Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Guest Blog from Ross MacKenzie

28th January 2020

Photo of author Ross MacKenzie and book cover of Evernight

We’re thrilled to have a guest blog from award-winning author Ross MacKenzie, talking about the inspiration for his new book Evernight and the worst question that readers can ask him...

Toppsta
2020-01-29
Guest Blog from Ross MacKenzie

I’m very lucky to travel around visiting a great many schools and festivals, speaking with readers of all ages about my books. It’s one of the best parts of being an author. There’s nothing like meeting your readers, and it is quite life-affirming to encounter so many folks who are passionate about books.

But as much as I enjoy chatting about reading and writing, I’m often asked one question that strikes fear into my heart:
‘Where do you get your ideas?’

I suppose I’m so frightened of this question for two reasons. Firstly, I’m a bit scared that if I try to hunt the ideas down, they might go into hiding and I won’t be able to write anything anymore! A bit superstitious perhaps, but there we go.

Secondly and most importantly, I don’t actually know the answer!

At least, I don’t usually know the answer.

You see, with my new book Evernight, for the first time I do know where the idea was born.

The spark came, quite unexpectedly, during a peaceful, rainy morning – the sort of morning on which the only sensible thing to do is curl up on the sofa and get lost in a good book. On this occasion I was reading about Victorian London. I'm a bit of a history geek, you see, and I find the Victorian era especially fascinating!

The book I was reading was called London Labour and the London Poor, written in the 1840s by a journalist called Henry Mayhew. Mr Mayhew wrote a series of articles about the lives of the “lower classes”. During this project, he encountered a long list of unforgettable characters, many working in delightfully named jobs that seem quite alien today! There were Pure Collectors, Mudlarks, Rag and Bone Men, Rat Catchers, Street urchins, Pickpockets… the list goes on and on.

But the fuse of my imagination was truly lit when I read a passage about an amazing group of people known as Toshers, who made their living treasure-hunting in the sewers beneath London. The thought of these brave and adventurous souls, descending into the dark with their gas lamps, was so evocative that I felt a great excitement and knew instantly I had to write a story about them.

There we have it. Evernight owes a great deal to Mr Henry Mayhew and his work. And without the magic of Victorian London and her people, my new book might not exist at all.

And so, next time someone asks me that dreaded question, I’ll have an answer.

Toppsta
2020-01-29
Guest Blog from Ross MacKenzie
Book pages Placeholder Book

Evernight

Thousands of years ago, the Evernight came to the Silver Kingdom and turned everything to darkness and chaos. It was only defeated thanks to the skill and bravery of the Witches. But now the Evernight is about to return, released by the evil Mrs Hester, and the only spell that might stop it is lost, deep below the great city of King's Haven.

Then orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a mysterious wooden box while treasure-hunting in the city's sewers. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger - and a man who casts no shadow . . .

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