Today, I am so pleased to have an old friend join me around my pool. I have known Elsa and her wonderful OH for many years. On 5th December, Elsa’s debut children’s novel, The Magic Book is published. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to learn all about it. So please join us for a glass or two of bubbly and meet my lovely and very talented friend, Elsa.
Hi Pauline, Phew! It’s lovely to have a chance to put my feet up for a few minutes and have a natter with you beside your beautiful pool, so thank you for the invite. J
Your debut novel is released on 5th December, tell us about it
The girls come across a leather-bound notebook and pen at school, whilst looking for their lost toys. They soon discover that it’s very special and has come on an urgent mission from Serenia, a world parallel to Earth and home to the fairies. When Serenia flourishes, Earth flourishes, if Serenia were to fall, Earth will fall too - and the unthinkable is happening!
It’s a race against time as Sophie and Felicity learn that they are our last hope in the race to out-wit The Wicked One, who has wicked plans of her own!
What age group is your book aimed at?
I asked the experts this question - Sophie and Felicity! They felt a rough guide would be from four to 10 years old, and I agree. I’ve tried to use some quite advanced words in places, so it’s a book that will need to be read to most younger children, but will give the older or more confident readers a little more to get their teeth into. I made the conscious decision to do this as it gave me a chance to broaden my own children’s vocabulary, in a fun way.
What inspired you to write a children’s book?
It was my mum, who wrote and illustrated a story for me to cheer me up, when my hamster escaped.
Sophie and Felicity were struggling to settle into school life, despite the efforts of their brilliant and caring teachers at their infant school. I thought if I wrote a story around their school, including their favourite toys, fairies, and teacher (thank you Mrs Vincent!) it might help them see school in a different light.
The first chapter was a hit! It also seemed to have the desired effect - partly because I promised to write another chapter while they were there!
There are lots of beautiful graphics in the book, did you do these?
Yes, there is about 40 of them, but I can’t take the credit; my mother, Margaret Alford, is the artist. She used to make miniatures for dolls houses - the collectable ones for adults, so all to scale and all hand modelled and painted. She has very kindly returned to her first love - drawing, and agreed to illustrate my books for me - I’m very lucky to have such a talent in the family!
Where can your book be bought?
Presently, it’s available as an ebook at all the main ebook retailers such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kimble and can be read on any electronic device with the appropriate reading apps. I’m in the process of reformatting it for Amazon so you should find it there too within the next week or so - with a little help from my brother, Glenn, my ‘go-to IT man’ I’ll be keeping my Facebook and web pages up to date with the latest news. J
I plan to have hard copies available in the New Year and a copy is with a printers for a quote - so I’m eagerly awaiting their reply right now - I’m very excited!
Is there another book in the pipeline?
Oh yes! I’ve written two more in the series, both have been meticulously edited by the lovely Coralie Medcalf, as she did for this first one. Margaret is working on the illustrations as we ‘speak’ so I’m hoping we’ll have those ready early next year too. I’ll be releasing these two together as they follow on nicely from each other, although all can be enjoyed separately.
I’ve just started on the fourth - and the girls have been pleading with me to read it to them - so far I’m managing to hold out!
Tell us a little about yourself.
For some reason this is the sort of question that seems to bring on writers block! I’ll try and write it so it doesn’t sound like a C.V.!
Well, I have to start by saying I’m happily married to my wonderfully supportive husband, Barry. Together we have two beautiful twin girls who are of course the stars in The Magic Book series. I gave up working as a PA to take care of my family, and did intend to go back to work - before I rediscovered my passion for writing!
I love animals, horses in particular. I’ve ridden casually since I was 5 and I’m lucky enough to own two now.
I’d quite like to be a ‘girly-girl’, but along with my other hobbies which include gardening roller skating and enjoying the great outdoors with my children, it leaves very little time to don a pretty dress and heels, so you’re most likely to find me in muddy wellies and woollies!
One of my favourite downtime activities has to be enjoying a good film together, with all four of us (oh, and our cat, Angel) all snuggly squished onto our little sofa at home. I also make sure I’m never far away from a good book - I LOVE reading, so your new website ‘Chill with a book’ is going to become a favourite destination of mine, Pauline!
My ebook can be purchased either via Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ElsaB (where I also have an author page).
or direct from:
Apple, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor Blio, Txtr, Overdrive, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Library Direct (via Smashwords). Amazon coming soon.
Print copies planned, probably will be early next year.
There is a 20% free sample download available, and pre order price of $0.99 (aprox. 75p).
You can find Elsa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbyelsabridger?fref=ts