A big welcome today to my Guest Author, Dawn Finch. Her latest book, Brotherhood of Shades, was published by HarperCollins in September.
You don’t have to be dead to work here, but it helps.
Growing up on the streets of London, Adam knows nothing of the dark and precarious world that exists just beyond his reality – until he dies, cold and alone, aged 14. Now, after years of abandonment and living rough, Adam discovers he is important: an Order that was formed many centuries ago to protect the world of the living from the world of the dead needs him – an Order of ghosts.
Adam finds himself thrown into the spectral world of Toby D’Scover, head of Section One of the Brotherhood of Shades, a mysterious character who believes Adam to be a foretold savior, The Sentinel. Together, Adam and the Brotherhood must battle unseen forces and deadly Elemental spirits to find a coded manuscript and save the world.
Will you join the Brotherhood?
‘With Brotherhood of Shades, Finch has proven herself to be an author to watch’ – The British Fantasy Society
‘A wonderful new fantasy’ – Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus Sequence
It sounds fantastic, Dawn!
I asked Dawn to tell us a bit about herself.
How did you get started writing?
Well, first I learned to write, and then I never stopped! I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I have always loved it and have filled many notebooks in my life. When I was small I used to write little plays with my sister and we’d perform them with puppets in our back garden puppet theatre. I did once get into trouble at school because I went through a phase where all of my stories were ghost stories – I think the teacher got a bit fed up with me.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Oh dear… I think I should ask my daughter on this one! I think the fact that I am constantly embarrassing her in public would be one of those. I do accidentally talk to strangers a lot thinking it’s my daughter. I sing a lot too. I grew up in a house where we all sung all the time and I’ve never lost the habit and often catch myself singing with my headphones on. Eden is embarrassed, but I’m usually not!
What’s your top writing tip for new writers?
My number one tip would be to finish it. I know lots of people who would love to be writers but have never actually finished a manuscript. It is incredibly rare these days to sell a manuscript on synopsis alone so a lot of agents and publishers will only look at finished manuscripts. It also proves to you that you can do it, and that is great for your self-esteem.
A brief Author bio.
I have worked in libraries (both public and school) for over twenty-five years. I am passionate about books and reading and spend most of my time working in reader development and training teachers, as well as visiting schools and trying to write. I grew up on a London overspill council estate and spent much of my time in libraries. Books were very important in my family I became an obsessive reader. The careers officer asked me, aged twelve, what I would like to be when I grew up and I said that I wanted to work as a writer and a librarian. She told me to "stop pointless dreaming or you'll only live to regret it" and she sent me off to learn how to type.
I stuck at it and my typing speed got me a job working for an academic publishers in central London. While sorting the unsolicited submissions, I learnt something about how not to prepare a manuscript. Later I worked at St Albans Cathedral as a Research Assistant for the Education Office. This essentially involved taking school children for tours of the Abbey whilst dressed as a Benedictine monk. After that I began working in public libraries and helped to establish a large library at my daughter's school...soon the headteacher convinced me to leave public libraries to run the school library… and I wrote a lot of children’s stories and shared them…and the rest is the future!
I do not believe in regrets, and I’m glad that I never stopped my pointless dreaming.
Good for you! :)
My website is www.dawnfinch.com
My twitter is @dawnafinch
My blog is www.deefinch.wordpress.com – and on here I post lots of things about book, writing, libraries and reading – including my Ask A Librarian posts.
And schools can find out more details about my school visits on Contact An Author here
Lovely to meet you, Dawn!