Week 29 | Guest post: Get a friend who is familiar with your novel to speak about it

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

Week 29

This week, I (somewhat nervously) hand the reins over to my writing partner, S.E. Berrow, who is both one of my closest friends and greatest WIP critics.

I’ve known K.F. Goodacre for nigh on 12 years now and for the vast majority of those she was writing almost exclusively about queer psychopathic vampires swanning around in 17th century Russia. So when she told me she was going to have a bash at writing a children’s novel, you can imagine I was… skeptical.

Upon reading The Elder Throne for the first time however, not only was I pleasantly surprised —  I was absolutely blown away!

The Elder Throne is about 11-year-old Anna Squires who discovers her absentee dad was actually a faerie Prince of the Seelie Court. This not only means Anna is half-fae, but also potential heir to the Seelie throne. Travelling to Ireland with her Grandfather Abe, Anna seeks to learn more about her heritage and prove herself worthy of the throne. Perhaps she’ll also stop a few dastardly Unseelie plots along the way…

I can’t believe my writing partner has written something so layered and relevant as this book. I’m so jealous of her talent and can’t wait for her to finish her edits and start querying! The plot is just the right amount of mysterious, the prose witty and wonderful, and the characters are not only beautifully developed but effortlessly diverse. My favourites are Knightshade Valerian — the surly, but kindly Commander of the Seelie army — and the sharp-tongued changeling, Priya, who shows Anna around the Seelie Court. I can’t wait for people to fall in love with these characters with me, because I have Things To Say and much to gush over.

Anna Squires has something called Amniotic Band Syndrome, or ABS, meaning that she was born without her left hand. Although she does not have Amniotic Band Syndrome herself, I know K.F. Goodacre has poured her own experiences with Incontinentia Pigmenti (IP) into Anna’s characterisation. It’s refreshing to see a well-developed and informed disabled character at the forefront of a children’s novel.

I also love the overall message of the book which is that you don’t need to be magical to be extraordinary, and what constitutes as ‘ordinary’ anyway can mean a lot of different things.

If you love “portal” fantasies like The Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson and Harry Potter then you’ll find lots to love in The Elder Throne. I personally couldn’t ask for more from a children’s book.

Well, that wasn’t too bad at all! I think I might be blushing. Here’s hoping that, one day, an agent or a publishing house will agree with her…


As I mentioned before, S.E. Berrow is a fellow writer. She pens historical fantasy novels with swashbuckling soul and just a pinch of torture. Disclaimer: Her stories will grab you by the heartstrings and mercilessly yank at them until you’re a bleeding mess of a human being.

Her current work is The Mayor, which you can read about here >> 

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