Archive for the ‘Magical Adventure’ Category

A Rollicking Read Full of Wit and Wonder!!!

January 27th, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars A ROLLICKING READ FULL OF WIT AND WONDER!!!

Marlin Creeping on the Dark Stairs

By

Richard S. Friedman “Rick Friedman” (florida) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

This review is from: The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Trilogy Plus) (Kindle Edition)

“The Morrow Secrets’ is a high-fantasy gothic adventure story written for children in the 10 to 14 year age group but also enjoyed by adults who love delving into the world of mystery, suspense, imagination and make-believe. It is the first book in a series about Tallitha Mouldson, a headstrong girl caught up in the sinister web of her eccentric family”

A most magical and wonderful fantasy- while geared towards the YA crowd-The Morrow Secrets makes for a splendid read for all ages!
I was entranced from the very first page- the imaginary prowess of Susan McNally is to be greatly admired!

Characters and locations burst off the page with lusterous gusto- the prose is finely tuned and fast paced- and the plot never slows- Highly recommended for many reasons- wonderful writings style, unique characters and most certainly the first in what promises to be a most remarkable new Fantasy series!! Bravo Susan McNally!!

AN OFFICIAL JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ

RICK FRIEDMAN
FOUNDER
THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOKCLUB

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in books for 9-14 year olds, Dark Gothic Fantasy, Fantasy Trilogy, Magical Adventure | Comments (0)

The Supernatural : Paranormal Influences on Writing a Young Adult Gothic Trilogy

September 5th, 2012

As a young girl, not only did I adore the Addams Family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family), Bewitched

The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bewitched) and the Munsters ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Munsters) but as a teenager I got into the Hammer Dracula movies ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Film_Productions)  in a big way – going to see the double bills at my local cinema on a Sunday Night! Fright Night!

Did this obsession come first or was I predisposed to the cult of the macabre and the Gothic? I have already written about my great aunt who went into a trance and foretold my birth but my mother was also superstitious and this must have rubbed off on me. She would always cross a travelling woman’s hand with silver and take the clump of heather from her, having had her fortune told into the bargain. Looking back she was superstitious about many things… black cats, not walking under ladders and repeating a rhyme on the first day of every month… just for luck. I still carry around a tiny black cat that she gave to me. So I was brought up in a family where the women believed in things they couldn’t explain.

Then as a teenager I had some weird experiences of my own. Once I was levitated by my friends… it didn’t happen to anyone else, only me. I opened my eyes.. I felt weightless and my friends had lifted me about 4 feet in the air. In the summer holidays, when I was 14 or 15 we started to play with a home made Ouija board… it was completely addictive and the results grew more ominous day by day until the outcomes were terrifying. Somehow we began to summon long dead spirits, strange words appeared on the makeshift board and when I looked these up in the dictionary we found that they were black magic voodoo curses. I began to be scared of going into the dining room when my friends weren’t around. One day the Ouija board was moving so quickly, the skies darkened and clattered with thunder and then the lights flickered in the room and we ran from the house screaming. We stopped playing with the spirits after that, I do believe we had contacted something beyond our understanding…

About 4 years later I was alone at my boyfriend’s house and I heard someone making a terrible noise downstairs – it sounded like someone dropping a cutlery drawer onto the stone kitchen floor. His mother, a very down-to-earth farmer’s wife later told me that there were spirits abroad, they were unhappy that the family was leaving the farm after six or seven generations of living there….Then a week later she whispered that something had hurt her arm, grabbing her violently in the dark passageway.. but no one was there, she too was all alone in the dark house.

So perhaps that’s the reason I am constantly drawn to the mysterious, the Gothic and the macabre and books with brilliant sinister twists and turns… a haunted house and weird eccentric characters always adds to the plot line as far as I’m concerned! When writing I become completely lost and absorbed  in Winderling Spires, imagining the secret rooms in the enormous creepy house, the evil shroves and all the dark, mysterious places that Tallitha and her brother are desperate to explore…but of course more is revealed about the macabre Morrow family than Tallitha imagines and so begins her epic journey of mystery and spellbinding paranormal adventure.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Creative Writing Process, Dark Gothic Fantasy, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Gothic Influences, Magical Adventure, Supernatural, Susan McNally, Teen Fiction, The Morrow Secrets, Young Adult | Comments (0)

Gothic Fantasy Trilogy Book Review

August 31st, 2012

Sitting at my desk today writing the second book in the Morrow Secrets Trilogy and it’s going well, characters are developing and the plot is thickening up nicely. Then an old school friend sends me this message on Face Book…

The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

Just had a card from a friend’s 12 year old daughter, to whom I recommended your book, and she has written: “I have read the book by your old schoolfriend Susan McNally. It was AMAZING. I was gripped by the story and could not put it down!! I can’t wait for a sequel!!

and that really made my day. An author’s life can be isolated.. you wonder who is reading your book? Do they like it?… Have they had fun? Then you get a message from just one person, an unknown fan who loved your book and it’s all worthwhile! In fact it’s great!

Tags: , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Magical Adventure, The Morrow Secrets, Uncategorized, Young Adult | Comments (0)

A Dark Gothic Adventure Trilogy Full of Secrets, Betrayal and Magic

August 27th, 2012

‘The Morrow Secrets’ is a high-fantasy gothic adventure story which delves into the world of mystery, magic and make-believe. It is the first book in a trilogy about the ever curious Tallitha Mouldson, a girl caught up in the sinister web of her eccentric family, the powerful Morrow dynasty.

This Gothic trilogy is set in an alternative world, in a strange rambling house, with hidden rooms and winding staircases, called Winderling Spires.

The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling SpiresWinderling Spires.

‘The Morrow Secrets’ is an epic tale of dark secrets, with an intriguing mystery to be solved, an exciting yarn of deception, frightening twists and wicked turns. The story is full of whimsical characters, some eccentric, others forged with wicked intent lurking around every corner… watching Tallitha’s every move and luring her further into the web of secrets.

It is an adventure about the heroine’s fight against the evil forces that have shaped the past and surround her present. Tallitha is determined to unearth the family secret and so begins her breath-taking adventure, exploring the secrets of Winderling Spires and discovering tantalising clues which lead her ever further into the heart of the wicked plot.

With the help of her eccentric cousin, Esmerelda she escapes the clutches of her suffocating family and makes her way across Wycham Elva to the hostile land of Breedoor. Accompanied by her brother and cousins she learns more about the Morrow family history, makes new allegiances, endures terrifying challenges and encounters the strange creatures of the underground kingdom. Eventually, after many breath-taking adventures in the dark forest and the sinister caves, she reaches the forbidding castle of Hellstone Tors in the bewitching land of Breedoor and at last the dark family secrets are laid bare…

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Magical Adventure, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Great Reviews for New Magical Gothic Adventure Trilogy

August 25th, 2012

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Morrow Secrets,23 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Trilogy Plus) (Kindle Edition)

Susan McNally led me into a world of mystery and intrigue . The Characters came to life both in Susan’s description and the wonderful illustration’s. I couldn’t put the book down . Each Chapter led me into a unique adventure , and my only complaint was that it finished ! hurry up with the next book , I feel like someone has pressed the paused button on this adventure, which I want to fast forward at double speed !!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Gothic Story!,21 July 2012

The Castle at Hellstone Tors

I loved this story from the very beginning to the cliff hanging end. Great characters, a rambling spooky house and a plot with many twists and turns in a make believe world. Wonderful to have a strong heroine who fearlessly embarks on a gripping adventure, braving the unknown lands of Breedoor to unearth the dark family secrets. On the way she encounters many terrifying challenges and strange creatures. A great gothic tale that will appeal to older children and adults who enjoy fantasy and make believe.

5.0 out of 5 stars A dark treat :),10 July 2012

The Black Hound from Ragging Brows Forest

You know you’re onto a good book when you start reading it just to get a general feel of the book – only to look up and find it’s been 4 hours since you did anything except read and you have work in the morning. It’s an even better sign when you decide you don’t care much for work anyway and just carry on reading.

That’s exactly what ‘The Morrow Secrets’ is. The first of what looks set to be an incredibly gripping series centred around the adventures of Tallitha and her brother Tyaas as they treck into strange uncharted lands to discover even stranger truths and secrets.

What really stands out about this book is that despite the general consensus being that it’s a children’s novel – the book is unabashedly dark. Not dark in a gratutiously scary way that would dissuade younger readers, but in the same vein that pioneers like Tim Burton and the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ have managed to captivate adults as well.

This book is a hugely important addition to that genre and I honestly can’t wait to see what comes next in what looks set to be an epic series.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Best Children's Fiction, books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Magical Adventure, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Ghostly Paranormal Experiences in Strange Secret Houses…

August 13th, 2012

So why did I begin writing stories about gothic houses and strange unexplained occurrences? Because odd things happened to me. Perhaps as children we are in touch with inexplicable outside forces before we cross the threshold into adulthood… sensations and experiences that adults can no longer access.

Thinking about some of the great children’s fiction, Peter Pan by JM Barrie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._Barrie, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Garner, children in these wonderful stories accessed worlds where the grown-ups could not enter. Adults no longer believed in the possibility of magic or worlds beyond their own experience…. these worlds have always fascinated me, hence the creation of The Morrow Secrets.

Some of my early history is a little strange….

The Old House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

My mother had an aunt, who we called Auntie Annie and she would suddenly go into a trance without any warning. She was my grandmother’s closest friend and my mother called her my fairy godmother. The reason for this was that it took my mother many years to get pregnant with me, her only child and the strange woman had something to do with this, according to my mother. One day Annie was sitting in my grandmother’s house, her head fell backwards and she began to speak with someone else’s voice. She told my mother after 12 years of marriage that she could hear the feet of a small child running beside her… the next month my mother discovered she was pregnant with me.

My mother said that Annie used to frighten her when she went into trances, mostly because of her strange sounding voice and the fact she seemed to become someone else during the time she was in a trance. These stories influenced my creation of the character, Tallitha who is able to enter a trance-like state. Both Annie and Tallitha have clairvoyant powers…. the trance-like journey is explored in The Morrow Secrets

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in books for 9-14 year olds, Gothic Influences, Magical Adventure, New Children's Adventure Story, Supernatural, Teen Fiction | Comments (0)

Magical Children’s Story – Five Star Reviews for The Morrow Secrets

August 12th, 2012

I just reviewed: ‘The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Trilogy Plus)’ by Susan McNally
www.amazon.co.uk
“GRIPPING READ”. I loved the Morrow Secrets, was gripped from the first page, kept me enthralled and guessing throughout. Really looking forward to the next one.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008CE93AY

The Old House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

5.0 out of 5 stars A dark treat :)

Amazon Verified Purchase

This review is from: The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Trilogy Plus) (Kindle Edition)

You know you’re onto a good book when you start reading it just to get a general feel of the book – only to look up and find it’s been 4 hours since you did anything except read and you have work in the morning. It’s an even better sign when you decide you don’t care much for work anyway and just carry on reading.

That’s exactly what ‘The Morrow Secrets’ is. The first of what looks set to be an incredibly gripping series centred around the adventures of Tallitha and her brother Tyaas as they treck into strange uncharted lands to discover even stranger truths and secrets.

What really stands out about this book is that despite the general consensus being that it’s a children’s novel – the book is unabashedly dark. Not dark in a gratutiously scary way that would dissuade younger readers, but in the same vein that pioneers like Tim Burton and the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ have managed to captivate adults as well.

This book is a hugely important addition to that genre and I honestly can’t wait to see what comes next in what looks set to be an epic series.

 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008CE93AY
http://themorrowsecrets.com/
http://themorrowsecrets.com/index.php/the-blog/

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Best Children's Fiction, books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Magical Adventure, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

A Magical Adventure Story That Will Keep Children and Adults on The Edge of Their Seats!

August 10th, 2012

Read this great 5 Star Review recently posted on Amazon

Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)

 

This review is from: The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Trilogy Plus) (Kindle Edition)

What a great story! The plot leading you on a dark and dangerous adventure full of intrigue, betrayal and magic.

The Old House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

This book pulls you in and immerses you into a gothic world full of strange creatures, mysterious characters and elusive secrets. The attention to detail is amazing, as well-imagined and developed as anything in the Harry Potter series.

Young girls will especially enjoy the main character Tallitha, a wonderfully strong female character with a rebellious spirit and a taste for adventure! It definitely follows in the footsteps of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ for fiction that’s not afraid to introduce a little darkness into the story, making it a good read for adults as well.

Accompanied by the superb illustrations, this is a book that will fire the imagination and leave you wondering what’s next in store for Tallitha and the family of Winderling Spires…

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Best Children's Fiction, books for 9-14 year olds, Magical Adventure, Teen Fiction, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction!

August 1st, 2012

I had a gap between finishing The Morrow Secrets and starting the second book in my trilogy… about a week! Then I got caught up in my website, how to do a blog, self -publishing and all the other things you have to do by yourself to be an indie-writer! I didn’t know there was so much stuff to do apart from write my books. Now of course I know differently and try to divide my time between actually writing book two in the series and publicising book one… and that’s hard.

So now book two is underway, which tips would I like to remind myself of? Here are some of my favourite ones.

* Sometimes you have to kill off your favourite children… that means at times you may have to write a character out of the story because he/she doesn’t work anymore.

* Don’t give up writing, even when you’ve had a bad day just keep going and it will come right… write more, not less!

* Read books all the time in your genre and outside of it. Observe what writers do – how they write dialogue; build tension and create great characters that leap off the page

* Good dialogue flows from knowing your characters inside out, how they will react in any situation. You don’t really know them until they begin to inhabit your head space !

* Continuity is key. You don’t have to remember every one of your character’s idiosyncracies … keep note cards on each character, different themes, any activity that is repeated ( for me it was Tallitha’s trances) and key events that you refer to in the plot.

* This is a good one. Take no notice of the criticism people you don’t respect. But take notice of the criticism from people you do respect. Have a thick skin, you’ll need it.

* Defend your work. You know best how it was meant to be. It’s your story, your characters, just love them! That’s why self publishing is so good – no one can tell you to change a character’s name.

* Most importantly – write the book you want to read. If you don’t love the story, no one else will.

* Writing is never a quick win. It takes a lot of time and patience. If patience doesn’t come easily …try and acquire some.

* Characters will grow and evolve as you write the book.. be prepared to change them!

Most of all, enjoy yourself! When the writing really flows being an author is the best ever.. it transports you to a magical world all of your own creation. Treasure it…

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Being An Author, books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, How to Write a Children's Novel, Magical Adventure, Self Publishing Tips, Writing | Comments (0)

Gothic Cemeteries and Gothic Book Research

July 31st, 2012

Last week I went to the Western section of Highgate Cemetary in leafy North London  to do research for the next book in The Morrow Secrets series. Oh what a fantastic gothic haven! The cemetary is packed with ideas – the amazing Egyptian Avenue filled with family vaults leading to the a circle of gothic catacombs.

http://www.highgate-cemetery.org/

The Egyptian Avenue

 

Many famous people are buried there: three women authors, George Eliot ( “Middlemarch”) d.1880 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Eliot; Radclyffe-Hall d.1943 who wrote “The Well of Loneliness” and Stella Webb d. 1989 better known as Stella Gibbons who wrote “Cold Comfort Farm” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_Gibbons

On the tour we heard about supernatural writers and films. Dracula has been filmed there and A Picture of Dorian Gray with Colin Firth.

As a writer I always take a camera and something to jot down ideas. In the late Victorian era families would often visit their dearly departed and take tea with them in the vaults!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Being An Author, Gothic Influences, How to Write a Children's Novel, Magical Adventure, New Children's Adventure Story, Research, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)