I’m delighted Twister has been shortlisted for The Fantastic Book Awards 2018-19. A huge thank you to the Lancashire School Library Service and all the kids who have read the book in and around Lancashire. My blog is moving to my new website dedicated to all things Twister. Discover all the very latest news at www.julietteforrest.co.uk
If you’d like to find out all my latest news and events, come and visit my new website at julietteforrest.co.uk or follow me @Jools_Forrest on Twitter.
I am over the moon I am now on the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature database. The Guardian picked my first novel, Twister, as the must-read kid’s novel of the summer 2018. If you’d like me to come in and talk to your class (ages 8-12) about the story and my writing inspirations, or book me for an exhilarating workshop or festival event, please do get in touch.
You can find the link to the Scottish Book Trust here: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/profile-author/140495
The sun is shining and the temperature is certainly rising in Glasgow. I’m absolutely thrilled to say that Twister has been picked by the Metro as one of the best holiday books for kids this summer. A huge thank you to Imogen Russell Williams who wrote: Born in a cyclone, Twister lives up to her tempestuous name. Fierce and determined, she sets out to find her missing father, encountering a wood witch, a necklace with shape-changing powers, a strange new friend and an evil coat along the way. This is an unusual, gutsy and invigorating fantasy with a compelling narrative voice.
Absolutely delighted The Guardian has chosen Twister for its ‘If you only read one book this summer make it this one’ article. Holy smoke! Here’s what they had to say:
watch Book for 8-12s
Twister by Juliette Forrest
Twister’s father has gone missing. Looking for him, she finds a witch in the woods, a magical necklace that can hold souls and transform its wearer – and a terrifying enemy. A soaring fantasy with a refreshingly down to earth heroine.
I am delighted to say there is a new website for Twister in town. If you’d like to find out more about me, the book or all my latest news and events, pop over to julietteforrest.com
I would like to thank the wonderful ilka for the site. You can see more of their work at ilka.studio and between you and me you couldn’t work with two lovelier people, who revel in pushing the boundaries of what a typical design studio offers.
I am delighted that Twister has been selected by independent booksellers to feature in The Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books of the Summer 2018. Both Victoria Rossiter and Tereze Brikmane wrote: ‘Set in a wonderfully magical world much like ours, a young girl called Twister sets out to find her missing pa. The quest is challenging, but Twister will find within herself all that she needs to complete it. A whirlwind adventure perfect for the summer holidays.’ I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the independent booksellers for their support and would ask that you purchase novels from your local bookstore or library wherever possible. The work they do to keep kids passionate about reading is so important.
It would be fair to say I had a bit of a misspent youth. If I wasn’t sneaking off to hire scary movies with my gran’s video card, I was pinching my brother’s Stephen King and James Herbert novels. As a teenager, I was pretty clueless about most things in life, but ask me about creatures of the night (or day) and there wasn’t much I didn’t know. I’m certain this fascination with all things grisly and ghoulish came from family gatherings, where we would revel in telling ghost stories. Films were another great topic of discussion with my uncle and aunt being enthusiastic horror buffs. I would listen in to all the conversations and when it came to bedtime, pretend I was invisible in the hope that my mum would forget I was there. Gran’s house was spooky and my bedroom at the end of a long, dark corridor. Needless to say, I felt right at home creating White Eye, the evil villain of Twister. White Eye doesn’t appear immediately in the story, so I wanted to give him a name which would make the reader start to picture him in their own mind. It was my brilliant editor at Scholastic, Lauren Fortune, who suggested he should be more of a bogeyman figure. This struck a chord with me, as when I was growing up and not behaving myself, I would be told Sawney Bean would come and get me. Sawney Bean lived in a cave in the west coast of Scotland and dragged unsuspecting travellers off the highway to eat them. Although he was only a local legend, the thought of him hunting me down always made me behave as good as gold.
I think the best baddies have something about them that is visually distinctive and with White Eye it was his coat, which had a whole host of undesirable critters crawling around it. One night, as I was working away on Twister, the hairs went up on the back of my neck at the thought of him standing next to me. I knew I had to have a scene in the book where Twister suddenly realises White Eye is right behind her. That moment still gives me a bit of a shiver! Throughout Twister, White Eye never speaks. I felt a voice would somehow make him a little less creepy and so I had to create another character that could do all the talking for him.
I will always love dreaming up terrible villains. And if you think White Eye sounds dreadful, wait until you meet the baddie in my next book.
Some people listen to music when they are writing. Not me. I need to surround myself with pictures. I turned my kitchen wall into a mood board when I was working on Twister and this was one of the photos I pinned up. I snapped it not far from my parent’s house. I found the tree quite spooky, which was perfect for one of my characters in the story. It is a sweet chestnut and I have grown quite attached to it now.
When I am stuck, or need to figure something out plot-wise, I take the dog for a walk. I always find time away from the laptop works wonders. I love being outdoors and will often weave what I see in the park into the story. I am so deep in thought, my friends have to flap their hands in front of my face before I notice them. I am quite sure they think I am a sandwich short of a picnic.
This was given to me by an old colleague of mine. We got our very first job together in advertising – she was a copywriter and I was an art director. That was many years ago, when an all-female creative team was unusual in the industry. My friend knows I have got a busy mind, so having this close by when I am writing reminds me to concentrate on the task at hand.
The chair is a symbol of sitting and watching people. Place me in an airport, train station, library or park bench and I am in seventh heaven. Sometimes, in the theatre, I will be looking at the audience instead of the actors. People are a never-ending source of great inspiration and material for me.
Meet my dad. As you can tell from this ancient photo, having a sense of humour was important in our household. I am forever thankful for the stories he used to read out at bedtime. I was captivated by authors such as Laurie Lee, Dylan Thomas and the poetry of Norman MacCaig.
So delighted Golden Hare Books has chosen Twister as their Book of The Week. Golden Hare Books are a terrific independent store who host many fantastic events and one of those places you feel right at home the minute you step through their doors. Thank you!