Friday, 15 February 2013

Guest post: Welcoming Alan S Blood


Writing books for children means that I often have the opportunity to get to know other authors and one of my favourite children's authors is Alan S Blood. I'm pleased today to be able to welcome Alan to the Burly & Grum blog to tell you a bit more about him and also his writing. His book 'Once Upon a Castle' caught my eye some months ago and I have to say that as soon as I started reading I couldn't put it down - it's an excellent read for both adults and children.
    

     The inspiration for the story came about when Alan's car broke down in Northumberland and he found himself gazing down at the white beaches below Bamburgh Castle. 'Vikings landed here' he thought to himself and imagined a longship landing with Viking warriors jumping out and storming inland. The seed of a story was born in that moment.
     'Once Upon a Castle' is set in the Second World War when twins Tom and Mary are evacuated to wild Northumbria to live with their Aunt Victoria and Uncle Leslie. They are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. It's an excellent read, well written, imaginative and full of adventure.
     Alan has also written a novel (for adults) 'Cry of the Machi- A Suffolk Murder Mystery' which incoporates Morris Men with a supernatural link to a Patagonian 'Machi' of the Mapuche Indians. He travelled a great deal in order to do the necessary research for this book and amongst his hobbies is morris dancing so he was able to draw on his experience of that. Yes, he is a man of many interests!
     Alan worked in advertising and the Civil Service before qualifying as a teacher and enjoyed a long and distinguished career in this profession. He then retired to Wales. When I say retired, I don't mean Alan then put his feet up and took it easy - far from it - he writes plays, books and poetry, he travels widely, gives talks about writing and publishing, paints, is interested in wildlife photography and generally gets up all sorts of things! At the moment he is in the middle of writing another book and I have to say I'm looking forward to reading it when it comes out.
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