Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dead Wood & Possession by Mark Bandey - Book Reviews, Interview, Manuscript Critique & Cover Consult Giveaway

Reviews by Anniek

Booksie Goodreads

The Jacksons have found their new home. The parents and their two children Tom and Elle can't wait to move in. In the backyard stands a large tree. The tree was on fire, but is still standing strong. It turns out that this tree has no intention of being removed from the ground its roots are in. When you stand closer to the tree a tree house appears. Will this tree house hold the secrets of this burned tree?

Dead Wood is a short story about a witch and a murdering curse. I always love creepy stories and Dead Wood certainly gave me the chills. Your home should be your safe haven and I found the idea of that not being the case very scary. Mark Bandey knows how to create the right atmosphere to match his covers and I think he's very talented. I already have several of Mark Bandey's books waiting for me on my Kindle and I can't wait to start reading more of his stories.

Booksie Goodreads

John and Sarah aren't in a good place when it comes to their relationship. They argue a lot and Sarah is convinced that John has a drinking problem. John leaves the house and picks up his friend Gary, so he can cool off at a local bar. They were supposed to drive by another friend as well, but they never made it to his house. Unfortunately a horrific car crash ends John and Gary's life. John is confused because of the fact that nobody talks to him, but he thinks that's because they blame him for the accident. John spots Sarah at a party. He tries to get her attention, but an older lady is preventing him from getting close to her. What's going on and why is Sarah acting like she can't see him?

Possession is a gripping short story about how love conquers all boundaries. Even after John loses his life, there's no doubt in his mind that he and Sarah belong together. The way he makes himself known at their house would really freak me out and I could perfectly visualize the horror on Sarah's face. Mark Bandey has a vivid imagination that he clearly shows in his stories. I love the way his mind works and how he makes his characters come to life.

Advice

If you're looking for a creepy story that you could easily read during a short break I think both Dead Wood and Possession would be a great choice.

About Mark Bandey


Mark was born in 1963, London and moved to Norfolk, England with his parents in 1975. After finishing a four-year course in Art and Design at Great Yarmouth Art College, Mark worked for ten years as a graphic designer for various publishers. In 2001 Mark moved to Aberdeen, Scotland and spent time as a bookseller for Ottakars bookshop before a change of career in the oil industry. Reading as always been Mark's first passion and he enjoys reading general fantasy for young and old adults alike. Mark is still in the North-East of Scotland, married to Carolyn.

Links

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Amazon

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Mark, 54 but I still think like a teenager. I was originally born in London but moved to Norfolk, England with my family when I was 12 years old. In 1983, bored with the mundane some old routine of working in shops, I applied to go to Art College. I had been painting for a number of years in my spare time and felt a spell at college would help me re-focus my life and set me on a new direction. I was successful at interview and had a wonderful time and after four years graduated with a Higher Diploma in Graphic Design.

After leaving college I then spent 14 years working in various design studios in and around the counties of East Anglia. It was during this time I met my future wife, Carolyn, on a walking holiday we both attended in Norfolk. It was now July 1999. Neither of us was looking for a relationship, so it was nice that after the holiday Carolyn started to phone me. With Carolyn being from Scotland and me still in Norfolk, England we did our best to see each other whenever we could. After a year of phone calls and dashing 400 miles each way up and down the country, she accepted my proposal of marriage in 2001 and we have been living in the North-East of Scotland ever since. The graphic design industry I knew was changing at a pace that I found hard to keep up. So, after a spell working in a bookshop I moved into the oil industry where I currently work.

2) You've had several career switches. What did you like to do the most?

Actually, this answer could be split into two. I really did enjoy being a graphic designer; it was a lot of fun in the old days before computers came into the studios. You had to everything by hand, which took great skill. I also mixed with quite a diverse bunch of people and the creativity jumping around in the studios was amazing. However, with the popularity of computer people began doing their own designs at home, and the graphic work for studios started to dry up. This led me to my second job I loved, which was working in a bookshop. This time instead of mixing with visually creative people I was with those who were inspired by literature. It was during this time at the bookshop that my book buying escalated beyond the ridiculous, good old staff discount. My lust for reading also accelerated and I was becoming an avid reader in all genres.

3) The stories you've written are from various genres. Which genre comes the most natural to you?

I suppose it has to be horror and fantasy. It’s so much easier for me to think in the abstract. I can suspend reality in this realm; let my mind run free without restrictions. Basically, anything goes.

4) Do you have a favourite quote and what does it mean to you?

I want to say something deep and meaningful here, but sadly all my favourite quotes come from the movies or TV shows. The one I use a lot when things are going bad is from a British comedy show called, ‘Blackadder.’ It’s when Blackadder is asked his option on a particular piece of poetry that his man servant has written. “It started off badly, tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better.”

5) How did your writing career start?

It started in May 2017 with one story going around in my head about a library that could disappear and reappear. It was driving me nuts banged against the door in my mind like a small child wanting to go out and play. Eventually it ended up becoming my first book, ‘Curse of the Black Books’. Once I had it written down, I thought that was that. Unbeknown to me I had now opened a Pandora’s Box with idea after idea rushing out. I was possessed with words, they all got together to form sentences. These grew into chapters and needed to leave home. So, in quick succession I was wrote a number of short stories. Every piece of writing I create is my classroom, learning all the time about the craft, technically and creatively. I look to where I started to where I am now and the journey as been incredible in such a short space of time.

I have readjusted my focus on what is important to me about my writing. Initially I wanted to publish to generate an income for myself, but as an Independent author I was getting so bogged down in self-promotion that it was taking me away from my writing. So, I had a serious talk with myself and for me entertaining people with my writing and sharing it for free is more important than sales. That was when I joined the story sharing website, Booksie.com. Now I get instant feedback from readers and I can see at a glance what is popular. I am now building a community of like-minded writers around me and the whole experience with Booksie has grown my confidence as a writer. I still put a few pieces on various online retail sites, but that’s only because I like to see what it looks like through and e-reader. I really am not bothered if they sell or not. I have five stories on the go at various levels of development which I’m jumping on and off with at the moment, plus a heap of scribbled plot lines.

6) As a former graphic designer, you create stunning covers; can you tell a bit more about the selection process?

Thank you for the compliment. You ask about the selection process. I normally have a general idea of what type of image I’m after before I trawl through my image bank. This can be the longest part of the process, an image has to be simple and uncluttered. Once I’m happy with the image I play around with the typography (copy on the book cover). I lot pf people underestimate this part of the design process, but your treatment with how you display your title is what is going to attract your reader far more than the image you have chosen. With book covers bold is best with type. Not necessary bold type but how you fill the cover. I often will break the title up into parts to bring emphasis to certain words. When I’m happy with the image and the typography, I choose the colours for the type picking colours from within the image. For example, if the image is of a woman’s face and the colours are all flesh tones, look for other colours in the image. If she is wearing lipstick, chose that colour for your type.

I recommend if you are designing your covers to become familiar with colour theory and get yourself a colour wheel to remind you of the complimentary colours. E.g. red is opposite green on the colour wheel, so green is the complimentary of red and visa versa. I have a free guide on Booksie.com, here is the link: https://www.booksie.com/531560-effective-book-covers if you would like to read further. Also if you have questions please PM me on twitter @bandey_mark I’m also hoping to start a blog sometime this year with the aim to help authors with their covers. This is, as you probably gathered, a passion of mine to help writers get the best out of their covers.

7) Where do you read and where do you write?

I read absolutely anywhere I can. I have a Paperwhite Kindle in my bag at all times plus a reading app on my phone. At home there is a small room full of my books with an old sofa where I do most of my reading and writing. For me I like to engage all my senses’ when writing. I burn my favourite scenting candles; have a view looking out to the garden while listening to classic music. This is where I love to sit on my old sofa with my laptop open giving my ideas their freedom to roam.

8) What do you like to do when you're not reading or writing?

Gardening and walking, both stimulate the brain for creative thinking.

We grow all our own flowers from seed, and each year we get quite excited when we see the first green shoots throw off their earthly duvet and poke their heads out into the open. During the summer I like to walk to the end of our village at just sit and stare at, what I have called, ‘My Thinking Tree.’ I just look at it for an hour with my notebook in my lap. You would be amazed what I come back home with.

9) What makes your heart beat faster?

Running for the bus! No, seriously when an idea starts to develop into a story. When total strangers says they like what I have written, that has got to be the biggest thrill.

10. What are your plans for the future?

Towards the end of the year, I’m hoping to start a free book cover design consultancy blog helping indie authors with their covers. I don’t want it to be ‘preachy’ more of a group discussion where people bring their ideas to the forum and we discuss how to get the best covers possible for them. If folk want to use me to design their covers from scratch, I’m equally happy with that.

Manuscript critique and cover consult giveaway

Covers by Mark Bandey

One very lucky (aspiring) writer will receive a full manuscript critique from Suze and a cover consult with Mark Bandey. After reading the story Suze will give productive feedback aimed at improving the story. Mark Bandey will help by creating a cover that will match your story and genre, inspired by your own ideas. One runner up will receive a cover consult from Mark Bandey. This will be for a previously published title that could use an upgrade. This contest is for any genre.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

10k Twitter Followers Giveaway from Anniek


This week I reached the magic nummber of 10K followers on Twitter, so I'd like to take a minute to say Thank You to all of you.

I can't express what it means to me that so many people follow me and With Love for Books. Not a day goes by that I don't feel blessed and loved and that's because of you!

If you've been following me for a while now it shouldn't come as a suprirse that I'm a big fan of the horror genre. My love for scary stories actually started at the airport. When I was sixteen my mom and I went on a holiday to Spain and the evening before I watched the movie Carrie. I was dead set on getting a book by the master of horror, Stephen King, to read during our holiday, so after we checked in I couldn't get to a bookstore fast enough. While I was looking through the books that were there, Christine caught my eye immediately. I finished this book way before our holiday was over and a new fan was born.

Suze and I work hard to make With Love for Books a positive place for both our readers and the authors we feature. We both have big dreams and we're over the moon every time we reach one of our goals. Spreading the love and passion we feel when we're reading an amazing story is something that puts a smile on our faces every single day. Because of that one very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Christine by Stephen King.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Love to Hate You by Jo Watson - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Sera is a serious girl. She lives with JJ and Bruce, her surrogate dads and works hard. She has two jobs, so she can put her sister through school. She doesn't have time for men, but when she meets Ben in a club they share a passionate night on the backseat of his car. Sera doesn't normally do this, but he's gorgeous and she thinks she will never see him again afterwards anyway. She's mortified when she finds out the man is her new boss. However, things can get worse. Ben isn't only her boss he's also her new neighbor and he's clearly interested in Sera. She constantly runs into him and Ben doesn't easily give up.

Ben is exactly Sera's type and it isn't easy for her to resist him. She thinks that when he finds out the truth about her life he will run away as fast as he can, but Ben isn't easily fazed and when he's set his mind to something he won't give up. Will Ben's persuasive charm and swoonworthiness eventually convince Sera to give him a chance or will she be strong and maybe a little stupid at the same time and resist his advances?

Love to Hate You is a brilliant romantic story. I fell in love with this book from the beginning. Sera is sweet and determined. She's also quite serious, especially when it comes to doing things on her own. She doesn't easily accept help and this is both her strength and her weakness. Ben is funny and flirty, but he has hidden depths, that Sera will only discover if she agrees to spend time with him. Ben does everything in his power to convince her and his actions are hilarious. Their playful banter made me laugh out loud many times. Ben is absolutely fantastic and I kept hoping Sera would give him a chance to come closer. She could use some lightness in her life and Ben brings out the best in her and she in him. I love a story about people who are completely right for each other and everything in this book just clicks.

Jo Watson has written a terrific amusing story. Love to Hate You has the perfect feelgood factor. I can't recommend this book enough. It's entertaining, adorable, sweet, sexy and beautiful. I love a good original love story and Jo Watson managed to surprise me over and over again. Her snappy writing style is refreshing, her main characters are endearing and dazzling and her book sparkles from beginning to end.

Advice

If you love funny romantic stories you really don't want to miss Love to Hate You.

About Jo Watson


Jo Watson is the award-winning author of romantic comedies. After becoming a Wattpad sensation, with over 20 million reads on her books, she signed a three-book deal with Grand Central Publishing for her 'Destination Love' series. When she isn't writing she can be found binge watching TV series and Dr.Pimple Popper videos on YouTube. She is an obsessive collector of colorful, kitschy things that usually sparkle. Is an Adidas /// addict, total Depeche Mode devotee and travel fanatic. She currently lives in South Africa with her husband and son.

Links

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Amazon

Giveaway

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Three very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive signed paperback copies of Almost a Bride, Burning Moon and Finding You by Jo Watson.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review - Mister Hockey by Lia Riley

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Review by Suze

Breezy is Jed's biggest fan. Jed is a famous hockey player. He's captain of the Denver Hellions and has an impressive career. Breezy is a librarian, so she doesn't expect their paths will ever cross and she admires him from afar. However, Breezy's sister is a journalist and she's interviewing Jed when Breezy needs someone to fill in to read a story at her library. Jed is kind enough to do this. Now that Breezy has finally met her idol she discovers Jed is actually a very nice guy and he seems interested in her. Only Jed never dates fans, so Breezy has to make sure he'll never find out she used to dream about him long before they met. Their connection is real and that is all that matters, right?

Mister Hockey is a great sexy story. Breezy is funny, creative and sweet. Books are her biggest passion. She loves working with children and enjoys passing on the love for the stories she likes to read. In her free time she and her family are big hockey supporters and Jed is her player of choice. He's even hotter and nicer than she thought he would be, but Breezy also finds him easy to talk to and they instantly become friends. I loved their deep connection and the way they feel about each other is profound and endearing. Jed is struggling with something and being with Breezy makes his life a lot better. They are perfect for each other, they are both kindhearted and caring and I kept my fingers crossed they'd have a chance together. 

Lia Riley's writing has a nice easy flow and her main characters have fascinating personalities. That's what makes her stories stand out every time. I love stories about athletes and Jed's definitely an interesting one to read about. I like it when main characters challenge each other and Breezy is a good match for him. Mister Hockey is fun and entertaining. It's a cute story about being yourself and finding true love. I really liked this wonderful romance by Lia Riley.

Advice

If you love romantic stories about atlethes you should definitely read Mister Hockey.

The Taken, The Elders & The Mage by Inbali Iserles - Book Reviews, Interview & Giveaway

Reviews by Suze

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Isla and her brother Pirie are close. They're always together and their bond is strong. They are living close to the furless, humans, and know they should stay away from them. There are many dangers in the world, but Isla feels safe in the den with her family. This changes when she returns to their den and finds complete chaos. Her family is no longer there and Isla is on her own. There's nobody to look after her and she doesn't know what happened to her family. The only thing she does know is that her brother Pirie is alive. They share a connection and via Foxcraft, a natural gift that they aren't particularly skilled at yet, it's sometimes possible to communicate for a short moment. Isla is determined to find Pirie and starts her search.

Isla needs help if she wants to find her brother. She doesn't know enough Foxcraft to survive on her own. She meets Siffrin, a young fox who seems to be able to teach her and might be willing to help, but can he be trusted? Who's he working with and will he be able to help Isla with her search? Isla has to conquer many fears and run for her life several times to stay ahead of her enemies. The Taken are cunning and always seem to find out where she is, will she survive?

The Taken is an action-packed story about a brave and clever fox. Isla has a good heart, she's a true survivor and she's willing to learn as much as she can if it helps her to reach her goals. I immediately loved her. She's a fantastic main character and reading about her put a big smile on my face. She has spunk and spirit and that's exactly what she needs for her mission to have a chance at success. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out where the search for her brother would lead her. She meets plenty of dangers along the way and I was fascinated by her journey from beginning to end.

Inbali Iserles has created a fantastic world. I love how she gives her foxes their own words for things like the city, the highway, humans and the river. It makes her story extra fun and credible. I love stories about animals and am a big fan of foxes. I also really like stories about magic, so I immediately fell in love with the subject of Foxcraft. It's an interesting combination and it works very well. Inbali Iserles skillfully describes life seen through the eyes of a fox and I greatly admired the way she does this. The Taken is a fantastic enchanting story.

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Isla's Foxcraft skills are starting to improve. She has plenty of Maa, which is the energy and essence of all living things and necessary to be good at Foxcraft. She needs her skills, as her enemies are constantly hunting her. There are others who have lost their family as well and Isla is no longer on her own. She still wants to find Pirie and has an idea where he should be. While traveling through the forest Isla is looking for someone who can help her. She also has to stay away from the fox who enslaves others and makes them do his bidding, all would be lost if she'd fall into his hands.

Isla thinks the Elders, a group of wise foxes with exceptional Foxcraft skills, should be able to help her. She needs to find them, so she can continue her mission. They might know more about her brother's whereabouts too. Isla keeps getting hints from Pirie, but he's trying to warn her against those who have taken him at the same time. Will she be able to make the progress she so desperately needs and will she find a way to stay out of the claws of the enemy?

The Elders is a terrific story about magic, dangerous animals and friendship. I was impressed by Isla's bravery and her creativity. She always manages to rescue herself. She learns something new every single day, which is one of the reasons she manages to survive. Everything is scary, but she faces her fears and deals with them. She tries to make friends, but she doesn't know who's safe and who isn't and it isn't always easy to find out who she should and shouldn't rely on. Finding out if she'd be able to complete her mission kept me on the edge of my seat.

Inbali Iserles has written another fantastic Foxcraft story. Her world building skills are mesmerizing. I love how she can really put herself into an animal's position, which makes her story gripping and exciting. I was captivated by her vivid descriptions of every new thing Isla encounters. She describes the dangers in a suspenseful way and knows how to build tension. The Foxcraft series is an amazing mix of magic, bravery and loyalty, which is something I absolutely loved.

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Isla travels to the cold Snowlands to find her brother Pirie. Here she has to deal with wolves, that are no friends of foxes, but Isla has made a useful connection that will save her life. Isla's knowledge of Foxcraft is what keeps her out of harm's way over and over again. She's incredibly skilled at it and every time someone explains a new trick she masters it in no time. She needs to if she wants to survive and save herself and the other foxes from the Taken.

Isla has the Elders on her side, but that might not be enough to stay ahead of the fox that calls himself the Mage. The Mage enslaves other foxes. He's preparing to summon an ancient power, something that should stay dormant and shouldn't be released. The Elders need Isla's help in their fight against him, but she also should find her brother. Is there a link between both missions and will Isla eventually succeed or has her search been in vain? Will the Mage win or can he be stopped?

The Mage is another brilliant story about the beautiful brave Isla. Isla is growing up. She can stand up for herself, she's becoming smarter every day and she can take care of both herself and others. I was impressed by her progress and the way she uses her powers. Isla has learned a lot on her travels and she's a formidable fox now. This put a big smile on my face. She's a wonderful main character and I really enjoyed reading about her adventures once more.

Inbali Iserles has written such a fabulous series. The magical aspect of The Mage is amazing. I was thrilled that there are so many great scenes about this topic and I enjoyed every single one of them. Isla has to fight against a mysterious enemy and this time she has several allies. She is no longer alone and this aspect of the story is heartwarming. The overall vibe is incredible and that is something I enjoyed so much. I also loved the ending of the story, it's fitting, spectacular and moving at the same time. The Mage is a gorgeous finale of a stunning series, I highly recommend the Foxcraft books.

Advice

If you love animals and magic you don't want to miss the Foxcraft series. The books are meant for the 8-12 age category, but I find them suitable for anyone and think they can be read by every reader who enjoys fantasy. I'd advise you to read the books in their correct order if you want to understand the full story.

About Inbali Iserles


Inbali Iserles is an award-winning author and an irrepressible animal lover. She is one of the team of authors behind the New York Times bestselling SURVIVORS series, who write under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. Her first book, THE TYGRINE CAT, won the 2008 Calderdale Children's Book of the Year Award.

FOXCRAFT is Inbali's latest series. In a starred review, Kirkus found THE TAKEN (FOXCRAFT #1) "Beautifully rendered and magical." THE ELDERS (FOXCRAFT #2) is out fall 2016. Play the Foxcraft game and find out more about the series at: foxcraft.scholastic.com

Inbali lives in Cambridge, England, with her family, including her principal writing mascot, Michi, who looks like an Arctic fox and acts like a cat, but is in fact a dog.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads


Interview

1) Can you tell a bit about yourself?

I was born in Israel, which accounts for the unusual name, though I moved with my family to Cambridge, England when I was three. What anyone who knows me will tell you is that I’m a huge animal lover. I spent summers with my grandparents on a northerly Israeli kibbutz. When my granny took her siesta I would sneak out with my sister and feed stray cats. When I was 11 going on 12 I spent a striking year in Tucson, Arizona, a city surrounded by desert in western America. Tucson was alive with wild animals like snakes, coyotes and cotton tailed bunnies. It was incredible! Back home in Cambridge you were lucky to see a wood pigeon!

2) You’ve lived in different countries and like to travel, how has that influenced your writing?

Travel has influenced my writing a great deal. It has inspired locations, such as the forests and fjords of the Wildlands in Foxcraft: The Elders, which were based on Norway’s fjorlands. It was also influenced the characters in my stories. For instance, after spending time in New Zealand I became interested in local Maori culture and customs. I drew on these warrior traditions in developing wolf culture for Foxcraft: The Mage. Like the Maoris, the wolves have a strong sense of family and respect for their ancestors. There are other, more subtle ways that travel has an affect on my writing - life on the move, away from home, is far less predictable. And it is in this absence of routine - in the unexpected colours, smells and sounds - that inspiration is often found.

3) You write about animals with special powers, how did you get the idea to do that?

Foxcraft was inspired by the urban foxes who lived near my flat when I lived in London. I would see them when I walked my dog and never ceased to feel the thrill that comes with proximity to a wild animal. Foxes are a familiar sight in cities and rural settings around the world, yet they are among the most misunderstood creatures of all. Branded as villains, tricksters and cheats in folklore and children’s books, I was determined to redress the balance. Fox magic - called “foxcraft” in the series - was drawn from fox behaviour. So, for example, foxes have an incredible knack for disappearing - hence “slimmering”, a form of invisibility. They are able to squeeze into tight spots, to bend with incredible flexibility, seemingly to alter their characters - hence “wa’akkir”, the shapeshifting foxcraft, also inspired by Japanese legends.

4) What do you love the most about foxes?

Foxes are beautiful, intelligent animals - sensitive and fleet of foot, a cross between a dog and a cat. They are less aggressive than dogs and wolves and still surprisingly social. I find them utterly enchanting.

5) What’s the best thing about writing about animals?

For me, it is thrilling to see the world through the eyes of other creatures. To a human, a road is a means of getting somewhere, or a minor irritation to be crossed. To foxes it’s the deathway, a treacherous place where darting manglers with burning eyes pound over the hard earth, seeking their kill. Running on four paws, digging, playing like a fox - it’s as close as I can come to actually shapeshifting myself!

6) What does magic mean to you?

Interesting question! Magic is the possibility of something beyond our immediate reality - a gateway from the ordinary and mundane to adventure, jeopardy, excitement. It’s a parallel existence where the powerless find new capabilities, where the limits of perception, empathy and experience can be explored.

7) In what way are animals part of your everyday life?

I have always had pets. When I was growing up, I had (at various times) cats, rabbits, a guinea pig, gerbils, hamsters and fish. More recently I’ve had degus - exotic rodents that I adopted from a shelter - and my sweet writing mascot, Michi. Michi is a Japanese Spitz who looks a lot like an Arctic fox! As I write this, he is fast asleep by my feet.

8) Can you tell a bit more about the beautiful drawings in your Foxcraft books?

Thank you! I haven’t illustrated any of my stories before, but when Scholastic saw my fox doodles they asked if I would be interested in providing chapter icons and endpapers for Foxcraft (the endpapers appear in the US hardback edition). I was absolutely thrilled! The drawings represent the foxcrafts - the different types of fox magic - and the three distinct locations where the story unfolds: the Graylands (the city), the Wildlands (the countryside) and the Snowlands (the frozen wilds of the far north).

9) How do you handle the research for your animal stories?

Research is very important for me. I usually start by reading a great deal. So, with Foxcraft, I read what I could about fox behaviour (there is surprisingly little out there), and books about the fox in myth and folklore around the world. I spent a lot of time going on “fox safari” in the streets where I lived in central London, spotting our wild local residents, taking notes and photos. I was fortunate to be able to visit The Fox Project rescue centre and meet orphaned fox cubs. They were absolutely gorgeous! The staff at Fox Project had lots of fascinating insights about fox behaviour, which I drew on for the books. Finally, I had an animal expert read the books in draft form - she always pointed out if my foxes were too wolf-like, dog-like or cat-like. I was committed to keeping them as foxy as possible!

10) What are your plans for the future?

I am currently taking a break from animal fantasy to develop a very different kind of story… More on that in due course! I can’t imagine I will keep away for too long, though. I absolutely love writing about animals. I suspect that the wild will call me back soon enough!

Giveaway


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive signed paperback copies of all three books of The Foxcraft series and a Foxcraft badge, bookmark, postcard and temporary tattoo.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.