Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Windsnap Wednesday #1: Liz Kessler's Poem and The Tail of Emily Windsnap + Giveaway!

In August, Orion Children's Books are set to publish the sixth book in the Emily Windsnap series, Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls, alongside a brand new cover look for the previous five instalments.

This weekly meme, titled Windsnap Wednesdays, is your one-stop place for Emily Windsnap and author Liz Kessler, and I'm excited to be kicking things off today! Over the next six weeks or so each Emily Windsnap book will be highlighted, with posts from both UK and US bloggers.

Today's content is a poem from Liz herself, all about an adventure that inspired the Emily Windsnap series. Hope you enjoy, and don't forget to follow all the fun on Twitter using #windsnapwed.


Windsnap Wednesdays #1
by Liz Kessler

Picture the scene: It’s early in the new century and late in the summer. I’m sitting on my narrowboat on the canal, looking out of the window at fields and sheep and a big blue sky. The boat is rocking gently, and a few lines of a poem drift into my mind.

Mary Penelope lived on a boat,
Which was all very well, but it didn’t quite float.
It wavered and wobbled and fell on its side
Whenever she tried to go out for a ride.

I am hooked. (Forgive the pun.) I grab a pen and get to work. And as my boat rocks, the poem unfolds…

…Now Emily, Mary Penelope’s daughter
Often felt sick as she didn’t like water.
Except, if I’m honest, that isn’t quite true.
(Although this is strictly between me and you.)

In fact, it fills my mind for the next few weeks. The story of a girl who lives on a boat with her mum and has a big secret: she is a mermaid. By the end of the poem, her secret is out, Mum is proud, Emily is free and everyone is happy.

Shining and beautiful out on the sea
Emily whispered, ‘It’s nice to be me.’
And, glad that her secret was finally told,
She swam with the mermaids, happy and bold.

But it turned out Emily didn’t want to be a poem. Luckily for me, I had a good writer friend (Lee Weatherly, still one of my best writer buddies) who, along with her editor David Fickling, gave me some fabulous feedback, which resulted in my decision to try writing the story of this poem as a novel instead.

And so, Emily Windsnap was born.

Back then, I had no idea where my adventures with Emily would take me. Now I can tell you this: they have taken me to Bermuda where I snorkelled with hundreds of beautiful fish; they’ve taken me to the midnight sun of an arctic summer; to magical castles, mystical caves, to hidden coastal paths and mysterious pools, ponds and waterfalls.

Emily has been part of my life for over a decade. Each time I write a new book in this series, I feel that I am going on an adventure myself. I am indulging my love for the ocean, exploring its mysteries and uncovering a few more of its secrets.

Sometimes, readers ask which is my favourite out of all the books I’ve written, and I often find this a difficult question to answer. But one thing I can say without hesitation is that my first book, The Tail of Emily Windsnap, will always have a special place in my heart. It is where it all started for me. 

Some people think that a writer makes up stories. I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always believed that our stories kind of exist in some sort of way, and it’s our job as writers to find them. I believe our characters exist in some sort of way too – and they choose the writer who they think is the best person to tell their story.

I am grateful that Emily chose me.

I hope I’ve done her justice. So here’s to mermaids and Emily and all that is swishy in the sea, and I look forward to focussing on each book of the series over the next few weeks, with Windsnap Wednesdays. And of course, at the end of all that, I am REALLY looking forward to Emily’s sixth adventure, Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls, which comes out in August. Hope you’ll join me and Emily for the #WindsnapWed adventure and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we’re going to!

Swishy wishes!
Liz :)



Thanks to Orion, one lucky winner will win whole set of all six Emily Windsnap books, with the brand new sixth book to be sent to the winner upon publication in August. To enter all you have to do is fill in the form below.

This giveaway will end on July 8th, 2015, is open to UK and Ireland residents and is one entry per person. Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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