Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A guest blog post from Rob Keeley, author of "Childish Spirits" and "The Spirit of London" published by Troubador.

"Childish Spirits" by Rob Keeley.

One of the things I love about being a writer is that you never know where your writing is going to take you. There was I, on Twitter yesterday afternoon, browsing through my timeline when suddenly, there was a picture of a shield from one of my favourite childhood programmes, the challenge being to name it and receive 100 geek points.

 As a child of the Eighties and total sci-fi and fantasy geek, I immediately named it as the Eye Shield (from CITV’s Knightmare) and only afterwards did it occur to me to find out who had actually posted the picture. It turned out to have come from this rather lovely book blog run by Phil and Charlotte, and this led to an equally lovely invitation to guest blog about the first two books in my “Spirits” series of ghost novels for the 8-12s.

 So here I am at 8.30am on a delightful cloudy, windy English summer morning, having just dropped my mobile on my foot and wondering what to write.
I always find talking about my books far harder than actually writing them. Let alone finding anything new to tell people. I mean, if you want to know who my favourite authors were, or when I first started to write, you can already find lots of other great websites that will tell you. And whenever I do a Q&A, someone always, always asks me: “What inspires you?” and I never have a clue what to say.

Rob Keeley

Instead, I thought I’d become interviewer instead of interviewee, and let one of my characters do the talking. There are already two books out there – Childish Spirits and The Spirit of London – telling the ongoing story of Ellie and Edward.

Ellie is a normal kid who suddenly finds she has the power to see ghosts – and to help them, too. Edward Fitzberranger is the first ghost she meets. He’s ten years old – forever – and died in 1897. Ellie meets him at Inchwood Manor, a house Edward feels is rightfully his. He came from a rich aristocratic family, and was a bit spoilt, and more than a bit naughty. Since becoming a ghost, he’s found lots of ways to use his supernatural powers to play pranks on visitors to Inchwood.

So, let’s have a breakfast meeting with Edward.
Edward can get inside computers and other devices, has already found his way onto my Twitter page and shortly, he’s going to find the link to here. I’m wondering where he’s got to...


Hello, Edward. Wait while I pick up the toast I’ve dropped.

Oh, there’s no time for that! Everyone’s come here to hear all about me! I say, this is a jolly odd way of reaching people. In my day, Father used to send letters to the papers. The only tweets were from birds in the kitchen garden.

Edward, thanks for joining us.

Pleasure, old chap.

Now, perhaps you’d tell us how you first met Ellie, in the story I’ve called Childish Spirits?

Absolutely. Well, meeting Ellie has changed my life. Well, not life, but you know what I mean. I’d been hanging around the nursery at Inchwood for decades, with only my toy soldiers and my train set for company. The only pleasure I got was when visitors came to the house, and I could scare ‘em off. After all, it is my house. I don’t want people tramping muddy footprints all over it.
But then, Journeyback bought the house, and wanted to bring day trippers in – tourists, I believe they’re called. And Ellie came to Inchwood with her mother, who works for Journeyback organising events, or some such nonsense. That’s how we met.

And then what happened?

Well, at first I didn’t want Ellie and her family there, and I gave her some jolly good scares, I can tell you! But then something rather frightening started to happen. Another ghost came, and was hunting me down. Now, I was the one being haunted, and only Ellie could help me. If you want to find out more, you’ll have to read the book.

And in The Spirit of London?

When Ellie left Inchwood and went home to London, I decided there was no point drifting around the nursery for evermore. So I went home with her. Most of my life was spent in the country, and I fancied a trip to Town. But then, once we arrived, Ellie discovered there was another ghost on the loose. And he wasn’t an awfully nice chap. And I’m afraid, he even talked me into working for him, and betraying Ellie – well, just a bit. So I had to put things right, by... but again, you’ll have to read it.

Why is Ellie so special to the spirit world?

I don’t know. She seems to be able to see ghosts, and discover things from the past, in a way that no one else can. I’m hoping we’ll have some more adventures together, so I can find out. There is an old legend in the spirit world... no. That can’t have anything to do with Ellie. Can it?
I certainly want to see your adventures continue. What are your plans, until then?
After what happened in The Spirit of London, I’ve got a new home, and some new friends. I really mustn’t say too much, old boy, but let’s just say it’s another country house, and we’re trying to find new ways to bring people in. Perhaps I’ve learned my lesson! Or not. I don’t see Ellie quite so much at present, but I have a feeling she’s going to need me again...

Thank you Edward!

Couldn’t lend me a fiver, could you?

I hope you’ll follow Ellie and Edward’s adventures in Childish Spirits, The Spirit of London and other books I’m planning for later in the series.

"The Spirit of London" by Rob Keeley

For more information, visit www.robkeeley.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobKeeleyAuthor .

Thanks to Phil and Charlotte and happy reading! (and thank YOU Rob for putting together such an awesome guest post for us in super-quick time!)

Rob Keeley

Further reading: 

My second novel for children "The Spirit of London" is scheduled for publication in September 2015:


Read an advance review at: http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=The_Spirit_of_London_by_Rob_Keeley

My first novel for children, a ghost story entitled "Childish Spirits", is published by Troubador Publishing. Visit:


Read a review at: http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Childish_Spirits_by_Rob_Keeley