Monday, May 8, 2017

A fantastic guest post from Laura Wood, celebrating the launch of the third fantastic "Poppy Pym" book, "Poppy Pym and the Smuggler's Secret"

To celebrate the launch (on 4th May) of the fantastic third book in the Poppy Pym series, we're very fortunate to have a guest post from none other than Laura Wood herself. Laura's brilliant reminiscences of childhood holidays in Cornwall help to shed some detective-style torchlight on the latest adventure for this awesome girl hero. Take it away Laura!

If you ask anyone who knows me they’ll tell you that my love for Cornwall borders on the fanatical, so it’s no coincidence that the third book in my Poppy Pym series is set there. These days my grandparents have moved up to the Midlands to be closer to the rest of the family, but for the whole of my childhood they lived in a house in Cornwall, specifically this house here:

It was called Roseland and as far as I was concerned it was total heaven. My mum always tells a story of my nan coming to visit us when I was very small and when my Nan got on the train to go home I demanded to go with her. Everyone thought I was bluffing (the fools!) but I got on the train and blithely waved goodbye to my mum without a single tear and had a lovely holiday, thanks very much.

The long holidays that we had in Cornwall with my grandparents were like something out of a Famous Five book. They were full of adventures and trips to the beach and Cornish pasties. (SO MANY CORNISH PASTIES.) We built elaborate sand castles, and clambered over rock’s, peering into pools and hunting for crabs. We swam in the sea, even when the water was so cold it knocked all the air out of you and you couldn’t speak, and then we drank hot sweet tea from a thermos and collected bits of sea glass. We used to go up to Mount Edgcumbe and stand behind the big cannons there, facing out to sea, firing on enemy ships, hunting down pirates, protecting the coast from nefarious smugglers. We marched back and forth singing songs and sea shanties and generally keeping the country safe from attack (you’re all welcome.)

My brother Harry and I had these little cloth satchels that were our ticket to adventure. His was green and mine was red and often in the morning our Nan would pack us up a picnic and then Paps would take us out to fly kites or to hunt the beast of Bodmin Moor. This beast was our nemesis and we hunted it across great distances with our magnifying glasses, always alert and on the look out for the unexplainable paw prints that indicated we were closing in on our target. Sometimes we played Holmes and Watson, where Paps was Watson and Harry and I took it in turn to be Holmes. Recently Paps found a postcard that Harry had sent him from a family holiday in Menorca. It makes me really happy.

It’s no coincidence that I ended up writing a series about a girl detective who gets tangled up in several tricky mysteries. In many ways Poppy and I are alike…only for her the mysteries she solves with her pals Kip and Ingrid really take place, while my mysteries existed in a rich imaginative world that is so tangled up with my memories of Cornwall.

When it came to writing the third Poppy Pym book I knew that I wanted to draw on these really special memories and experiences, and so ‘Poppy Pym and the Smuggler’s Secret’ was born. It’s a book about a school trip to the Cornish coast, but it’s also a book about endless sunshine, and ice cream cones, and sandy toes, and picnics, and smuggler’s caves and the smell of the sea. It’s a book that pays tribute to those Famous Five books I used to read on my summer holidays, and it’s a love letter to a place that has always seemed a little magical to me. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

"Poppy Pym and the Smugglers Secret" by Laura Wood is out now, published by Scholastic Children's Books. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poppy Pym and the Smugglers Secret so far, is the best book in the series!