The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree
by Matt Beighton
Genre: Upper MG/YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 2017
Some people fall down rabbit holes. Others hide inside magical wardrobes. Skye Thistle looked through an old spyglass.
Lost and alone on a world filled with Goblins, Orcs, Dragons and others that, until now, she was convinced existed only in fairy tales, Skye wants only one thing: to return home.
If she’s to have any chance of getting home safely, Skye must overcome her own fears and prejudices and embrace the prophecies that she fears have already sealed her fate on the distant world of Ithilmir. All that stands in the way of restoring peace and balance is a fearsome and worryingly familiar Dark Queen.
Goblins are very real, and whether Skye believes in them or not, she’s their only hope.
Readers around the world are enjoying the complex mythology and descriptive world building of The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree, the first adventure in the Shadowlands Chronicles.
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Writing for an Upper Middle Grade Reader
Writing for any age of child is hard. Writing for MG (middle grade) is particularly challenging. My younger readers’ series (Monstacademy) is easier because each book is shorter and there are illustrations to help guide the reader. With MG, particularly Upper-MG, your words are on their own. Children at this age are often voracious readers with little time to spare on books that don’t immediately grab their attention. The market is becoming more and more saturated with titles from well-known celebrities and that’s a tough competition to beat.
It definitely has its rewards, though. I love language and etymology (the origin of words) and middle-grade is the perfect place for me to explore this. Children at any age are like sponges for words (just look at how quickly new slang catches on) and I enjoy slipping in words that they may never have heard before. One of my favourites at the moment is reverie, it’s just such a beautiful sounding word.
I also harbor a fondness for maps and word-building. I grew up with The Lord of the Rings and have been a long-time fan of Sir Terry Pratchett and the Discworld. Writing within an MG universe allows me to build my own. Ithilmir, the world on which Skye Thistle finds herself in The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree, now sits taped to my study wall as a fully formed map. I love that!
Perhaps most fulfilling of all is the feedback you receive from readers at this age. They are able to better understand deeper inferences in the story and relay back to you their thoughts and opinions on it as a whole.
About the Author
Matt Beighton was born somewhere in the midlands in England during the heady days of the 1980s and continues to spend most of his days in the same shire. He is happily married with two young daughters who keep him very busy and suffer through the endless early drafts of his stories.
When he’s not writing, he teaches primary school (Kindergarten to some of you), messes around on canals in his inflatable kayak and supports his beloved Leicester City.
To find out more and to join his mailing list, visit http://www.mattbeighton.co.uk.
He is currently recruiting avid readers of children’s books for his Street Team. Find out more and request to join at http://mattbeighton.co.uk/street-team.
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Amazon author page: http://author.to/mattbeighton
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