Families Thames Valley East March/April 22

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Book Club

This month we have the first two books in a gloriously gothic detective series to giveaway! Written for readers age 8+, these books are the perfect spooky sleuth series for young adventure seekers. Rachel Bailey talks to author Sophie Cleverly about her love of books, graveyards and a good mystery. With both a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing for Young People, you must have been pretty set on becoming a writer! Who first inspired your love of books? I definitely wanted to be a writer as soon I first learned how to pick up a pencil. My mum was the person who taught me how to read, and I took to it immediately. I was the sort of kid who would take out the maximum number of books from the library every week. I would always be writing my own stories and putting my own little books together with illustrated covers. My one true reading love has to be Terry Pratchett – I discovered him when I was 11 and that really compelled me to want to pursue writing as a career.

Is it true that your love of graveyards was the inspiration for the Violet Veil series? For sure! I’ve always been fascinated with graveyards. I used to play in them when I was young and would imagine stories for the names I read on the stones. I even wrote my A Level English coursework on the language of epitaphs. I remember reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and thinking it couldn’t be beaten, but I still wanted to write my own story. I think Violet first came to me one dark and stormy night when I was trying to think of ideas for my MA, and I suddenly thought that a book about an undertaker’s Your first series, Scarlet and Ivy, was daughter would be interesting. I touted by the Guardian as being a immediately thought of her as living next to below a proof of your advertisement the it was the story I’d ‘nail-biting mystery’Please . How find is this series a cemetery, and for I knew July/August 2021 issue of Families Chiltern (Issue 110). different? always wanted to write. The twins in Scarlet and Ivy solve mysteries Please CHECK ALL INFORMATION IS CORRECT in their creepy 1930sespecially boarding school, You admit you have ‘ever-increasing’ dates, telephone numbers andan addresses. Rookwood – I was very much inspired by pile of unread books. Me too! I can never Anyas changes need to be madeleave at thisastage. the mix of things I read a kid, everything bookshop empty handed. What’s Any further amendments charged for.reading list and is it all about from Enid Blyton to Goosebumps. We’re will be top of your Please contact us by return either to amend approve youryou advertisement. in a different time period with Violet Veil, the physicalorbook or are a kindle the Victorian era, so it takes a little more convert? inspiration from the gothic horror and I have The Strangeworlds Travel Agency detective novels at the time – but of course by L.D. Lapinski to read next and I’m with a bit of my own modern twist to it. really looking forward to it. I love reading middle grade as much as I love writing it. I definitely prefer physical books and enjoy collecting them, but I think e-books and audiobooks are pretty awesome, too.


Your books have been translated into 6 different languages. Have you travelled to see them in different countries? Not yet, but I would certainly like to. I get a lot of requests from fans to visit Australia – I’m rather scared of flying but I dream of being able to do that one day! When you’re not writing or brainstorming ideas, what’s your favourite way to spend time with your family? Ideally, I’d love to be sitting in a Greek taverna by the beach, but the pandemic has prevented us from going on holiday these past few years. So aside from that, I love a good wander through an ancient churchyard, or to curl up inside on a rainy day with a good movie.


Maidenhead Windsor Marlow Ascot Slough Egham

WIN Families have a copy of the first two Violet Veil books to give away! For your chance to win, all you have to do is answer the question below and email your answer to competitions@familiestveast.co.uk What is the name of Sophie Cleverly’s first series? A Scarlet and Ivy B Ivy and Bean C The Scarlet Mysteries Closing date for entries is 15 April 2022 A Case of Misfortune, the second installment in The Violet Veil Mysteries is available now in paperback, priced £6.99. www.sophiecleverly.com Facebook @SophieCleverlyAuthor Twitter @Hapfairy Instagram @Hapfairy