AN AUTHOR from Laverstock has penned a new collection of tales with a “twist” for children.

Julia Edwards, who is the creator of the time-travelling Scar Gatherer series, spoke to the Journal about her latest offering Unlucky for Some: 13 Tales with a Bite for Vengeful Hearts.

She said: “Unlucky for Some is a collection of tales with a twist for kids - 13 short stories which are funny or nasty, or quite often both. It’s definitely not for children of a nervous disposition, or for those who like cute stories about kittens - but it is for anyone who’s ever wanted to get their own back on someone, which I think is quite a lot of us.”

Julia says it “couldn’t be more different” to the Scar Gatherer series adding: “These stories are set in the present day - mostly in schools, including St Andrew’s Primary School in Laverstock, which features directly in one story, and in little ways in others. I wrote them to make kids giggle, gasp and gag, rather than to take them into the past or teach them anything.”

However, she admits she never planned to write this book which took a on a life of its own after she decided to take a break from another writing project. 

After struggling writing another book for adults set during the Second World War, Julia took a break and started to write something just for fun with no intention of making it into a book. Before she knew it the collection of stories had grown.

“I wrote these stories purely to make myself laugh. I'd been struggling a bit with a book I'm writing for adults, set in Alsace-Lorraine in the Second World War. It was quite serious, and some of what happens is difficult to write about, and I didn't feel like I was making progress. When I was grumbled to my husband about it one day, he suggested I should take a break, and write something just for fun, with no idea of publishing it or making it into a proper book," admits Julia.

"I went back to my desk the next day, and began to write a story I thought of years ago, when I was at secondary school, about a girl who takes the class hamster home and does something quite unexpected (and unpleasant) with it.

"After that came a story about an evil dinner lady, then one about a boy who tells tall tales, one about a girl who collects bad luck, and one about a boy who does something really awful in a cookery lesson.

“Before I knew it, I had nearly ten stories and realised I was sitting on an actual book. Since they were all about bad luck of one kind or another, there had to be thirteen, of course, because it’s supposed to be an unlucky number.”

Explaining what she enjoyed most about writing her latest book, she said: “As a reader, I love books that make me laugh, and I also love stories that surprise me. I like a bit of vengeance, too, especially when the punishment fits the crime.

"I wasn’t trying to please anyone except myself, so these stories came really easily compared to other books I’ve written. Better still, when I tried them on my own children, and then on the children in Years Five and Six at St Andrew’s Primary, they laughed and gasped in all the right places, so I knew they were enjoying them too.”

Julia is still working on her Second World War book but she is also coming up with ideas for a book combining comedy and history.

She said: "There's still the Second World War book I could / should go back to, but I'm putting that off a bit longer. At the moment, I'm trying to work out a book that combines comedy and history because it was such a joy to write something funny, I definitely want to do it again."



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