Friday 26 April 2019

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The Tunnels Below Blog Tour - Nadine Wild-Palmer: The Books I Grew Up With

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The Tunnels Below Blog Tour - Nadine Wild-Palmer: The Books I Grew Up With

It's my stop on the blog tour for The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer, and I'm really excited to have debut UKMG author Nadine stopping by to share with us a guest post about the books she read when she was growing up.

Nadine Wild-PalmerThe Books I Grew Up With

"It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like as long as somebody loves you." The Witches, Roald Dahl.

I still can’t read the closing chapters of Roald Dahl’s
The Witches without bursting into tears. After all the thrilling, gorey adventures of in the story it’s the winding down of the closing chapters that still make my heart ache. A good book, a really good book, ends well. You can feel that it is finishing and that you have to say goodbye to characters you have spent several hours or days or, for me, in some cases years with and you are filled instantly with a feeling of nostalgia. The best writing will throw you right back to that place and the feelings you felt the first time you read it, if you were to open the book right here right now.

It is the hope that I might be able to create a book and a world that would evoke a similar set of feelings and experiences that inspired the writing of
The Tunnels Below. I wanted to try and create moments that stick with the reader throughout their lives like so many of the books I have read, especially children’s books. Whether it was the sinister omnipotence of The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross or the musings of fairy magic of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which I read in one afternoon sitting on the front steps of my house when I was 11 years old). As a writer I’ve always wanted my work to have the power to capture the imagination because from my own experience and the challenges I encountered with reading as a child this is the only way to make sure every kind of reader makes it to the end. You see, the thing about children's books, especially if you read them when you are young, is that you still have the openness and capacity to inhabit the story that is taking place - you really possess the power to live within the world of the book you are reading. I remember reading Matilda and spending hours trying to make a pencil move with the power of my mind. Or packing a bag and venturing off into the wild of the garden or the dark of the basement to read a copy of The Hobbit that my teacher Miss Antony had given me to read over the holidays. I had the time, and freedom of youth to fit several worlds and lives into my head at once and the innocence to suspend my disbelief because when I was a kid I couldn’t just pack my bags up and leave to travel the world on my own, so it was books that became my vehicle.

The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-PalmerI am sure I am not the only author who feels this way about books and their power to transform and transport and I am even more certain that the desire to create a world that leaves a lasting impression on its audience is a skill I will have to work on as I continue to write more books over the years. As a child having just started secondary school I am afraid to say I was a slow reader. It didn’t prevent my passion for books but I found it difficult to keep up, let alone hold my place on the page so reading longer fiction was a struggle for me and took a lot of dedication. Therefore, I depended on the author to grab my attention and hook me in, if they didn’t I could be put off reading for months feeling disappointed and unintelligent. Since then I have learnt that I am both dyslexic and dyspraxic, mildly so but it explains why the words were always dancing around the page taunting me and therefore slowing me down. So, my approach to writing
The Tunnels Below was to try and make the story exciting and worthwhile reading. That way each chapter would feel like an accomplishment and entice the reader to read on. I don’t know that everyone who reads The Tunnels Below will say that I achieved this but I believe I went some distance to getting to that point and I am grateful to the authors of my youth who managed to enchant me enough to develop my skills as a reader by creating wonderful worlds that have become part of my identity. I only hope I can go some way to doing the same.

Thank you, Nadine, for such a fantastic guest post! Isn't the power of children's books just so wonderful? Be sure to visit Nadine's website, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and check out The Tunnels Below, which was published yesterday! Do also visit the other stops on The Tunnels Below blog tour!

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The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-PalmerThe Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer

How do you find your way out of the dark?

On her twelfth birthday, the last thing Cecilia expected was to find herself lost in a labyrinth of tunnels beneath London. Afraid, alone, but determined, she sets to work on her escape, and soon realises that perhaps there is a reason she and the mysterious marble her sister gave her have ended up so far from home.

Deep in the darkness roam the terrible Corvus, tyrants of the magical realm below. Cecilia’s struggle to return to her family becomes a mission of great danger and adventure, as she tries to help her new friends to free themselves and their beautiful, unique world. But will her heart be brave enough to ensure she doesn’t stay trapped in the darkness forever?
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

Over to you graphic

What are your thoughts on Nadine's guest post? What are your favourite books you read as a child? What was the book that made you a reader? Will you be checking out The Tunnels Below? Let me know in the comments!

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