If you’ve never watched David Lean’s film of Great Expectations, I urge you to do so. It is a terrific film and although when I first watched it, age about 9, I was confused by what these ‘great expectations’ actually were, it didn’t matter and I loved it. It had so many extraordinary characters and I loved following Pip as he grew up and did things wrong, rectified his mistakes and became a better person.
The scariest moment is at the beginning when Pip is in the misty graveyard and the convict leaps out at him.
When I first began writing THE SPIN, I wasn’t thinking about Dickens but as my synopsis developed, I realised it was very similar to the plot of Great Expectations. I’d put in a scene with a boy being leaped on by a strange man one eerie dark evening and knew that strange man would come back into the boy’s life and help him when he needed help. The book was a joy to write. I thought, well, Dickens won’t mind, so I’ll go with it. And I did and the book has now been short listed for several awards and nominated one of the books of the year by LoveReading4Kids
BRIGHTLING comes out in January 2014, published by Hot Key books. They have done a wonderful job of making it a glorious book.
When I started BRIGHTLING, I knew I was going to have help from Dickens again. This time I’ve used Oliver Twist as my inspiration.
In my book the protagonist is a girl called Sparrow – in fact most of the characters are girls, except for the horrible Tapper who is the ‘Sikes’ character.
I love this wonderful illustration of Sikes on the roof with his dog – Tapper also meets his end on a roof.
My protagonist has a cat to keep her company – a very special cat.
You will have met some of the characters in Brightling in The Spin but there are many new ones too.