My Tuesday guest featured today is not only a talented author but also a good friend. Lynette has come along to talk about what inspired her to write her latest series of children’s stories about hoglets. I have to say that these dear little creatures are very close to my heart and can tell you now, I reckon they’re going to be the new Winnie the Pooh.
So without further ado, over to Lynette.
What inspired me to write about the hoglets?
That’s a good question. It all came about due to the free Christmas story I publish each year on my blog. The reason behind the stories…
I wanted to give something back to my readers to say thank you for all their support. I decided what better way to do this than to give away a Christmas story.
In early January, (yes, I have to think that far ahead) I started planning my children’s story for the coming year. I’d already written about elves and reindeer in previous stories, so I wanted something new and exciting. Last year I wrote about two of my grandchildren, Rosie and Charlie. The story was a great success and received over 50,000 views. I was thrilled to see ‘Santa’s Christmas Gift’ reach 29 countries and went as far across the globe as Bhutan, a tiny kingdom nestled in the Himalayas. This made me realise that my stories were growing in popularity and that I needed to up my game.
As I trawled through hundreds of pictures on Pinterest (I do that to give me inspiration), up popped an illustration of the cutest hedgehog I’d ever seen. There was something about this cheeky chappy that stole my heart. He was mischievous, had a twinkle in his eye, no doubt thinking about his next adventure. Within half an hour I’d given him a name – Prickles. I then gave him a sister, Primrose, and a place to live – Briar Wood.
With a basic framework in place, I concentrated on the premise of the story and decided that no matter what, Prickles and Primrose were going to be heroes and help Santa save the day. But how? This is where it gets tricky as a writer. We may have wonderful characters but it’s no good if we don’t have an actual plot. After brainstorming with a close friend who is also a writer, (thank you Tricia), we were able to forge a wonderful Christmas story and ‘Hoglets’ Christmas Magic’ was written for all ages to enjoy.
However, once I’d completed the story, I couldn’t get the hoglets out of my head. Each night I dreamed about them and in my sleep enjoyed new and exciting escapades. I’d leave a notepad by my bed, so as soon as I awoke, I wrote down what I remembered from each dream. Soon, I’d invented new characters to join Prickles and Primrose, such as Rosie Rabbit, Monty Mole and Rufus Rat.
Over the next five months I worked hard on creating a series of children’s stories filled with these wonderful characters. The three stories are now with a children’s editor. Once readers get their hands on ‘Hoglets’ Christmas Magic’ I hope they’ll want to read more about these lovable creatures. If this is the case, I’d like to have the new hoglet stories ready.
Well that was fascinating, don’t you think? Lynette’s agreed to give us a little taster. So read on to get an introduction into this fabulous hoglet story, ‘Hoglets’ Christmas Magic’.
Mrs Hedgehog stood by the fireplace trimming off unwanted twigs to shape a small fir into the perfect Christmas tree. ‘There, children. Doesn’t that look splendid?
‘Gosh,’ Prickles said, ‘I love it.’
‘Can I do the sparkly baubles this time?’ Primrose hopped on one leg with excitement. ‘Please, Mum, because Prickles did it last year. Remember, you said I was too small.’
Mum smiled. ‘Why don’t you decorate the tree together? There’s enough trinkets inside the box for you both.’
‘Shall we?’ Prickles scurried over and shoved his nose inside a tatty cardboard box. He turned towards his sister. ‘Mum’s right. There’s plenty to share.’
Primrose skipped over to her brother. ‘Okay, let’s see how quickly we can finish.’
‘Oh, no.’ Mum tutted. ‘You mustn’t rush the job. You should cherish decorating the tree. After all, we only do it once a year.’
‘What’s that dear?’ Dad entered the room carrying a tray of drinks and worm flavoured biscuits. ‘What’s this about rushing the job?’
Prickles offered Primrose a shiny Santa’s hat with a silver bell on the end. ‘Go ahead.’ He pressed the delicate ornament into the palm of her paw. ‘You go first.’
Primrose beamed as she clutched the bauble to her chest and reached over to place it onto a branch.
‘I’ll dust these off and you hang them on the tree.’ Prickles passed her another.
The fire crackled and glowed as the two hoglets worked together. Within half an hour the tree was finished…well, almost.
‘Where’s the star?’ Prickles hunted through the last bits and bobs. ‘I can’t find it anywhere?’
‘It must be there.’ Dad scratched his head, delving inside the box. His paws pushed bits of tissue paper and golden thread to one side. Gasping, he lifted out glittery shards of glass. ‘Oh, dear,’ he said, holding tiny splinters of yellow towards the light. ‘It’s shattered with age.’
Mrs Hedgehog grunted and a tear trickled from her eye. ‘But what are we to do? We can’t have a tree without a star. It’s Christmas Eve and far too late to forage around dustbins in the hope of finding a replacement.’
‘We’ll think of something,’ said Prickles, ‘I’ll pop outside and see what I can find.’
‘Can I come too?’ Primrose tugged at Prickles’ sleeve. ‘Two sets of eyes are much better than one.’
‘That’s a good idea,’ Mum said, ‘but don’t be too long because it’s growing dark.’
‘We won’t go out of the wood,’ Prickles promised. ‘If there’s anything there to use, we’ll find it.’
Mrs Hedgehog didn’t look convinced. ‘Don’t go near the main road. I don’t want any of the village folk spotting you and trying to take you home.’
Thank you, Lynette for sharing the first part of your hoglet story. I’m sure the readers will love it.
To read more of this fabulous story, Lynette is making the full story available FREE on her blog from 11th December 2019. Click here
Let’s find out a little more about Lynette.
Lynette Creswell was born in London, but moved to Burnley, Lancashire, when she was a small child. From the tender age of five, she was raised by her grandmother and given books to help keep her quiet. Lynette found she had a passion for reading and subsequently started writing once she began school.
Years later Lynette’s husband encouraged her love of writing by buying her a laptop. Her inspiration came from childhood books by Enid Blyton. The Enchanted Wood and The Faraway Tree were her first real taste of fantasy.
Sinners of Magic, her debut novel, was published in 2012 and was soon followed by Betrayers of Magic and Defenders of Magic. These books became known as The Magic Trilogy.
Lynette’s first short story, The Generation Game won the 2014 ‘Write On’ Competition, affiliated by East Coast Pictures. The story was adapted for TV and narrated by Julie Peasgood. Another of her short stories, The Witching Hour is published by Solstice Publishing and available on Kindle.
Being diverse in her writing, Lynette’s next step was to pen a paranormal romance. Well received by her readership, Cracks In The Glass became an instant hit with reviewers and critics alike. One reader stated: ‘The suspense builds at a brilliant pace, and by the end I was gasping!’ Another wrote: ‘The pages turn effortlessly to an ending I never saw coming.’
Lynette’s latest accomplishment is her sixth novel, Two Kinds of Truth. Lynette is well known for her gritty writing and ability to surprise her readers. The novel is based in the Highlands of Scotland and focuses on the wife of an identical twin. Maddie’s life is thrown into turmoil when Callum, her husband, learns he’s infertile.
Lynette now lives in North East Lincolnshire with her husband. All of her nine grandchildren are the apple of her eye.
Where can you buy Lynette’s books?
Where can you find Lynette?
Thank you Trisha for your amazing support. You’ve written a great feature and it’s wonderful to see part of the hoglet’s Christmas story go live.
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My pleasure, Lynette. Thank you for coming along and sharing your inspiration.