Julia Hughes - writing thrilling adventures - time after time after time.
Apparently, two American classics are to be dropped from our English GCSE English literature syllabus: "Of Mice and Men", by John Steinbeck, and "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.
It's hard to imagine now, but four decades ago, in my part of the world even second hand books were hard to come by. Growing up, I read anything and everything that fell into my hands. Not caring, and often not knowing what books were considered "classics," I certainly read both novels before hitting double digits. "Of Mice and Men" disturbed me. I tried one more by Mr Steinbeck, "The Red Pony", and decided never to read another of his novels. Yet, almost forty years later, I still recall characters and the plot lines from both Steinbeck's novels - disturbing, yes - but also insightful, powerful and moving. If I had to sum up "Of Mice and Men" in one word, it would be "raw".
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is harder to define with one word. Finding a kindred soul in Miss Harper's narrator, I shared her outrage at the teacher who berated Scout for reading and writing above her age group. Like Scout and children everywhere, I struggled to understand adults. Scout and Jem begin to realise that one way to understand another person's motives is to stand on their porch, or walk in their shoes, so the underlying reason for seemingly senseless actions becomes clearer. There's no excuse for ignorance, but ignorance breeds fear, and it is painful to speak out when you're frightened. Maybe understanding why people chose to remain ignorant is the first step to enlightenment. Maybe that's a good word to sum up Miss Lee's literary gift to the world: Enlightening.
If you have a young person in your life, give them a copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird". It's a story that grows with the reader, and with each re-reading, and they will never forget that it was you who introduced them to this timeless classic.
"The Griffin's Boy" is now free across the internet, and Amazon.com. Hopefully Amazon's other sites should price match very soon. If you can't download via Amazon in your country, you can alert Amazon & either download a copy from Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble, or come and tell me and I'll arrange for a copy to be sent directly to your email address.
"The Griffin Cryer" is available for 99c/99p via Amazon, and should be available to download from Smashwords, B&N etc very soon.
But - most exciting news, for me, at least - Book #3 in the Griffin Riders Chronicles is well underway. The story arc will link The Griffin's Boy's early adventures and Frankie, the girl with the power to summons griffins across worlds, in the most fabulous adventure yet. If you'd like a review copy, email Mervyn@talonpublishing.com
If you've read and enjoy the first two books in this series, I'd be most grateful if you'd consider leaving a review. And to all you amazing readers who have already commented publicly on how they loved the books, thank you!
BOOK 3 in the GRIFFIN RIDERS CHRONICLES ... coming SUMMER 2014.
Wren Prenderson; "A Ripple in Time" best hero.
"The Griffin Cryer" best Urban Fantasy. Thank you to the hard working judges and everyone who voted at the eFestival of Words, organised by Julie Dawson, of Bards & Sages.
A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time, and The Griffin Cryer. Thank you to Julie and her hard working panel of judges and reviewers.
Follow on Twitter