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Tales from the Dark Hole - The Frost Giant

Rachael Lindsay

"Winter is slow in the coming," declares Hobnail. "This time-ticking is un-normals and I is not happy feeling when damp!"
Autumn sunshine has gone. Now there is endless mist and fog and rain. Everywhere is wet: the town, the country lane and Hobnail's tumbledown cottage. She longs for crisp, snowy days - but winter is nowhere to be seen. Why not?
Determined to find out what has happened to the weather, the old crone gathers her book of adventures, Magnes and Flying Ointment. With loyal Berinhard, the mountain sprite, she embarks on a treacherous journey.
Neither knows that Hobnail's arch enemy, the Leaf Man, has a scheme. Neither knows he has teamed up with the Head of Ancient Vapours...
Will Hobnail return safely to Warty Toad and Snidey Slug, as promised?
What is the answer to her very important question?

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As a child, growing up in Cheshire, I was an avid reader. J. M. Barrie was my hero but I also revelled in J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, C. S. Lewis and A. A Milne. I loved Kipling's asides to his audience (dearly beloved), the landscape of Narnia, and nonsense poetry. My young mind was full of mythical creatures and places; I still have my copy of The Sentimental Dragon by Grace Cox-Ife, pages now falling from their binding and signed at the front in my childish hand.
I spent many happy weeks in Switzerland when I was young, as my father worked there for periods of time. Those breath-taking mountains, lakes and waterfalls joined forces with the fjords and forests of Norway, creating a backdrop to much of my writing. Who could not be inspired by all of these influences?
As a result of my happy experiences in both real life and fantasy, I always wanted to write stories, from about five or six years old. Of course, I had to be a serious grown-up for a while - teaching all ages from four to fifty-four year olds, earning money and bringing my two wonderful children into the world - but then I decided the time was right for me. And my stories.
Now I use my background in education to inspire children in schools up and down the country. Their enthusiasm, as they listen to and read my books, is a constant delight to me. They begin to write with greater imagination and flair.
I see parts of my young self in them.