Legend of the Lost book 1, The Ends of the Earth book II

Full Moon Transformation

Anyone who has driven to Cornwall should be familiar with the “nearly there” or, as Legend of the Lost fans know them, “sentinel trees” that stand on a hill guarding the way. Well, this October full moon they have had a dramatic make-over. And Legend of the Lost has transformed too.

An exciting new partnership with Green Cat Publishing sees the iconic purple cover evolve into a more chilling depiction to bring out the drama in the magical adventure, just as those atmospheric red lights suggest that there’s more in the Seintinel Trees than a warm welcome. Please do drop by and check it out.

It’s fitting that this development in the evolution of the story of the changeling children comes on a spectacular new moon’s night. We’re sure the werebeasts will approve. And if you are heading to Cornwall, watch out for those trees. They’re apparently lit in solidarity with the people impacted by the pandemic.

But we know the real reason…….right?

Anyone still wanting a signed copy of the special first edition version of Legend of the Lost can try messaging Ian direct and he’ll be glad to sign one for you while limited stock lasts. But there aren’t many left…

Legend of the Lost book 1, Social media and publicity, The Ends of the Earth book II, Uncategorized

News Update: Competition winner and more…..

The changeling saga has attracted a solid and loyal fan base since Legend of the Lost, the first book in the series was launched. As a result we were delighted to offer one of the fans of the series the chance to win a very special prize.

Book II, The Ends of the Earth is part-based in Southern Africa as well as the ancestral home of the special changeling family, Cornwall. We tasked our readers to come up with a suitable name for one of the African animals and after some lovely and very creative suggestions, we’re pleased to announce that the winners were Suzannah Archibald and her family, who came up with a very imaginative name for one of the animal sentinels, having researched the Namibian dialect.

The Ends of the Earth is currently in production, ready for Christmas so keep an eye on the Green Cat shop and Amazon. Competition winners Suzannah and family will receive a special acknowledgement in the book, as well as a signed copy.

We’ll also be announcing the winning name suggested by the children a little closer to the release date (we don’t want to spoil the surprise).

Huge thanks to the many of you who entered. We loved them all, but there had to be a winner and it was perhaps fated that Suzannah and family hail from…..Porthleven, Cornwall, where, of course, our adventure begins.

Keep your eyes peeled for the second edition of Legend of the Lost, which has just been re-released with a chilling fresh cover.

First edition copies of the book with the iconic purple cover are still available (if you’re quick) from the Book Guild shop and direct from Amazon who are currently having a sale and, of course, you can now buy the edition with the fab new cover there too, as the rest of the trilogy will now be printed by our new publishing partner.

If you don’t already, please do follow us on twitter where, if you help share the word and re-tweet the pinned tweet you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a signed copy of the first edition of the first book.

Legend of the Lost book 1, Short Stories, Social media and publicity

The Procession of the FAE

“But how can a forest be truly beautiful if nobody can walk through it, even see it or share the privilege?”
The young Prince’s face turned scarlet with rage as he spat those words.
Yet his father’s back was dumb as he waked away.
“My land remains shut. The great cull begins in the morning. Get some sleep boy and be there with your hunting bow.”
Tears blurred his eyes as he stormed from Ashridge house. But his feet led instinctively to the path, through the crisp bracken and jade ferns down to the mirror pond pool.
The birds, for once, held their collective breath. They too knew what the bloody dawn promised.
Slumped against a willow tree, chest thumping still, his face turned to the warming sun. A heady scent was drawn deep with each angry sob.
Eventually his lids grew heavy and he crossed into a deep sleep.
After several dark waves of slumber, the boy was gently awoken by the sounds of subtle splashing.
Opening his eyes, his attention was drawn to the shapes of what immediately appeared to be the most enchanting women he had ever beheld. When they laughed, it was like crystal glasses chiming.
Their limbs were like alabaster carvings that moved with the grace of moths on the wing. And their faces near burst with ripe joy.
He wanted to cry out, but they were naked and gavotting with such abandon that something warned him to seal his lips, lest his rudeness break the magic of the moment.
His instincts were true. Instead, he blended with his surroundings, like a timorous prey animal and simply watched, his senses crackling.
The nymphs splashed one another, using the tips of their wings like he cupped hands. But suddenly, as one, they froze. Then, in chorus they turned to face him. And he thought his heart would burst.
Without merest suggestion of self-consciousness, the Fae approached him, now barely rippling the water with their tread. Soon, he was surrounded by a crescent moon of iridescent delight.
They didn’t really speak. It was as if he had invited guests through a portal into his very head, where they quickly translated his thoughts and his feelings. Gradually, their expressions changed from wonder and warmth and delight to what he could best describe as a knowing disappointment, whichpassed between them like storm clouds blown by the west wind in a blue sky. Then, one by one, they took to the air on butterfly wings.
All but one.
“You smell of sadness. Your head is filled with anger and fear. But every life has a season. Every season has an end. Thus is the cycle. It is Mother’s way.”
He recoiled at THAT word, as if stung. Then he saw his flinch echoed in her beautiful eyes. He had not thought about his mother for many years and that wound had clearly still not healed.
“You don’t understand” he found himself shouting. “He will kill them. They will turn the land red. Destroy them all.”
The faerie simply smiled. Her eyes, brown pools, reflecting the water that surrounded them.
“Call them” she whispered, like a pregnant pause.
“Open the way and they will come.”
As she spoke, her features dissolved into the shimmering light.

He blinked.

She was gone.

The Prince sprang to his feet and waded into the water, but there was no sign of their presence or passing. He did notice that the wild roses on the bank had swollen into bloom as if struggling to contain a happy secret. The flowers were the only indication that the Fae had been here. That and the compulsion in his breast.
All afternoon, down in the village, the Prince busied himself among the artisans, the heralds,
minstrels and printers. He knew the simple people well and was greatly loved for his kind manner, tenderness and steady heart. He shared one urgent message with them all. They, in turn, spread their magic in the town.
He also shared his passionate secret with the small animals of the hedgerows and the fields. For he also knew them well, having rescued many from cold winters, cat’s claws or the raptor’s grasp.
He slept badly that night, racked by self-doubt, fear and insecurity. Still, he was up and dressed in his hunting clothes, when the King’s cold messengers arrived.
The pomp of the hunting party was as brash as the pageantry of its train and the excitement of the hounds terrifying. But he took his place by his father’s side, his black pony dwarfed by the King’smighty war horse that snorted like a dragon exhaling hot air into the morning mist, like fire.
The plan dreamed up by his generals was to start with a perimeter patrol, to check that the
boundaries were all secure. That nothing could leave the estate. Or, just as importantly, no
trespassing poachers or pleasure-seekers could violate the monarch’s land.
Sensitive to the mini-dramas payed out in the lives of the worlds between nature’s veils, the boy could see and feel the hairy and feathered families fleeing this four-footed mob. They took to the highest trees or the deepest dens, muttering a silent prayer to the old Gods as they fled.
Upon completion of their first brutish circuit, they approached the ancient oak that marked the boundary gate. It was rumoured that it was beneath these same mighty boughs that he had been conceived on a night when the silver moon was at its most proud.
He looked up. Could that be the hint of a smile on his father’s face?

That thought didn’t last long as the expression changed from something approaching vulnerability, to what appeared to be, if he didn’t know better, a look of …..awe.
The Prince followed the beam of his father’s gaze, noticing that the army had now been stunned into silence. And there, framed by a golden glow, walked what appeared to be every humble peasant from the village.

Furthermore, they were being led, guided, inspired by a great, enchanting white deer, thousands of woodland animals and a bewildering procession of the Fae.
As they approached, the sharp fences inevitably dissolved and the heavy gate towers crumbled.
And there was no need for words as soon, tears became the one universal language.

*This is a short story featuring characters from the Legend of the Lost universe, also known as The Changeling Saga, available from various outlets or as signed copies direct from the team.

Reviews

Life Lessons in a Fantasy World

One of the benefits of publishing a piece of writing is the positive impact it has on others, how it touches their lives and makes the world just a little bit better. Well we were delighted to receive this lovely review the other day and I wanted to share that with you for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s clear that the reviewer really enjoyed Legend of the Lost, the fist installment of the changeling trilogy.

Secondly, because it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the core theme of the first book, the corruption of love into a form of pandemic that threatens the natural and super-natural world, has a lot of resonance in these dark times. As more pople use their “down time” during the C-virus crisis, more people are finding time to read. Hopefully, when they pick up Legend of the Lost they will find magic, entertainment, thrills, hope and, above all, love.

A magical advernture

Here’s what our reviewer had to say:

Legend of the Lost focuses on a world of fairies, nymphs, witches and were-beasts which discreetly exists alongside our own. It begins by the Atlantic, in west Cornwall, as a young girl meets a mermaid and quickly realises that she is deeply connected to this parallel realm. Gradually the story moves inland, primarily to English woodland, as it builds into a traditional climax of good versus evil… but with an insightful deeper message.

I thought the interactions weaving between the supernatural, natural and human worlds were well done and the sea and forest locations beautifully captured, leaving my mind full of blues and greens. The fact that the locations are real made this super-natural world all the more touchable, anyone who has strayed into woodland as dusk falls will know the feeling. And I loved the fact that the animals I see in the wild in my real life – foxes, kites, deer – mix freely here with rather more mystical creatures.

There are strong environmental themes: man has polluted his world and it is this poison which has led nature and super-nature to turn bad. Nobody and nothing – it turns out – is entirely good or bad, and even those who are more the latter may be so for good reason, even deserving of sympathy.

This is a story for older children and younger adults: yes definitely for girls, but I hope also for boys with the gifts of openness and imagination, and meanwhile there are plenty of monsters, beasts and battles to get stuck into alongside the whimsy. In fact, “Legend of the Lost” is also an enjoyable read for adults who have retained their sense of wonder, but they probably won’t be the primary readership.

Overall, beautiful writing, natural settings, clever interactions between the real and the fantastical, some great environmental themes and that good ol’ “good versus evil” climax, but where the line between the two lies is rather less clear than may first appear.

Apparently this is the first in a trilogy, and there is an accompanying interactive website for those who get immersed.

Many will.

*Signed and dedicated copies are available direct from the team or via a number of dedicated suppliers.

About the author, Ian P Buckingham, Legend of the Lost book 1, Social media and publicity, Uncategorized

A Children’s Book Enjoyed by Adults!

Ian was interviewed by a journalist on behalf of a publisher, recently.

What’s your favourite thing about writing children’s fiction?

Ooh, lots of things. Just one? Well at the top of the list has to be knowing that the work will help young imaginations expand and grow, hopefully inspiring another generation of storytellers as authors like Blyton, Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling etc have inspired me.

What has the response been like so far for Legend of the Lost?

I’m very pleased to say that it’s attracted the reactions I’d hoped for when the children and I first committed the ideas to paper and planned the trilogy.

Comments like “compelling from start to end”,“beautifully written” and “couldn’t put it down”are great to see in the reviews on Amazon, Book Guild bookshop and feedback on social media and in person.

It really is pleasing that adults are enjoying reading the book and am especially delighted to hear of parents reading the book to and with their children as I really wanted it to be a collaborative experience. In my view there’s nothing quite like parents and children exploring a magical adventure together.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a published author?

I’ve been published in more high-brow, adult genres before, but I’ve since discovered that apparently when I was a little boy myself, I said that I would write books for children (so I’m now reminded).

Lilly

Whatever the type of book there’s really something special about watching a project catch fire from a spark of an idea to something that will spread around the world lighting up dark corners of the imagination.

Now, with the wonders of social media, authors can receive feedback and connect with readers much easier. It really is lovely to receive photos of the books from all sorts of exotic destinations, often featuring local landmarks or indeed crazy pets, as we have been.

One very lovely lady has been reading the book to the animals at her animal rescue centre in the US. She says it soothes them. Who could have predicted that?

Is there any advice you would give to other writers/how have you found the publishing experience?

First and foremost, believe in yourself and just do it. Write! There is no given technique or approach. Sure, read a lot and be informed by other voices. But find what works for you – whether that is scribbling in notebooks when the creative impulse strikes or having a routine and schedule if you must. Only you know yourself. Go with what feels right. But write.

I remember the story of Joseph Heller who wrote one of the Iconic Books of all time, Catch 22. Famously he jotted scenes on postcard-sized cue cards which he kept in a shoe box. Allegedly he dropped them one day and rather than re-arrange as a linear narrative, he wrote up the story in the random order in which the cards fell. True or not, this illustrates the point. Do what works for you. But write.

For me, the best part of publishing, as a process, is the creative collaboration. For example, I have strong opinions about each project including the visuals. When I received the first draft of the cover for Legend of the Lost, it wasn’t what I imagined at all. I could tell there was a degree of trepidation about the proposal, perhaps because of my background in brand and advertising. But it was actually better than anything I had pictured. Jack did a great job. I love it, and the feedback has been unanimously positive. I made a couple of supplementary suggestions and we agreed the finished product in a few minutes. THAT’s the power of collaboration

LOLpiledhigh

What’s next in the writing pipeline for you?

Well, I committed to writing a trilogy and Legend of the Lostis the first part. I’ve written the next two, The Ends of the Earth being the second part. Without spilling any spoilers, the adventure continues in Cornwall and Africa. I’ve promised our growing community of readers that I will aim to finalise the sequel next year.

I can’t wait to see what the team does with the visuals and am sure the story will evolve further during the magic of the editing process and as the readership grows.

I’m personally excited to watch this complex family develop as individuals and a group over time as they confront and overcome fresh challenges. Because as any parent knows, growing up is filled with twists and turns of fate. We need to be reminded, from time-to-time, especially during the festive season, that the real secret to finding our magic is not to lose heart, not to shut down in the face of adulting and to keep believing.

Legend of the Lost is available in hard and soft versions tonline via all top retailers, Waterstones and from the Book Guildb okshop.