Charity Hopping Around the World
Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer
This hop couldn't come soon enough. I wanted to share one of my favorite Charity to all of you and at the same give you a chance to win an Amazing novel by Lissa Evans.
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Book Nerd Interview
Following a brief career in medicine, Lissa Evans spent five years as a producer in BBC Radio Light Entertainment. She then moved to television where her credits as producer/director include Room 101, Father Ted and The Kumars at Number 42. She has written books for both adults and children.
HORTEN’S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS – LISSA EVANS
What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?
The books I enjoyed reading most at that age involved the mingling of real life and magic - ordinary children discovering something extraordinary. I desperately wanted that possibility in my own, rather dull, life, and spent huge amounts of time just hoping and waiting for something magical to happen. (It didn’t)
I also loved funny books and I’ve since found that the books that made me laugh most as a child still make me laugh as an adult – my sense of humor obviously hasn’t changed much.
The books for children that I write now combine both these elements, so I guess you could say that the effect of my favourite stories was profound and life-long.
What made you take the plunge and start writing?
For twelve years, I worked as a comedy producer/director in radio and television, and spent a lot of time editing other people’s scripts. (Editing is an incredibly useful skill to have, because it’s all about knowing what’s important in a story, and what you can lose – and it’s about making the story flow). So I spent a lot of time helping other people to tell their stories, and I began to think that I had stories of my own that I wanted to share. This feeling got stronger and stronger, and in the end I took three months off work and started writing every day. It was a wonderful and liberating time.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside your genre?
Oddly enough (given what I’ve written above), my all-time favourite children’s book doesn’t feature magic at all. It’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerard Durrell, a very funny account of the author’s eccentric childhood. He lived on a Greek island with his peculiar family, and spent almost all of his time observing and collecting wildlife (an interest which he never lost - he ended up by becoming a zoo-keeper). I read it when I was ten, on a wet camping holiday, starting at first light and reading right through breakfast, lunch and tea and finishing by flashlight late that evening. It was my first experience of total immersion in a book.
I don’t think I can pick one single adult book as my favourite, but my favourite author is George Orwell, who wrote ground-breaking fiction and non-fiction in beautifully clear and vivid prose. ‘1984’ is still one of the most chilling novels ever written, and incredibly easy to read, and ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’ is a funny, sad, riveting account of a year spent living in poverty.
Why middle grade? What are some of the challenges of writing for this age group?
When you’re an adult, it’s often hard to remember what you were like at a particular age, but sometimes a specific incident or experience means you can pin down your memories with real accuracy. When I was ten, my family moved away from the village where I’d grown up, and re-located to a large town two hundred miles away. It was the beginning of the summer vacation and I knew no-one at all. My memories of the time are so intense that I can key into exactly how it felt to be that age – and when I started writing children’s fiction it seemed obvious to me that that would be the age group I’d be writing for.
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure, how would you introduce it?
“Small Change for Stuart” is about an ordinary boy, in an ordinary place, who discovers that his family has an extraordinary past and a lost secret.
Stuart’s 10, and small for his age, and when he moves to the dreary town of Beeton at the beginning of the summer holidays, it seems possible that he’ll die of boredom by the end of the week. Then he meets the identical triplet sisters (aged 10, tall for their age) who live next door, and things get even worse.
At which point he finds out something truly amazing about his family history, and begins a frantic quest to solve a series of clues and find his great-uncle’s lost legacy. It’s not cash, it’s not jewels, it’s a magician’s workshop – and somebody else wants to find it too, somebody who’ll let nothing get in her way…
Click >>>>HERE<<<< to Enter a wonderful world filled with magic, mystery, and danger!
Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery, and danger.
As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures.
A quirky, smart, charming page-turner, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms will enchant young readers--as well as teachers, librarians, and parents.
Lissa Evans’ Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms is a great adventure that takes readers beyond their imagination. It was a fun read and made me feel like a little kid again. Imagine that school just ended and your summer vacation is about to start, only to be informed by your parents that the family is moving. Well that was the very thing that happened to 10-year-old Stuart. Faced with this news, he can’t help but get mad at the fact that he probably will not have any friends to play with all summer long. But his next door neighbors, the Kingley triplets, properly named April, May, and June, they set off to an adventure after Stuart finds a cryptic message from his magician Uncle asking him to find his secret workshop.
Overall, this book was fun. Evans writing style is easy to follow and very descriptive. You can see, smell, and almost touch every step of Stuart’s exhilarating journey. The mystery behind the Uncle’s puzzling message was so nerve-wrecking. I desperately wanted to find out before Stuart did. The characters are very likable and with every bump on the road of their adventure, you just want to jump inside the pages and help them out. That is how much you will start to care for them. It’s a super-adventure full of magic, mystery and mayhem. I am interested to read more about the very-determined 10-year-old Stuart. Lissa Evans has reminded us that adventures are waiting for us to overtake. It just takes imagination and determination, excellent qualities that Stuart possesses.
You can purchase Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms at these following Retailers:
And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Lissa & Katie for making this giveaway possible.
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1 Winner will receive one copy of Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans.
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