Janet Fox THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLEToday I welcome Janet Fox to World Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written a story set outside of the United States for children or young adults.

Janet, what is the title of your book? The pub date and publisher? Genre? Targeted age group?

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, March 2016, Viking. Middle grade, ages 10+

Where is it set?

Mostly Scotland, though it begins in London.

In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

When Kat Bateson and her brother and sister are sent to a Scottish castle-turned-school at the start of World War 2, they believe it will be a refuge from the London Blitz bombs. But the castle is creepy; spies may be in hiding; and the Lady who runs the school is not what she seems – and Kat discovers that all the children are in mortal danger.

Link to reviews or blurbs readers can check out to hear all of the great feedback Janet’s book is getting.

Here’s a link to a starred review from Kirkus.

How are you connected to the setting of your story?

I’ve been to Scotland several times, and my mother is first generation American, from England.

mqdefaultWhat inspired you to write this story?

An image of a chatelaine that I saw on the internet inspired the story. I was online – just hanging out – when a friend of mine posted a picture of a piece of jewelry. I stared at it, instantly mesmerized. It was a 17th century German chatelaine with 12 charms, and those charms looked weird. The more I stared the weirder they looked.

At that point, the entire novel came into my head, almost complete – including the setting and time period, and most importantly Kat, my main character. I wrote the first draft really fast – although it went through a long revision process.

Janet Fox Author PhotoWhat was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it?

The multiple points of view were tricky to handle. I moved things around until I thought they made sense. In the end, I printed out each POV, laid them out in a long hallway, and shifted them until the story was coherent.

What kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it set outside of the United States? If so, where? And what is it about?

I’m working on a possible sequel, still set in Scotland, still in Rookskill Castle. It’s a continuation of Kat’s experiences with magic and World War 2.

What else would you like us to know about you or your story?

I feel very connected to Kat, who struggles with reconciling her practical nature with the possibility of magic in the world.

Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books! And they directly inspired this book, with their blend of fantasy and history.

You can learn more about Janet Fox and her wonderful books on her webpage or follow her on Facebook, and Twitter.  

Thank you Janet for joining us at World Reads! I’m super excited to read CHARMED! It’s at the top of my pile of nighttime reading books. Congratulations for all the well deserved accolades your book is receiving.



1 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Annemarie! I hope you love the book!


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