Monday, 18 September 2017

Blog 100 - Brockwell the Brave and Land of Britannica

Double Book Launch of 
Brockwell the Brave and Land of Britannica

Last Saturday, the 16th of September, 2017, I was excited to have about fifty people join me to celebrate the publication of two books. The first, Brockwell the Brave, was published at the end of last year, but due to my husband being very ill, I delayed the launch. Land of Britannica is my latest book.

So what are these books about?
Well, I can tell you that they are both written for children aged 9 to 12.
They both feature dragons. 
They both are about family relationships and in both the main character becomes a hero.

Now how are they different? In a nutshell, they are both very different stories.  
Brockwell the Brave is set in Scandinavia in the Viking Era. The story revolves around a boy, Brockwell, who lives on a dragon farm. He is a gentle boy who loves spending time at the healing hut in the village. Brockwell is scared of the adult dragons he is expected to care for. This causes a lot of conflict with his father who sees Brockwell as a major disappointment. Later in the story, Brockwell's father does not return from rescuing an injured wild dragon and Brockwell must decide what he's going to do. You will have to read the rest of the story to find out what happens. But there's a magical tooth involved, the village bully, the support of a female best friend, and bravery.

In Land of Britannica, Brittney's parents have split up and she's not coping. She wants them to get back together. By way of a glowing green heart under her bed, Brittney is plunged into a magical world, the Land of Britannica, where she quickly finds out that she is the Chosen One as stated in the Book of the Kingdom. It is her destiny to save the cracked green heart that hangs in the sky. Again, I am not going to tell you what happens, except to say that this story is a tale of good versus evil. And I'll also tell you that Brittney journeys through a land where animals talk, the food is strange, there are dragons and a royal family, and she receives special clothing and powers.

So what inspired me to write these stories?
I wanted to write a book for each of my children. Last year's novel, Ride High Pineapple was dediated to my eldest daughter, Melissa. The second book I wrote I wanted to dedicate to my son, Nick. I could have written an adventure or fantasy story and he would have been happy but because I write about difference and diversity. I decided to focus on boys who do not fit the typical male stereotype, like Nick. My Nick has always ben gentle and walked to his own beat. He's never cared what others thought of him, and we have always been proud of him for this. Now I must emphasise that Nick is not a disappointment to his father like in the story. When I was writing the story, Nick was really into dragons and How to Train Your Dragon, so that gave me the idea for the setting.

Land of Britannica came in a different way. I was at Ladies Camp last year and a fellow camper asked me if I'd written a book that could help her grandchildren. They weren't coping with the parents' marriage breakup. This welled in my heart and I knew I had to write the book. I already had a story, Land of Tahlia, which I thought might work. The story ended up being torn apart, the characters names were changed, as well as the plot. The final version being Land of Britannica.

My third child's story is well underway and will be published next year You'll have to wait to see what that one is about. 

A couple of extra things about the stories:
Brockwell the Brave is a fantasy but I researched the Viking Era so the setting, food, utensils, housing, clothing etc. are all accurate. I also put in some of the Icelandic language which is the closest modern-day language to Old Norse that the Vikings spoke. The Land of Britannca is an allergory, like the Wizard of Oz, where the main character solves a real-world problem in a fantasy world. Each of the characters that Brittney rescues in the Land of Britannica are representative of the phases in the grief cycle that children go through when readjusting to their new family situation. 


In my speech I thanked my family, my friends who helped me set up and with the catering, my friend Raelene Purtill who was my MC, my fellow writers at Write Links, my editor Sally Odgers at Affordable Manuscript Assessments , and the team at Book Cover Cafe

The novels are available at many online stores, as a paperback and an ebook. See my website for more details.