Or Blwyddyn Newydd Dda for any Welsh readers out there who may be looking at my Blog. But, that may just be wishful thinking.
For my first post of the new year I thought I would share with you a little bit about my children's novel, which is now finished.
GRID OF LIGHT is approximately 48,000-words, and a time-slip fantasy targeted at the 9-12 age group. It is the first in a series of books featuring the same characters and quest. It explores the themes that however bad things get if you are loyal to your friends and have courage, things will improve. Four friends conflict between right and wrong and through sheer determination succeed in their quest. Each character has his or her, own set of problems to overcome.
Jake, the main protagonist, has to come to terms with the horrific death of his father and the fact his mum blames him for his dad’s accident. The barrier between them is accentuated by Jake’s craving for the thrills of danger sports like his dad. His elder sister, Katrine, has taken on a motherly role.
Billy has asthma triggered by stress and overprotective parents. He is overweight and a victim of bullying. Phoenix is the eldest son in a long line of boys and has to decide where his loyalties lie: with his friends or protecting his own back by siding with the bullies. Appearances are very important to him. His dad is an alcoholic and constantly out of work, which is a source of embarrassment to him. Jasmine is dyslexic. She is the twin sister of the school bully and is often thought to be one as well. Being caught putting back some of the things her brother had stolen, has not helped to relinquish this reputation.
After meeting Vivien, the clairvoyant with the fair, the four friends venture on a quest to retrieve eight crystals, which form the Grid of Light. Each crystal has its own special magic power but together they have the power to do good… or evil and ultimately they determine the fate of the Earth. They are transported into another realm where mythical creatures exist and legends are a reality. They meet Wart, the young King Arthur, who helps them on their quest and his stepsister Morgan, who is determined to stop them from succeeding in gathering the crystals, as she knows it will bring about Earth’s destruction.
Travelling back and forth in time, they take on this fast-paced, breathtaking adventure whilst confronting their insecurities and coming to terms with their family problems. At the end of the book, Jake and his mother begin to repair their relationship, Billy becomes more confident in dealing with the bullies, Jasmine is no longer thought to be a thief and has proved herself to be a loyal and trustworthy friend and Phoenix realises he has let his friends down so plans to rectify this.
GRID OF LIGHT has strong links with the Arthurian romances and British folklore. The story is historically and geographically sound, using information gathered from original sources. Knowledge of these sources will enhance the book and make it appealing to Arthurian enthusiasts. The novels fill the gaps left by Tennyson, Malory and White. However, GRID OF LIGHT is not dependent on the reader knowing anything of the myths and legends and will stand on its own as a fascinating and intriguing story.