About the Book
Title: The Shadow of Atlantis (Shadows From the Past, Book 1)
Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter
Year Published: 2012
Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing
Recommended Age: 8+
Ten-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book which had belonged to their father holds the answer… and so begins an unusual quest to discover the truth.
Together with Max, their remarkable Tonkinese cat, and Charlie from next door, the children embark on an epic adventure, travelling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis. Once there, however, they soon run into problems.
Can they save the people of Atlantis from the disaster which is about to destroy their land forever?
And will they find their way back to the safety of their own time before it’s too late?
We are pleased to welcome with us today, Wendy Leighton-Porter, author of the Shadows From the Past book series, as we kick-off The Shadow of Atlantis Blog Tour hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you scroll down this post, you will see the Tour Schedule featuring book reviews, character interviews, author interviews, and guest posts from over 30 other blogs. * CLICK ON EACH BOOK COVER BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUAL BOOKS.*
1. As succinctly as possible, tell us why someone should read your book.
It’s a fun adventure with a hint of magic, which will transport you back in time to an ancient city shrouded in mystery … and the story features a talking cat. What more could you ask for?
2. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? What inspired you to choose to write books?
My very first ambition, when I was 5 years old, was to be Dr Who’s assistant – I must have been into time-travel even then! (I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the English TV programme Dr Who, but it’s still going today.) I didn’t start writing books until my forties, after a career in teaching. I’d always had the idea that I’d like to write, in the back of my mind, and creating books for children seemed like a logical step after teaching.
3. What advice would you give someone aspiring to write a children’s book?
Write for your target audience rather than for yourself. Try and put yourself back in your child-sized shoes and remember the sort of books you read under the covers by torchlight after you’d promised your mother you really, really, cross my heart, had turned the light out.
4. Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in marketing your books? What works? What’s a bust?
Marketing is tough, because there is just so much competition – getting yourself noticed isn’t easy these days. Having an author’s website is important, although I’m still a bit of a technological dinosaur without a blog or twitter account. Joining Goodreads can be useful, but I’ve found that there are a lot of people who want something for free without giving anything back in the way of reviews and ratings. For me the most effective thing seems to be promotional websites and by far the best of all those is Mother Daughter Book Reviews! And I really do mean that – Renee’s promotions have worked wonders for my books and I can’t thank her enough.
5. What are some of your favourite books from when you were a child and did any of these inspire you when writing your books?
When I was very small I was addicted to Enid Blyton’s “Five Find-outers” mystery series; I think they got me hooked on mystery stories and detective novels from a young age. I also enjoyed “The Bobbsey Twins” adventures. Then I progressed on to some of the classics, such as Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. At the age of about 10 or 11 I started reading Gerald Durrell’s books, starting with My Family and Other Animals. That’s a very funny book and I’ve always loved anything which makes me laugh.
I suppose that the Enid Blyton mystery stories may have influenced me, in that my books have a slightly old-fashioned air of innocence about them, coupled with mystery and adventure. I also hope that I manage to inject a note of humour into my stories via the character of Max.
6. Which authors have influenced you the most and how?
My favourite authors all share one important attribute – the ability to make good writing look effortless. For me, and it’s an opinion shared by one of the finest novelists of the 20th century, Evelyn Waugh, the ‘Master’ of this art was P.G. Wodehouse. His lightness of touch and the ability to conjure a beautifully drawn scene with only a handful of words remain unsurpassed.
A children’s author with that skill was Arthur Ransome, and to this day I remain spellbound by the magical world of Swallows and Amazons, the first book of his I read.
7. If you could invite any 5 authors to dinner who would you choose?
Homer (the ancient Greek storyteller, not Homer Simpson!), the Latin poet Catullus, P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie and Lindsey Davis.
8. What is a typical day in your life?
My husband wakes me up with a coffee in bed (I’m spoiled, I know!) which our two cats, Bertie and Clio, take as their cue to come in for a cuddle. Then I get up for breakfast, but I have to feed the cats first or Clio will complain loudly. After breakfast, I switch on my computer to check my emails, then have my bath and get dressed. I might then go and do the shopping, come home and make lunch. After lunch I’ll settle myself down for a couple of hours’ writing. In the afternoon we like to go out for a walk in the countryside, for some fresh air and exercise, but back home in time for the all-important cup of tea at 4 o’clock (an English habit which is sacrosanct). If the weather’s hot, I may indulge myself with an hour’s reading on the terrace or go back to my computer until it’s time to start getting dinner ready. If it’s still warm, we’ll sit out on the terrace and admire the view until it gets dark, or we may watch a little TV. Then it’s off to bed with a good book – not too late as I’m hopeless at staying up past 11.00 pm – and of course the cats come too. At lights out, they’re very good. We say “Bedtime!” and, although they may grumble, they jump off the bed and leave the room – they’re very well trained!
[Would you mind sending Bertie and Clio over to have a chat with Flame who we have recently decided is completely “untrainable”. If he wasn’t the snuggliest cat I’ve ever met, I’ll tell ya! lol]
9. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
My husband, my cats and my laptop – would those be allowed?
[Sure, why not?!]
10. If you could choose only one time period (i.e., past, present, or future) and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
I’m tempted to say I’d stay right here and now; I love the life I lead and the place I live in, and wouldn’t really want to swap it for anything else. But if I really had to choose somewhere different, I think I might opt for the first century Roman Empire – maybe Pompeii, but with the proviso that I could get out before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. I already feel as if I know my way around the ancient city, having taught about it for so many years, and I’d love to meet the real Caecililus who features in my fifth book, The Shadow of the Volcano. However, I do worry that if I did wish myself back into the past, I’d very soon miss my modern day comforts.
- Sport to Watch? Rugby, Formula 1 Grand Prix and Golf, particularly The Masters.
- Animal? Cats – and I adore cheetahs, although I suppose they would count as cats too!
- Board game? Scrabble
- Musical Instrument to Play? Piano (although I’m not very good!)
- City to visit? Venice – I’ve never been there and it’s top of my list of places I’d like to go to.
“Shadows of Atlantis is a well-written story with a collection of likable main characters, a solid plot line, snippets of educational facts about a historically important location and event, and, is filled with mystery, magic, and suspense. This book grabbed me at the prologue and had me hooked until the end.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars
“… Shadow of Atlantis is an imaginative tale that will draw children in right from the get go. The characters are deftly and warmly established, and Wendy shows a sure touch in enabling these characters to interact in a fun but believable fashion, each playing their own part in the plot’s development….” ~ 5-Star review from John C., Amazon US
“The author makes the legend of Atlantis (and also the story of the Minotaur in the second book) so accessible to kids and in such an imaginative way. My daughter loved the children’s characters and also the comical, lovable cat Max and his ability to help the characters out during times of strife! We will be looking out for future books from this author for sure. A really enjoyable adventure for kids and highly recommended…” ~ 5-Star review from A. Bradshaw, Amazon US
“This story will draw any young reader in will keep them entertained and engaged. It is sometimes hard to find books that will keep children interested, often their subject matter is trivial and insubstantial, this is not true of The Shadow of Atlantis. My daughter can’t wait for the next adventure…” ~ 5-Star review from Annaliese M., Goodreads
*** You can buy the all 6 books (electronic copies) in the series (The Shadow of Atlantis, The Shadow of the Minotaur, The Shadow of the Trojan Horse, The Shadow of the Pyramid, The Shadow of the Volcano, and The Shadow of Camelot) for only 99 cents each from Amazon between October 14 and 28, 2013. Get hooked on this great series NOW by clicking on the Amazon button below. ***
The Shadow of Atlantis Blog Tour Schedule (2013)
*** The Shadow of Atlantis Blog Tour Giveaway ***
Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash
Contest runs: October 14 to November 5, 11:59 pm, 2013
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by author Paul Hewlett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.