Challenge Participant


Monday, 6 May 2013

Guest Blog Post - Holly Webb

Today I am very pleased to welcome the author Holly Webb to my blog. I have read many of Holly's previous books, most of which have been animal based but this week she is launching a new series of books about the character called Maisie Hitchins who wants to be a detective. The books are set in Victorian London, and are illustrated by Marion Lindsay. 

I asked Holly what her inspiration was for this new series of books:

I don’t currently have my own blog, so being asked to write a blog post is quite scary! I have endless admiration for people who do this on a daily basis – I’ve never even managed to keep a diary, except as an enforced Christmas holiday project in the top year of Juniors. Even then it was a struggle, as a child I infinitely preferred reading to writing.

That’s one of the lovely things for me about writing the Maisie Hitchins books. I feel as though I’ve gone back to the ten-year-old me who had discovered Sherlock Holmes, and then Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion detective novels. I had all the Sherlock Holmes books as a child, and I found them fascinating. (My favourite story was The Adventure of the Speckled Band, which I thought was amazingly clever, although I’ve since found out that the main plot point is impossible, sadly.) I devoured mysteries, and still do, and I’d always had a secret hankering to write them. I was sure that I would love doing it, as I’d read so many…

It’s a lot harder than it looks, is all I can say. I have enormously enjoyed writing the first three Maisie Hitchins books, but the mystery element (obviously) adds a huge layer of complication and general deceitfulness to the plotting. Thank goodness for editors who spot the large holes before publication. If any large holes are found now, I take all responsibility, but actually I think I’d rather you didn’t tell me, as I might cry.

Another fabulous thing about Maisie for me is that the books are set in the past. I really hope that children who enjoy Maisie’s adventures might go on eventually to reading the Sherlock Holmes books – they opened up an amazing world for me, as I’m sure they were the first fiction from another era that I’d read (apart from Enid Blyton). I loved the setting almost as much as the plots. With the Rose and Lily books I have some experience writing fantastical novels set in a slightly alternative (quite a lot alternative, really, as they’re full of magic) London, but the Maisie books are the first books where I’m attempting an accurate historical setting. I love doing this – although it can be very frustrating. I spent quite a long time trawling the internet for the first book, trying to find out what sort of cash register (if any) a late nineteenth-century butcher’s shop would have. I find this sort of thing fascinating, and you really can while away hours with it. And the best bit, you’re still working!

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I have enjoyed the first book in this new series and will be reviewing it on my blog soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment