Amy’s writing is always a little bit magical, a little bit thought-provoking, and a little bit special. Her newest novel, Lightning Falls, certainly fits into this category. With a haunted house, a hallowed ghost, and a glimmering portal into another world, there is plenty for readers to become immersed in. Amy has also written a special piece for the blog about why she considers cemeteries to be magical places and how they inspire her writing.
‘Valerie has been living at Lightning Falls nearly all her life. She’s perfectly happy helping Meg and the rest of the family to haunt the guests who come to stay there at the crumbling Ghost House. One night, she sees a strange boy, Joe, up on the viaduct. There she discovers that beneath the river is a bridge – one that will take her to the world of Orbis, which Joe claims is her real home.
A world that is under threat. Plunged into a dangerous adventure, as the link between the two worlds begins to crumble, Valerie is forced to confront the truth about herself . . .’
Once again, Amy has created a vivid imaginary world which is tantalisingly close to the world we inhabit. Lightning Falls is connected to the magical world of Orbis by a shimmering rainbow bridge but (almost) no one knows it. All it would take to visit there would be quick feet and nerves of steel.
From the first page I was sucked into the ageing Ghost House with its clanking and mischief, and loved the close relationships between the haphazard collection of ghosts who haunted there. I loved meeting Valerie and the makeshift family she lived with. And like any family, there are the jokes, the disagreements, and the fierce loyalty to one another.
If the book’s readers are anything like me, after reading, they’ll be keeping their eyes peeled for any signs of magic leaking out of themselves or their surroundings – desperately hoping that they just might be able to find their way into Orbis.
A cemetery plays an important role in Lightning Falls soo was interested to read how cemeteries inspire Amy’s writing. Take a read of what she has to say:
‘The Magic of Cemeteries’ by Amy Wilson
There is a hush that falls when you walk into a cemetery. Even if I’m walking through one with a child or two and there are scooters, still it’s a place where sound dims, and light takes on a new quality. My five-year-old wants to know all the names on the stones, and how old all of the people were, and so it can take us some time – and time passes slowly, anyway, in a cemetery. My voice is more quiet, and she’s captivated by everything I’m saying, which definitely isn’t always the case!
We have a cemetery very close to us, and I walk past it on the school run; there’s quite a high wall dividing it from the lane, and the branches of the trees hang over the path, and shower it with conkers in the autumn. There’s so much life in a cemetery, and I was really struck by that when I went to Highgate with a friend – the amount of trees, and of new green growth, was almost magical, rising through the ranks of engraved grey stones, and angels. We wandered off in different directions, each at our own pace, and again there was that sense of quiet, and of being somehow slightly out of the real world, away from the bustle and the noise. Of course, I am quiet in part because it feels respectful to take that moment away from normality, to consider all that has gone before, but I also think there’s something a bit magical about being in a place where so much history is recorded, and especially in places where that history goes back centuries. It definitely inspires me – I have written cemeteries in at least two of my books: A Far Away Magic and my new release, Lightning Falls, and in both cases they are places where my character has come to get that sense of what the world can be and who they are in the quiet moments between.
I do agree with Amy. I always walk through cemeteries with a certain sense of calm and reverence. It’s always the oldest, crumbling tombstones and monuments which catch my attention and often offer fascinating insights into times past. I think Amy has perfectly captured the reflective mood of cemeteries in Lightning Falls as well as creating a magical new world for readers aged 9+ to explore.
*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*