Friday, 22 March 2019

Where The River Runs Gold

Receiving a proof copy of a story born in the wild, meandering paths of your imagination never loses its magic. I'm so looking forward to introducing readers to the 'brave and true' Shifa and Themba and their family. 

The knitted bee below was a birthday present from my lovely friend Sarah and is just the sort of thing that Shifa would make because in the lands in which she lives the bees appear to have flown our world. 

Where The River Runs Gold is published by Orion Children's Books and is to be published on 11th July 2011.

Here's a snippet...

Reading through the proof I’ve been thinking about the process of writing and the winding paths of life, time and art and loved landscapes, all central themes in this story set in the mythical Kairos Lands.. in Kairos Time regenerative possibilities still remain open...

Dr Ryad Alsous  world renowned bee keeper and refugee from Syria  whose story inspired the character of Nabil (Shifa and Themba's father) and his ancestors and to consider the very real threat to our bees.

In Where The River Runs Gold I've been exploring how we're caring for the rights of children and our environment, the rivers, forests, the bees, the urban parks… and I've been asking what thresholds present and future generations might have to breach to make governments of the world protect this planet and change the way the worlds resources and economies are organised and shared. 

In writing I have been mindful of the number of adults and children around the world (some of whom I meet at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants) who become refugees because of environmental devastation due to climate change, mismanagement of land or unwillingness to share the world's resources.

Stories sometimes wait to be born in you and into the right time. My daughter (now almost fifteen years old)  and her friends along with millions of young people  were inspired by amazing activists like Greta Thunberg to strike... to leave school to show leaders of the world the urgency of their cry. Because of generations of denial, apathy and intransigence young people are now mobilising, as my young characters Shifa and Themba must to pressurise governments to save their planet, to think of new ways of living where the world's resources are shared more equally… for in my novel as in life it is young people who pay the heaviest price…

Where The River Runs Gold begins with the cry of a baby....and this story is dedicated to my wonderful editor Sam Swinnerton's baby, Ada. I worked with Sam on my first novel 'Artichoke Hearts' (Macmillan Children's Books) and it has been a real joy and adventure to work with her again, exploring new tributaries in my storytelling journey. As we met for editorial meetings and Ada grew, I thought deeply about what sort of world she would be born into and about writing a story containing the wonders of the natural world, a time portal of regenerative possibilities and a cry for the urgent need to protect this planet.

For inquiries contact: 

If you have not heard Greta Thunberg's cry for action at the Extinction Rebellion Rally in London (April 2019) Here it is in full.

Links to things that have inspired me: