Abi Elphinstone wrote one of the most exciting children’s books last year, The Dreamsnatcher, which I wrote about here. This week the sequel, The Shadow Keeper, is published. And it’s even better (if that were possible). Abi has very kindly contributed this guest post.
I want to do a Dodie Smith and say that I wrote The Shadow Keeper sitting in the kitchen sink. I didn’t get all creative amongst the fairy liquid – not this time – but I did end up in some extraordinary places writing my second book. So, here goes for the Top 10 Places I Wrote The Shadow Keeper:
- Smoo Cave. It’s located at the eastern edge of a village called Durness, on Scotland’s most northerly coastline. After I’d waded past the KEEP OUT sign I found a hidden waterfall and I wrote the very opening of the book, about the Shadowmasks meeting in a dark cave, here.
- Abismo de Anhumas. Another cave. This time in the Brazilan jungle outside Bonito. It was like a journey to Middle Earth – a 72 metre abseil into a cave home to incredible stalactite formations – and I wrote about the very big (and very magical) cave at the end of The Shadow Keeper while I was here – with a head torch.
- Iguazu Falls in Argentina. I took my writing pad to the top of the raging waterfalls and wrote while swifts dived into the spray.
- My writing shed in the garden. I wrote much of the book by candlelight here, surrounded by books and souvenirs I’ve picked up from my travels (shaman daggers and buzzard-fletched arrows…).
- The 316 bus in London. Not quite so magical but because I do a lot of school events I end up writing most of my books on buses, trains and planes.
- Clavell Tower, Dorset. I wrote with the sea spread out below the cliffs and the cries of the gulls hanging in the wind. Bliss.
- St Cyrus Beach, Scotland. I grew up building sandcastles and exploring rock pools on this beach and I wrote many of the Little Hollows scenes here.
- Engelsholm, a remote island off the Norwegian coast, not far from Kristiansand. I learnt to forage for mussels and oysters here and I wrote for days on end on the jetty looking out over the fjords.
- On the back of a motorbike in Burma. I wrote one word ‘the’ (not a classic) then realised it was too bumpy to continue.
- On the BA flight home to my Dad’s in Scotland. There is perhaps nowhere as magical to write as up above the clouds.
THE SHADOW KEEPER:
Moll Pecksniff and her friends are living as outlaws in a secret cave by the sea, desperate to stay hidden from the Shadowmasks. But further along the coast lies the Amulet of Truth, the only thing powerful enough to force the Shadowmasks back and contain their dark magic. So, together with Gryff, the wildcat that’s always by her side, and her best friends Alfie and Sid, Moll must sneak past smugglers, outwit mer creatures and crack secret codes to save the Old Magic. With more at stake than ever before and the dark magic rising fast, can Moll and her friends stop the Shadowmasks before it’s too late? Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Michelle Paver and Eva Ibbotson.