Friday, 19 September 2014

Counting conkers

I loved this time of year as a child and still do.
The leaves turning, the conkers and the conker fights (before the days where they were banned from the school playground! - though to be fair I still sport a small scar on my upper lip where one struck!)
Like my character Aisha who uses conkers to try mark the days passing as she hides out in an ancient city wood... I've been counting the days till 'Red Leaves' is published on 25th September.

'Red Leaves' is a very autumnal book. I love the feeling of the nights drawing in and looking forward to all the festivals of light. At this time of year it seems that we are all searching to celebrate light... often (though depending on the waxing and waning of the moon) Harvest festival, Durga Puja, Rosh HashanahDiwali, Eid, November 5th and Halloween fall around the same time. Up and down this country the skies are filled with spectacular displays of light... their message of hope and celebration need no translation.

Here's a peek at my characters Aisha, Zak and Iona standing together in 'Home Wood'  united under the same sky.

'Boom boom boom, came the hollow sounds above their heads. They ran outside to see the sky blasted by fountains of light splashing rainbow colours across the night and cascading back down to earth. There were the deep rumbles and then the sprinkling showers raining down on them in white, blue and pink..Zak and Aisha were transfixed as they stood in the middle of the wood, holding their breath. Iona studied their expressions.She had always loved to see people's faces transformed by fireworks, to watch all their worries ebb away. Even the oldest most cynical face relaxed into a child like glow of wonder before these displays.'

Page 293 - 'Red Leaves' Published by Macmillam Children's Books on 25th September. 

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