Out on a limb, doing the unthinkable. Offering them something ‘real’ to read…


Since the amazing Harry Potter phenomenon, it seems that there has been nothing to offer 11-16 year olds to read other than magic, fantasy, or teens killing each other off… all very cool, but what happened to real characters in real situations? Are books with believable characters really dead now? Do we really have to be always reading about some futuristic, murderous, spell-smothered make-believe world? Is a present-day adventure really that boring for them now?

Personally, I am a little bored of it. I think it has been over done. I’m going back to basics. Back to the good old days! I’d like to offer our kids to be reading something exciting and true-to-life, here, on earth. No magic wands or sci-fi aliens. Just plain, old, cant-put-it-down adventure, firmly based here on earth. Something they can really relate to.

Am I being old fashioned? Probably. But at least there will be the choice. I think teachers and parents alike would agree with me, that the fantasy is a just little bit over done now. Isn’t is time to see something different on the shelves?

So here’s what I’m doing. A series of books that are about real people. Books with an international flavor. Real teens, who will grow with the reader throughout their adventures. An unusual concept, I know, today. These two sets of siblings, two from London and two from Milan, meet on an archaeological desert dig, where their archaeologist parents are working with a team excavating the tomb of an ancient Mesopotamian warrior queen. And there is no room for any special effects. Archaeology is exciting enough without making it silly!

Teens, adventure, families, ancient history, jealousy, kidnapping, bad guys, good guys, a first crush and a dramatic background that even David Lean would have envied, all rolled into the first book, The Obsidian Mask.

What do you think? Each book is based on a different historical site in the world, which is the basis for each adventure. No wizards, no spaceships or green men, no killing teenagers, but lots of meaty characters that will develop throughout the books. It’s slightly educational, but not so much that the reader would notice or be put off in any way, but it is exciting, and very real.

Is this something you might want your young teen reading?

Take a look. I’m about to publish the sequel before Christmas, which is based around an archaeological site in Pisa, where their parents are excavating Etruscan ships buried in silt under the railway station. However, in book two the teens stumble upon something much closer to home; Italian art stolen by the Nazis at the end of WW2.

Would love your feedback. I’m out here on a whim. Alone in sea of sci-fi and fantasy. Am I completely mad?



2 thoughts on “Out on a limb, doing the unthinkable. Offering them something ‘real’ to read…

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