Lauren St John at the Book Festival
Writing for a more honest and passionate reader
This article is from 2010.
Remember those series of books you would read as a child? Remember how, when you discovered a new one, you’d just have to devour it as quickly as possible, gobbling up boarding-school tales of lacrosse and midnight feasts and adventure after adventure in which plucky kids somehow became involved in the most exciting of real, live mysteries? The ones where adventures started at home and took you to far-flung places with tantalising names, the ones that taught you all the elements of a good yarn?
Lauren St John’s latest offering, Dead Man’s Cove – the first in a planned series of mysteries featuring 11-year-old detective heroine Laura Marlin – looks set to continue in that fine and addictive tradition. It’s got all the requisite elements – orphaned child, mysterious uncle with a laissez-faire attitude to childcare, spooky house, faithful canine companion – and the feisty young protagonist is one St John hopes will achieve that holy grail of appealing to both boys and girls.
She makes the trip to favourite haunt Edinburgh (‘I always hope to cross paths with Alexander McCall Smith, who I think is amazing’) to read from the newly published work as well as talking about her childhood in Africa (the inspiration for the immensely popular White Giraffe series), and answering questions from her young readers. Having worked for many years as a journalist and written non-fiction books on topics as diverse as music, golf and Africa, she now seems to have found a new niche: ‘I find writing for children more rewarding. Kids are very honest, passionate and enthusiastic about books they love, whereas adults tend to say things like, “do you realise there is a spelling mistake on page 213?”’
28 Aug, 3pm, £4.