Blue Caravan is a supernatural fantasy for teens and anyone interested in Arthurian folklore, Merlin, evil, and 1950s England. It is a sequel to Emily’s Shadow but is a stand-alone read. It took a lot of research, something I love to do. Blackheath, London, where the story takes place was said to be where plague victims were once buried in mass graves. This turned out to be untrue, but when I walked across that barren grassland, I could feel strangeness begging to become a story…
2. How did you choose to become a writer? I had reached an impasse in my life. I’d been a fairly successful chemist (even got patents), but didn’t find it meaningful. I found myself telling stories to my little nephews, have always loved books, and long ago as a child wanted to write, so I began twenty years ago to get serious.
3. What inspired your new book or story? I intended exploring the Mordred/Arthur son/father conflict because I know more than one son who has trouble with his dad–and I love gypsies and wanted to learn more about them and create a fun read with supernatural underpinnings.
4. How do you research your stories? I get lots of facts online, and I also buy and read books that inform me. I found some ancient books about gypsy-lore on Amazon that were invaluable with all sorts of spells, including “Cuckerdya pal m’re per Caven save misece! Cuckerdya pal m’re per Den miseceske drom odry prejial” which means Frogs in my belly, devour what is bad. Frogs in my belly show the evil the way out!
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer? Read! Write! Revise! Keep an ideas notebook. And stubbornly persist without taking yourself too seriously.