Elizabeth Pulford is one of our great Kiwi authors. She has written books for all ages, from picture books to novels for children, young adults and adults. Elizabeth has two new books that have just been released, a picture book called Finding Monkey Moon and the first book in her fantastic new Bloodtree Chronicles series, Sanspell. You can read my review of Bloodtree Chronicles: Sanspell here on the blog.
I had a few questions about the Bloodtree Chronicles and Elizabeth has very kindly answered them for me. Read on to find out more about Elizabeth’s new series and her favourite story worlds.
- What inspired you to write the Bloodtree Chronicles?
It was more a case of resistance in the beginning. I was having time away from writing in the garden when into my head slipped the first line of Sanspell. I told it to go away and that I wasn’t interested. Then an hour or so later the same line, word for word, arrived. I ignored it. Later than evening it made another appearance so I wrote it down, not really interested. Two days later I found the piece of paper and typed it into the computer. As soon as I did that my curiosity was stirred and I started to ask questions, eg ‘whose mother’s dress was it?’ It went on from there until the idea caught me completely and wouldn’t let me go.
- In Sanspell, Abigail gets transported into the Silvering Kingdom, a magical place made of stories. If you could be transported into a story, which one would you choose?
Definitely the Robin Hood stories. I would love to be in his gang and living in Sherwood Forest.
- What sort of character would you be in the Silvering Kingdom?
Zezmena. I always think villains are so interesting. What makes them behave the way they do? What makes them tick? Trying to find the one redeeming quality that they keep hidden beneath all their evil deeds.
- What is your favourite fantasy world?
The Magic Faraway Tree world created by Enid Blyton. Growing up there was an old apple tree in our garden. I kept wishing for this to be the same as the Faraway Tree and that Moonface would appear. Sadly it never happened!
- In the next two books in the Bloodtree Chronicles you take us to Bragonsthyme and Thatchthorpe. Can you give us a taste of what Abigail might find in these stories?
The Bragonsthyme’s story is frozen. To be a proper fairy story it needs to have a happy ending, otherwise it cannot help the Bloodtree to heal. It is up to Abigail / Spindale (with help from Flint and Bramble) to find its ending.
In Thatchthorpe the King of Silvering Kingdom dies. Rackenard sees his chance to rule, thereby putting the Bloodtree at a greater risk than it has ever been. The only way to stop this happening is finding the two parts of the magical code, which will reveal to the people of the kingdom who is the true king.
Imagine that your mother suddenly starts packing a suitcase for you and tells you that the time has come and you must hurry. She is sending you somewhere, but she doesn’t tell you where. She tells you that this place is unlike anywhere you have ever been and when you get there you must call yourself a different name. She gives you a locket that you should never remove from around your neck. The next thing you know, you are standing in the snow in a strange land – a land that only you can save.
When the Bloodtree loses its last leaf, there will be no more stories in the Silvering Kingdom …The Silvering Kingdom is the home of fairy tales but the kingdom and all those within are in danger of vanishing because the Bloodtree – the source of all stories – has been poisoned. ‘Sanspell’ is a story that has been cursed. It is up to Abigail (Spindale) to enter the fairy tale world and save the story-tree. Together with Flint, whose mother Trinket is being held captive by the evil Rackenard, they set off on a journey: three drops of Trinket’s blood is what is required to save the tree. The race is on …but can they survive the wicked Zezmena’s spells?
Elizabeth Pulford emerses readers in her fantastic story of the Silvering Kingdom in Sanspell, the first book in her new series, Bloodtree Chronicles. This is the sort of book that you just want to curl up with on a Winter’s day, wrapped in a blanket with a hot drink. Elizabeth really makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the snowy Silvering Kingdom with Abigail.
Abigail loves stories and uses books as an escape from her life. She doesn’t have many friends and is bullied at school, so she feels far from special. However, when she is transported to the Silvering Kingdom and the Sanspell story she discovers that she is incredibly important and it is up to her to save the Bloodtree and the characters that inhabit the story.
Like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series this is a story about the magic of stories. I love the way that Elizabeth Pulford has created the story within the story. The story of the Silvering Kingdom is written by Abigail’s aunties and there is a visual record of the story on the walls of their house. As the story changes, the illustrations change. The aunties are so used to creating the story that when Abigail takes the story in her own direction they are not sure what to do.
Special mention needs to be made of Donovan Bixley’s stunning cover and design. His cover is one that will catch the eyes of young readers and make them want to read this wonderful book. The silver foil catches the light and highlights different parts depending on how you look at it.
Sanspell has me hooked on the Bloodtree Chronicles! I can’t wait for Elizabeth Pulford to take me to Bragonsthyme and Thatchthorpe in the next two books in the series.
The Bloodtree Chronicles: Sanspell by Elizabeth Pulford
When the Bloodtree loses its last leaf, there will be no more stories in the Silvering Kingdom . . .
The Silvering Kingdom is the home of fairy tales but the kingdom and all those within are in danger of vanishing because the Bloodtree – the source of all stories – has been poisoned.
‘Sanspell’ is a story that has been cursed. It is up to Abigail to enter the fairy-tale world, where she is known as Spindale, and save the story tree. Together with Flint, whose mother Trinket is being held captive by the evil Rackenard, they set off on a journey: three drops of Trinket’s blood is what is required to save the tree. The race is on . . . but can they survive the wicked Zezmena’s spells?
Tyranno-sort-of-Rex by Christopher Llewelyn and Scott Tulloch
Everyone’s heard of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Diplodocus a Tyranno-Sort-of Rex and a Bit-odd-ocus?
When the ship carrying boxes of dinosaur bones to a dreadful storm, the boxes are broken and the bones museum curator is tasked with the job of putting them the next day’s exhibition – with curious results!