Today is my stop on the Harper and the Night Forest blog tour and I am here with a brilliant guest post by Cerrie! First though, here’s some info on the book.
About the Book
Total fantasy bliss! Magical birds, dark forests and fairytale cities: there’s no better book to get lost in. Harper is on a mission! Rumours tell of the mysterious Ice Raven who lives among the ebony trees, singing a magical song that can melt hardened hearts. Now the Wild Conductor wants to capture this mythical bird and create the greatest orchestra ever known. So Harper and her friends set off to find the bird. Their journey takes them from the mysterious Night Forest to the City of Singing Clocks. But soon Harper realises she faces a dilemma. Should a wild, free creature like the Ice Raven ever be tied down?
It’s a curious thing writing with dyslexia, a combination of something completely unexpected but perfectly natural. And the act of writing is the very last thing to happen. Before a single word is scribbled on a page, the world of the book must begin. The landscape your characters inhabit can come from anywhere, a single drop of grey rain can trigger a memory of when you were ten and you got caught in thunderstorm and suddenly you have a colour scheme for the sky of your world.
When I sat down to begin writing, I had Harper’s universe mapped out, from the clouds and stars, down to the white tipped tale of her cat Midnight. The wonderful thing about dyslexia is that the world of the book is very real; it springs up around you without having to try, so the writing can be like keeping a diary or a dream journal where you recount an adventure.
That doesn’t mean to say it always comes easily or that it’s not confusing or frustrating. Sometimes different parts of the story exist in your mind simultaneously and your job as the writer is to make sense of it all. Choosing the right language to try and reflect the books landscape and let the story unfold is key. It wasn’t until I began typing that I discovered the umbrella was scarlet, not red, or burgundy, but scarlet.
About the Author
Cerrie Burnell is a much-loved presenter on Cbeebies. She was named in the Observer’s top ten children’s presenters and also featured in the Guardian’s 2011 list of 100 most inspirational women where she received praise for tackling disability head on. Cerrie divides her time between London and Manchester. Her bestselling picture books Snowflakes and Mermaid, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, have won critical acclaim. Magical adventure Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is her first novel for young readers.
When she’s not trying to take over the world or fighting sock-stealing monsters, Laura Ellen Anderson is a professional children’s book author & illustrator, with an increasing addiction to coffee. She spends every waking hour creating & drawing and would quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible.