Friday, 9 March 2012

Author Interview #1!!

Here it is! The one you've all been waiting for (I hope)!! I am very pleased to welcome the lovely Lucy Middlemass onto my blog today, and a very big thank you to her for agreeing to let me interview her, and for being so patient while I got round to uploading it!! Read on, and enjoy....

Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon
So, what’s the story with Jinger Barley and the Murkle Moon
It's about the famous mountain town of Murkle and its incredible wandering Moon. Up at the school, ancient astronomer Arthur Oldham and his terribly indecisive teacher friend Ms Flapp are trying to discover why it wandered on Millennium Eve when it knew full well it wasn't supposed to. 
Jinger Barley has started at the Murkle school and just wants to makes friends but the other children and the Moon are hiding something that will change her life forever. There's magic in Murkle and danger too, and Jinger, her school friends and the astronomers are linked by the Moon in a way they never could have imagined.
What gave you the inspiration for the novel?
I like eccentric, flawed characters and the idea of a world slightly different from our own.The image of an old man who death seems to have passed by has been with me for a long time, and I've often wondered what life might be like for twins born either side of midnight on Millennium Eve. Some parts of the story are real; Felix's choking so horribly on a piece of meat is based on something that happened to my father when he was a little boy and Mr Baldwin's work with the arctic foxes is a well-known genuine experiment.
Jinger Barley is quite an unusual name - how did you come up with it?
 Jinger Barley is a twin. Her pretty sister Jessica seems to have everything, including a sensibly spelt name. I wanted their names to match as a reminder that although Jinger manages to escape her bullying twin when she leaves for the school in Murkle, it is difficult for her to ever be really free of her.
How long did Jinger Barley take you to write?
 About a year. I wrote full time for three months and then edited it. It's been harder than I expected but I hope that anyone reading the book feels more than anything the fun I've had writing it and how much I've come to love Arthur, Ms Flapp, Jinger and her friends.
How long have you been writing for?
 I wrote lots of stories when I was little, stapling bits of paper together into booklets and pestering people to read them. As an adult, I worked with children and young people so it seemed natural that I would write for them. Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon is my first full length novel.
What’s your favourite book?
 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is wonderful. It's an incredibly well researched, imaginative and fresh story about finding and killing Dracula. 
...And your favourite author?
 I like Sarah Waters very much. Her novels are clever, surprising and original. The Night Watch is backwards!
If you could live in another world out of any novel, which would it be and why?
 I'd like a daemon, like Lyra has in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. While I've been writing Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon I've had my cat Tabitha on my knee so much it's feels like I've already got one, although I'm not sure a daemon would drop quite so much fur.
If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be and why?
The shifters in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels have a lot of fun. 
If you could invite three authors (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite an why?
 I'd like Margaret Atwood for her longevity and enduring feminism, Zadie Smith for her astonishing, sprawling stories and the fantastic Mr Roald Dahl who taught so many of us to love books.
What are your writing plans for the future?
 I've got my second novel, Goliath Swat and The Murkle Moon, to the editing stage. It's about astronomer Arthur's childhood and his buck-toothed smirking companion Goliath Swat. The Murkle Moon hasn't finished with the children yet and Felix discovers that although he won't have the future he is so desperate for, he has rather a wonderful magical destiny all of his own.
And finally/most do prefer tea or coffee?
This is a decision poor Ms Flapp finds impossible to make but fortunately I have no such trouble. Tea please and possibly a biscuit.

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to be part of your blog. The complete Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon is available to read on


  1. This sounds really good, where can I read it? Can you read the whole thing for free? I went to but can't find it. Thanks. X

    1. Hi Rachel!
      'Jinger Barley and the Murkle Moon' is available to read (for free!) on Authonomy. Try this link:

      Hopefully it will work, but if not, you may have to create your own Authonomy account to be able to read it :S....let me know if it works! x

    2. It worked! I read it this afternoon! Weird, I couldn't stop reading it. I think it's just one of those books where you just have to know what happens next. It's really funny too. I LOVE the names she has given the characters - Jinger, Ms Flapp, Granny Bloom, Tabs etc. Brink Stenton and the shop,'It's a Shore Thing' are good names too. I think this story and the images will stay with me. She writes really well (better than a lot of published authors!) - amazing that you can get this for free isn't it?

      Great choice!

  2. A gripping story with some surprising (and alarming!) twists in it. There's a well-managed air of menace surrounding the wolves which kept me expecting the worst!

    It's nicely written too, with plenty of wry observations and neat turns of phrase which make you smile out loud.

    Definitely a page-turner, and judging from the interview, there's more to come from Lucy Middlemass!


I love chatting and meeting new people :). Thanks for stopping by!