she looked for what she could bring to the project. She started with an overview from Oxford University Press’ A Very Short Introduction To… series, and made loads of notes.

“I decided to concentrate on different angles that would allow me to concentrate on using language in a lyrical and involving way. I wanted to get readers excited so they might go and read further if they wanted to find out more.”

Aliya Whiteley

She split the information she discovered from her research into three main areas: ‘Erupt’, ‘Spread’, and ‘Decay’. ‘Erupt’ dealt with new life and new beginnings, futuristic and ongoing scientific developments, and people who have found a growing love for fungi through cooking and foraging. ‘Spread’ loosely covered all sorts of fungi from around the world. ‘Decay’ dealt with their role in death, in illness, and in dark literature. These categories really helped Aliya to get her thoughts together and turn it into a cohesive book.

Aliya revealed she found fungi in space a fascinating area of study, and the NASA website helpful. She said:

“Just searching for ‘fungi’ uncovered so many interesting articles, developments and proposals. One of my favourites involves plans to grow habitable shelters on Mars from radiation-resistant fungi.”

Aliya Whiteley

A tip for other non-fiction writers which she found useful was to take notes by hand. She explained created a better link between the vast subject of fungi and her brain, and enabled her to get a handle on some very challenging material, such as scientific or medical papers. A few days after taking those notes, she would try to describe what she had learned in her own words, just to see how well she had grasped the information and if she could do the trickier aspects of the subject justice. This enabled her to concentrate her thoughts, and also develop some confidence in them.

Aliya’s latest science fiction novel Skyward Inn published by Solaris Books is released on 16th March 2021. To find out more about Aliya and her books take a look at her website: www.aliyawhiteley.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter: @aliyawhiteley and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliyawhiteley

To read the complete feature you can purchase a copy of #229 Feb 2021 Writers’ Forum by ordering online from Select Magazines.

To read my future Research Secrets or Writing 4 Children interviews you can invest in a subscription from the Writers’ Forum website, or download Writers’ Forum to your iOS or Android device.

Book Review: October October

Title: October October

Written by: Katya Balen

Illustrated by: Angela Harding

Published by: Bloomsbury

A captivating story about a young girl coming to terms with dramatic changes to her lifestyle. Katya Balen weaves an intriguing tale of family relationships and building friendships, which tugs at the heart strings and is unforgettable.

October has been bought up by her father in the forest. She helps her father coppice the trees and views herself as part of the ‘circle of life’. She finds an abandoned baby owl, names it ‘Stig’ and takes care of it. On her eleventh birthday her estranged mother comes to see her and October climes the tallest tree in the forest to hide. Her dad follows her and falls. He is taken to the hospital and to October’s horror she has to go live with her mother in London and Stig has to go to a bird sanctuary.

Katya is an expert at creating vivid, lyrical descriptions to evoke all of the reader’s senses. I particularly enjoyed the way she uses the shape of word, the space and position of the words on the page to emphasise dramatic moments, such as when dad falls from the tree. Also, how poetry is mixed with prose to compare October’s life in the forest to life in London.

Throughout the book all conversations are echoed in October’s thoughts but we never see the actual physical speech on the page, which underscores October’s social deficiencies. It is evident that October’s communication skills are limited and she take everything very literally as she has lived her whole life alone with her father who could understand her but has never had to communicate with others.

The black and White illustrations of the owl scattered on the corner of the pages by Angela Harding depict Stig the Owl at different stages of its lifecycle. They are a beautiful additions that add depth to the story mirroring the text how life goes on and things change as they get older. We see October grow, adapt and change and learn to merge old elements of her life with the new.

October October the ideal book for prompting discussion about our environment, friendship and identity. Also, a great book for both adult and children’s book groups.

An interview with… Cliff McNish

In April 2009 I interviewed children’s novelist, Cliff McNish, about his love of research and how he believes it is essential for writing fantasy novels.

Cliff told me he loves research because it can spin stories in utterly new directions. He believes research is truly the ultimate lateral-thinking tool. He explained as writers we mostly tend to find our thoughts tethered to more or less the same highly travelled and well-worn themes, plots and characters, but research can shatter that dismaying truth.

For example, in his ghost story, Breathe, he needed to know what the average early 19th century rural English family ate. Whilst searching online he found some information about rural poverty in the 1820’s and how families in that era routinely saved one fifth of their wages purely to pay for funerals. This fact influenced the direction of his ghost story.     

“The big problem for fantasy writers is that as soon as you depart from the real world readers forever teeter on the edge of disbelieving your creation. Fantasy writers have a whole host of techniques to make our made-up things feel authentic and believable, but good research is probably the main one.”

Cliff McNish

For example, in The Wizard’s Promise he sent gangs of children to modern Tokyo. The children can fly and create spells, and terrorize the magic-less adults but was grounded in the reality of the urban city. To ensure this Cliff checked the street layout, the tallest buildings, other landmarks and even the food.

He explained that fantasy authors and readers have an immense hunger for details that are or at least feel real.

“It’s part of the fantasy author’s contract with his/her audience, really – I’ll make things up, but dear reader you will understand the rules, and I’ll keep them consistent, and when I do refer to real world facts I’ll have done my research, the information will be reliable, depend on it.”

Cliff McNish

In his novel Silver World there is an alien attack starting in frozen Antarctic waters.  To make it feel authentic Cliff checked which islands/ice floes the attacking creature would reach first and what animals and species of birds lived on them. This research personalized the story and gave him focus.

He discovered albatrosses live in those seas and they fly faster than any other bird over great distances. He then put himself in the position of those albatross and imagined he knew what was coming: death, unless they could outfly it. Cliff revealed he ended up becoming very absorbed in the lives of these birds, but the spark for the scene was research.

“Facts become emotions in the end, if they’re dwelled on for long enough by an active imagination. And research + imagination = creativity.”

Cliff McNish

Cliff’s teenage moral drama Angel, has non-religious guardian angels beating their wings across the skies. Research into angel ‘sightings’ showed one of the most commonly held beliefs amongst Angelologists is that when they visit us our guardian angel leaves as a calling card one of its feathers. Cliff decided that for his novel even after an angel dies (in his novel they are mortal), the feathers outlast them a little, and can still provide comfort for a short time to someone who needs it. Without research, he would never have thought of that.     

For his novel, Savannah Grey, he created a creature that arrived on our world three billion years ago. It was a predator and was seeking to hit the apex of the food chain to become the dominant animal, the ne plus ultra. He decided nature should battle this creature throughout time, which has meant a lot of evolutionary research. Not only to discover what natural enemies this creature would come across (starting with single-celled organisms), but what order those species would arrive in, when the first plants come to light, the first backboned fish, the first telescopic eyes.

In contrast his heroine has to a throat weapon and extraordinary eye-sight. To find out how throat consultants and optical technicians would investigate such aspects he interviewed hospital specialists in those fields . The result was a dark fantasy novel, for which the bedrock of the research makes it feel real.

To find out more about Cliff McNish and his books look at his website: www.cliffmcnish.com

To read the complete feature you can purchase a copy of #91 Apr 2009 Writers’ Forum by ordering online from Select Magazines.

To read my future Research Secrets or Writing 4 Children interviews you can invest in a subscription from the Writers’ Forum website, or download Writers’ Forum to your iOS or Android device.

Book Review: The Space Train

Title: The Space Train

Written by: Maudie Powell-Tuck

Illustrated by: Karl James Mountford

Published by: Little Tiger Press

The Space Train by Maudie Powell-Tuck and Karl James Mountford

A great book for sparking the imagination and fostering a sense of curiosity about space. Jakob lives on the edge of the galaxy on a space station. One day he finds a broken down, old space train and with the help of his Granny and a robot chicken called Derek, sets about fixing it so they can explore the universe. Toolbot, the grumpy robot, adds a touch of comedy with his lazy, reluctant to help attitude.  

The illustrations are full-spread bright red and oranges with fascinating detail to give the picture book a futuristic feel. It is advertised as having lift-the-flap technology and peep through holes to reveal the workings of the space train but unfortunately my copy did not have these features. I suspect they are only in the hardback.

Scattered throughout the book is a column to the right of the double page spread which is Jakob’s log where he explains interesting facts about eh space station, his hopes for what he might discover when the space train is fixed and tells the reader a little about the new worlds and moons he visits in the space train. Although, we do not actually see them visiting these worlds in the story.

This would be the perfect gift for highlighting the adventures children can have with their grandparents and I particularly like the way if is Granny who is helping him with the fixing.

An interview with… Jackie Marchant

In the March 2018 issue of Writers’ Forum, I interviewed Jackie Marchant about her Dougal Daley series and how it was revived from the dead. Jackie told me her inspiring story of how the books were given an incredible face lift by changing the name of the main character and using a new illustrator, after meeting Louise Jordan at the London Book Fair. 

Jackie explained the idea to write for children came by accident, after her son asked a question about writing a will, which left her wondering – why would a boy need to write a will?  Who would he leave his possessions to and why?  Later, while standing knee deep in his messy bedroom, the following words popped into Jackie’s head –  To my mother I leave the mess in my bedroom, to put into bin liners and throw out of the window – I know that has always been her greatest wish.  That is how Dougal Daley was born – and those words are in the first book.

Her idea and first draft got her an agent and a two-book deal with a major publisher.  This was all hugely exciting. The original Dougal did not have the surname Daley.  He was called Dougal Trump.  The author on the cover was D. Trump.   Her first published book was called I’m Dougal Trump – it’s NOT my Fault!  This was before a certain other D. Trump became quite so well known. 

“I was unsure about doing school visits and my publisher thought it would be a great idea to make out that Dougal was the author of the books himself.  His name would go on the cover rather than mine, but I wouldn’t have to face the angst of standing before a bunch of kids to explain myself (honestly couldn’t think of anything more terrifying).  So, the series was launched and all was well.”

Jackie Marchant

Then disaster struck.  She lost my wonderful editor, who went freelance, her editor’s boss, who loved Dougal, her publicist, the marketing person and most of ‘team Dougal.’  At the same time, Book Two was coming out, with fewer pre-orders than Book One and Book Three was turned down. 

“I can’t say for sure this is why Book Three was turned down and the series killed, but I have heard that this is not unusual.  And I know a few authors who have had the same thing happen to them. It’s horrible.  It makes you feel as though you’ve failed as a writer. That nagging doubt that your agent and publisher were deluded in taking you on comes and whacks you where it hurts most – in your author’s already fragile self-esteem.” 

Jackie Marchant

Jackie revealed to me she felt like a failure. Then she went to the London Book Fair.  That is where she stumbled across Wacky Bee Books. After talking to Louise Jordan, founder and owner of Wacky Bee, Louise ordered the first book of the Dougal Trump series online.  A few days later, she contacted Jackie to say she loved it and would like to publish all three books with new titles.

“Things are looking up and I feel like a proper author again.  I hope my perseverance inspires others not to give up hope.”

Jackie Marchant

You can read a review of Jackie Marchant’s third book in this series, Dougal Daley II’m Phonomenal, on my blog here.

Find out more about Jackie Marchant and the Dougal Daley books on her website: www.jackiemarchant.com and on Twitter: @JMarchantAuthor

You can read the complete interview in the #197 March 2018 issue of Writers Forum.