Tuesday, 31 October 2017

#ScarecrowBook Trick or Treat


Well, as I am not a huge fan of Halloween (yes, I know. Am a strange blogger!), I am excited to give you a treat and be the last stop on the #ScarecrowBook Blog Tour! And am a little creeped out to welcome Danny Weston onto the blog.

Danny has written several creepy stories - The Piper, Mr Sparks, The Haunting of Jessop Rise and his newest (hence the tour!), The Scarecrow.

Jack's dad turned whistleblower about several very powerful people and their illegal dealings and now both are on the run, fearing for their lives. While laying low in a remote hunting cabin in Scottish Highlands, Jack notices a scarecrow outside and when he notices something incredible, Jack realises that this scarecrow isn't a normal scarecrow. It's alive, hungry and full of unspeakable rage. So when things turn dark, the scarecrow might turn out to be Jack's best chance of survival...

I am thrilled to have Danny on here, and I want to thank him for writing this post for the tour! And I want to thank Harriet from Andersen Press for allowing me to be involved in this tour!

Now, I will hand it over to Danny!

Hi folks. Danny Weston here, author of Scarecrow. I’ve been asked to talk about what got me started as a writer. Great question. Here goes…

Picture this. 

I’m fourteen years old and I’m stuck in a boarding school in Peterborough. My parents have only gone and moved to Malaysia for three years! The school is horrible. Forget all that nonsense in Mallory Towers and Harry Potter. There’s nothing magical about this place. It’s a barbaric hellhole where punishments mostly consist of being hit with a big stick and even the prefects have permission to slipper your backside for things like slovenliness and tardiness and… well, just not looking quite right. 

Naturally, I want to escape, but I can’t do it physically, so I’ve come up with a method of freeing my mind. I simply go to the school library, choose a book and lose myself in it. Because a book can take you anywhere in the world and even, sometimes, out of it.

One day I pick up a book that will change my life forever. It’s called Something Wicked This Way Comes and it’s by Ray Bradbury.

Now, I’m not a complete novice when it comes to Mr B. The very first thing I was given to read at ‘big school’ was The Fog Horn, from his short story collection, The Golden Apples of the Sun, so I already know he’s good. But this book… this book is different. This book blows me away. This book is midnight carnivals and mirror mazes, blind witches and haunted carousels, it’s Mr Cooger and Mr Darke’s Pandemonium Shadow Show and it is every wonderful twisted thing that every teenage boy desires. I breathe it in like oxygen for the soul. It is genius. It is perfect. And when I have finished reading it, I think a very strange thought indeed: I want to be a writer!

I start straight away. I start with short stories, which I read to my classmates after lights out with the aid of a smuggled-in torch. I listen to their criticisms (and some of them are quite rude!) and then I write another story and another one, hoping that each time, I’ll get more positive comments and after a while, I decide it’s time to have go at a novel. That doesn’t really work, not the first time, but I have the bit between my teeth now and I think, I’m going to keep doing this until I’m good enough to be published.

It takes me ten years. But I don’t give up… and I get there in the end.

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