Monday, August 25, 2014

Children’s Author Supports TACT!

If everyone in the class had been asked by their teacher to vote on who else in the class they thought would turn out to be a truly extraordinary human being, Joe would probably not have received any votes. 

But Joe- and his best friend Amber- are both about to be drawn into a series of incredible events and discover hidden truths not only about themselves but about the world itself. Their lives will never be the same again...



Five reasons to grab your copy of Summer's Dark Waters-

1. All royalties from sales are going to T.A.C.T - children's adoption and fostering charity.

2. Illustrated inside and out by Ankolie Noire

3. Just $3.42 on Amazon US / £2.05 Amazon UK

4. Two extra print-quality illustrations of the characters-yours FREE

5. Signed paperbacks also available

Here's a snippet from the first chapter.

The afternoon wore on, tedious in the way that only summer afternoons spent inside can be. The hands of the clock on the wall appeared (to the eyes of the hot and tired students who kept staring at it) to be moving far too slowly, as if like them it was starting to wilt a little in the summer heat.

Joe finished his work and turned it over to stop anyone nearby from copying his answers. Nathan sat nearest to him, and he usually tried to look at Joe’s work whenever he got a chance, but today he was actually trying to figure out the answers himself for a change.

Joe frowned and looked around suddenly. The oddest sensation had come to him- something he could not even hope to describe.

It’s like there’s suddenly an extra person in the classroom, he thought, and he found himself looking around at everyone and counting heads, certain that there was a new student who had suddenly wandered into the room- although that was impossible, because he and everyone else would have seen him or her. In fact their teacher, Miss Wells, would have introduced the new student at the beginning of the lesson.

And there can’t be anyone new anyway, he reminded himself. It’s almost the end of the summer term. No one joins school with just a week to go.

But he couldn’t stop himself looking around, scanning everyone and silently counting them. A few saw him and stared back. Daniel made a rude hand signal and glared at him. Gemma stuck out her tongue. Caitlin just smiled and gave him a little wave before going back to her work.

“Have you finished your work, Joe?” Miss Wells asked, staring at him over the top of her glasses.

“Yes miss,” he said politely.

“Then could you please stop looking around at everyone else and read a book until the end of class?”

Joe took a book out of his bag and opened it at the bookmark. He began reading, but he had only got as far as halfway down the page when another strange feeling came to him. It was as if he was being watched intently by one of the other students.

No, he thought suddenly, closing the book slowly. His heart pounded and his stomach felt as if it had turned over. No, it’s not one of the other students. It’s the missing one. It’s the one I can’t see.

He knew that what he was thinking didn’t make any sense. It sounded completely mad. But that didn’t stop him being certain that there was someone in the class apart from all the people who he could see.

His eyes were drawn to a desk not far from the window where the sun poured in. There was no one sitting there, and he tried to remember who normally sat at that desk. Did anyone sit there?

Time seemed to slow down as he stared at the desk, at the sunlight slanting in across the classroom, at the tiny specks of dust that shone in the still warm air. He could dimly hear the tired ticking of the classroom clock on the wall. It’s slower than usual, he thought. It’s slowing down...

About the Author

Simon always wanted to be a writer, and didn't ever feel like doing much else, a fact which in time became quite clear through his school reports. As soon as he picked up his first writing pen, his parents breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief (yes, I know. Two people but just one sigh. Go figure...). "At least he's given up scribbling on the wall with crayons" they declared. That wasn't strictly true, but moving on...
He spent much of his childhood writing. Major influences during these years included such luminaries as C S Lewis, Susan Cooper, and the incomparable Alan Garner, whose masterpieces of Celtic fantasy had a profound effect.
Nevertheless, Simon was still obsessed with sci-fi at this point, and wrote his first novel at the age of thirteen. It was monumentally, breathtakingly bad. Within a couple of years he had embarked on a (very) traditional fantasy trilogy which still occasionally provides a degree of mirth.
During the 90s he wrote a number of experimental novels, and an entire scribblefest of short stories. Most of these defied genre definitions. Some also defied belief. Nonetheless, a number of them were published in various small-circulation magazines.
Inspired by the fact that several thousand people were actually reading (even enjoying) his stories, the intrepid Mr Williams promptly stopped writing them. He turned again to writing fantasy.
A combination of steadily advancing age and rapidly advancing laziness meant that it took a long time to really get going with the Aona books. But at long last, creativity is flowing ("creative juices" sounds a tad biological somehow), the first three books are published and he's positively jogging along with the fourth. It's a truffle shuffle with real intent. All of which proves it's better to be neither the hare nor the tortoise.

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