A spring in your step for Ostara

Spring is in the air! 


In the Celtic calendar, 20-21st March is the festival of Ostara; the Spring Equinox. It is a time of new beginnings, of birth and rebirth, and plentiful supplies of chocolate eggs. Yummy.

The Celtic Wheel of the Year features heavily in my children’s series, Equinox, as the quarter-points of the year (the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes [1] [2]; the Summer and Winter Solstices) are traditionally the points at which the barriers between the Fae and human worlds are at their thinnest.

But Ostara was also the basis for the Christian festival for Easter, making it a far more popular festival than its Autumn counterpart, Mabon. The good news is: that means lots of food and frolics to line up for the Bank Holiday weekend… Continue reading

Week 11 | My favourite minor character

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 11

My favourite minor character in The Elder Throne, based only on what is known of them during the story, is Gourd Goodfellow. He is the only son and heir of Lord Leander Goodfellow, who is a power-grabbing suck-up. Lord Goodfellow’s one wish is the same as generations of Goodfellows before him: to marry his household into the royal family.

Gourd is Leander’s hope for a union, and he keeps trying to throw his son and Anna together. Gourd, however, is completely disinterested in his father’s ambitions. Instead, the sole focus of his world, his one, all-consuming passion, is pie.   Continue reading

Week 10 | Thoughts on Gardeners and Architects

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 10

Some time ago (two and a half years ago, in fact), I spoke about the Art of Foreshadowing and touched on two different approaches to writing: Gardeners and Architects.

  • A Gardener is a writer who has a basic idea and ploughs into the narrative, letting the characters and plot change and grow as they write.
  • An Architect is writer who has a clear-cut idea of how their story will begin, progress and end, and knows their characters inside out.

Two and a half years ago, I would have told you that I’m most definitely an Architect. I would have also been very, very wrong. Continue reading

Week 9 | My favourite secondary character

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 9

My favourite secondary character is the abrasive but loving Priya Dhawan. A Changeling who has lived in the Seelie Court for a number of years, Priya was originally abducted by a suburban faery during a prank war.

At the beginning of The Elder Throne, the act of stealing children has been grossly out of fashion for hundreds of years. However, it is not technically illegal, so Changelings of various ages crop up throughout the series.

Originally trapped against her will because she ate some of their food, Priya later chose to remain in the faerie realm. She keeps her reasons for this close to her chest until she meets someone in The Winter Court who has gone through a similar situation. She now lives and works with Mrs. Cobb, who runs the Circle of Healing in the Seelie Court. Continue reading

Week 8 | What event could have changed everything, and how?

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 8

There are a few ‘tipping points’ in The Elder Throne but the most prominent of these can be traced back to Knightshade Valerian’s birth. S.E. Berrow once likened Knightshade to Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings: he isn’t the main character, but his actions and choices have a ripple effect that make him integral to the story.

Knightshade is the son of Seelie Warrior Cathal Valerian and UnSeelie traitor and spy, Blossom Blackwood. He was born about three months after Prince Huck, who became his best friend at ten years of age.

Without Knightshade’s existence (say, if Blossom Blackwood had not defected to the Seelie Court after all), the following things would not have happened: Continue reading

Week 7 | Favourite relationship in The Elder Throne

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 7

I’ve been mulling this question over since Week 1 because the answer keeps changing. Relationships are an important part of The Elder Throne and subsequent books, so it’s difficult to settle on just one dynamic when a few have their own unique merits. The top three contenders I considered were:

  • Anna Squires and Grandfather Abe
  • Grandfather Abe and Holly
  • Burr and Spindle Larkspur

I finally decided on Burr and Spindle Larkspur. Continue reading

Week 6 | An interview with your protagonist

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 6

This week’s question is all about my protagonist, Anna Squires. I used the basic questions suggested in a previous post of mine – Hot Seating – which is a theatrical method of getting into character. To avoid the particularly juicy plot spoilers, I’ve tried to take the interview from a time about half-way through the events of The Elder Throne, where Things Have Happened but hell hasn’t broken loose just yet. Continue reading