Liz Baddaley is an author and freelance writer for leading UK charities. Her debut novel – The Finding of Freddie Perkins – was published in May 2013 after a remarkable story of its own and went on to be shortlisted for two awards. Since then, she can’t stop writing fiction, whilst she continues to tell some remarkable true stories of hope from all over the world… and undertakes a considerable amount of rabbit care. Her latest allegorical short story – The Wonder Weavers – is currently being brought to life in the window of the Sanctuary in Ilkley.
It’s been really exciting to be part of a second story window project with the Sanctuary in Ilkley… this one bringing to life my short all-age allegory The Secret Beauty of Sand. The story was inspired by the discovery of the amazing truth that when viewed from a magnified perspective, every grain of sand can be seen as it truly is…
Today I’ve been writing on glass for the first time! And, on the hottest day of the year, it was hard work! But the whole project, start to finish has been a labour of love.
The hand holding a gem that is the star attraction in the window was sculpted by my very talented friend Barbara Macnish – a particularly beautiful thing to have happened as the story is dedicated to her! And it helps bring to life one of the central characters in the story. Intrigued… have a read!
Lots of people walking and driving past are already stopping to look and read and it’s great to see their faces light up in response to the colour and poetry beaming out at them.
When can we do the next one?!
Liz Baddaley is a children’s author and freelance writer for leading UK charities. Her debut novel – The Finding of Freddie Perkins was published in May 2013 after a remarkable story of its own and went on to be shortlisted for two awards. She is currently working on her third novel whilst telling some remarkable true stories of hope from all over the world… and undertaking a considerable amount of rabbit care.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
When you publish a book you connect with many new people as it is picked up in shops, advertised on websites, curled up with on sofas and clutched tightly on public transport. And children and adults meet and get to know the characters you see as friends.
I frequently hear stories of new people meeting Freddie… just yesterday I was having a coffee with a friend who had lent her copy to her grandma, only to have her like it so much that it was a while in coming back – because it had been shared with all her friends first!
But my favourite one in a while is from two weeks ago. I was on the phone to one of my freelancing clients sorting out a vital BACS transfer of Christmas present buying funds following a commission I had delivered to them when my contact there asked how Freddie was getting on…
This is not the first time he has asked. He is polite, kind and genuinely interested in my fiction writing as well as the work I do for him.
But this time there was a different motivation.
The previous evening, he told me, he’d gone upstairs to kiss his son goodnight when he noticed my name sat on his bedside table! Apparently Freddie had come to their house because his wife knows someone who knows someone who knows a friend of mine. And, at every stage of this chain going the other way, each individual had enjoyed the story so much they’d passed it on to lots more people they knew until here it was…
It’s like being given a present every time I hear someone loves the book.
If you’re still looking for something to give someone this Christmas – Freddie and I would be delighted to help you by suggesting his story…
I’m getting excited. It’s less than a month till the city where I was born and grew up in is holding it’s inaugural Literary festival. I’m going, Freddie’s going… and so how about you? If you’re anywhere at all near… it would be great to see you in St Albans for the adults’ event (6pm Friday 7 Nov) or the children’s one (3pm Saturday 8 Nov). Find out more here or read the details below.
Adults’ event (free admission) book here
Hope and Loss in Children’s Literature
Friday, 7 November, 2014 – 18:00 at Debenhams Ottaway Solicitors
In this hour long event, Liz will discuss the themes of Loss and Hope in Children’s Literature. She will include readings from The Finding of Freddie Perkins as well as exploring some classic children’s books that deal with some difficult themes. Through lively discussion and personal accounts Liz will talk about how books can help children deal with loss. This highly popular event promises to provide an interesting discussion that will appeal to teachers, care professionals and parents.
Children’s event (£2) book here
Come and explore: The Secret Art of Finding Stories
Saturday, 8 November, 2014 – 15:00 at Maltings Arts Theatre
In this interactive session Liz will introduce you to her novel The Finding of Freddie Perkins, which was published in 2013 and has been shortlisted for two awards. Using extracts from her book, Liz will guide children in the secret art of finding stories. Join her in a search for lost things, find some new stories and learn how to weave a little story-telling magic yourself. The event is 1 hour and all children must be accompanied by a fee paying adult. Unaccompanied children will not be admitted.
And shhhhhhh! If you’re very lucky… and you go to a certain junior school on the Hatfield Road, you’ll also get the chance to hear the inside story – the story behind the story of Freddie’s story – on the Friday lunchtime…
Last year, I was delighted to speak about The Finding of Freddie Perkins at Ilkley’s literature festival. This year I’m even happier to be sharing an abridged preview of an as yet unpublished short story for all ages – The Blossom-Maker – with the whole town. And how? Through a story window! Yes, for a limited time only here it is…
So if you’re in Ilkley, come along to 6 Church Street and find out what all the blossom is about… And if you’re not? Well I’m sure the story will be shared in other ways soon too…
I love the feel of a fresh start so I like September and its sense of new beginnings despite the fact it’s been more than a decade since my life really followed the school year. My ‘September’ this year is beginning right as it ends because I took my summer hols late. I had a wonderful break in Ireland; topping up on inspiration and beauty for my next book and for myself… but I also picked up this sign at an arts festival. I thought it was too funny not to share on my website too.
Please be reassured though… I have no tracking devices here to make this a real – or virtual – danger for any of my online readers!
More soon when I’ve caught up with myself and all those Septembery emails…