Book Signing in Waterstones today!

After a fortnight of pretty grim weather, the sun is out this morning and it looks set to be a lovely day. I shall be signing copies of Watchers in the Swindon Waterstones (Brunel Plaza Shopping Centre) from around 11.00am until tea-time today, so if you are in the area and fancy popping along, please do. It would be great to see you.

Thanks to all the staff at the Southampton West Quays Waterstones for a great day last Saturday – our best day yet. Extra-special thanks to my daughters for coming along and helping too!

The event today is the last signing I’ll be doing for a couple of months. I’m leaving the summer free to immerse myself in finishing off Book 2 of the series, The Hidden Hand.

For those of you who don’t yet know about the adventures of Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys, have a look at the 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Enjoy your weekend!

Paperback      Paperback

Kindle:         Kindle:


School Visits and Book-Signings

It’s been a really busy time recently, including a trip across the country to Suffolk to visit some schools and do another book-signing event.

Both legs of the car-ride were through torrential rain: the kind when you can hardly see the car right in front of you. In fact, as I drove around London, the weather reminded me of the beginning of Watchers.

When we first meet Tilly she is woken by rain hammering on the roof of the Greenway’s apartment. It is the fortieth straight day of downpours and clouds hang ominously over the capital. Tilly has no idea that the rain is all part of a devious plot to microchip the population, nor that London is about to be evacuated…

I won’t spoil the story for those of you who haven’t read it yet. Let’s just say that sometimes fact and fiction shake hands and as I drove through the rain-soaked “real” world I could just as easily have been a character in the “story” 🙂

Thanks to everyone who made me so welcome at Bawdsey Primary School and Farlingaye Secondary School last week. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

Thanks too to all the staff at the Waterstone’s store in Ipswich. Despite the wet and windy weather, we had another great day of sales and I met a lot of wonderful people.

Yet again, it was great to see so many people on the hunt for a good book (or two or three!). Who knows, maybe sales of paperbacks will actually increase on the back of kindle sales? I hope so!

Some of the staff at the Ipswich Waterstone’s

With Janine Smith, Events Manager at Ipswich Waterstone’s

More Waterstone’s Booksignings…

Special thanks to all the staff at Newport Waterstone’s for making me so welcome recently. We could have done without the freezing rain, but other than that the day was perfect!

I have a number of dates booked for more book-signing events at Waterstone’s, some of them later in the summer and autumn. Here are the ones coming soonest.

Saturday 28th April: Ipswich

Saturday May 5th: Plymouth

Saturday May 12th: Abergavenny

Saturday June 2nd: Southampton, West Quay

Saturday June 9th: Haywards Heath

If you are going to be near any of these places on the dates shown, please do come along…

In the meantime, I’m off to meet some children at a couple of schools to talk about Tilly’s adventures, which is always fun!

With best wishes, Essi.

Thanks to Waterstone’s!

The last few weekends have been great fun, visiting a number of Waterstone’s bookstores to do signings for Watchers. I don’t have photos of all of the events, but here are a couple from the latest two, in Abergavenny and Hereford.

Special thanks to Angela and Bethan for making me so welcome – and to Peter and Sam for the teas!

I’m always so impressed with the staff at the Waterstone’s stores. It’s really great to meet people who are so obviously passionate about books. I have no idea how they can remember so much about so many different titles, but it makes the whole experience of hunting for a good read so much more fun.

So, if you’re wondering what to buy someone this Easter, why not pop into a store near you and pick up a book you think they’ll enjoy? Chocolate bunnies are delicious, but gone in a flash (in my household anyway!) whereas a book can be visited again and again…

Of course, you could go for both…a good story and a box of chocolates: oh yes, that’s pretty much heaven, in my book!

With Bethan England at Waterstones Abergavenny

With Angela Timmons at Waterstones Hereford

A Real-Life Tilly Appears!

Afra Parsons – perfect for the role of Tilly Greenway!

When I write, I walk through each scene from the perspective of every character, like a movie-director walking around a set. I find this helps to get a picture of what they all experience. On top of that, I’ll often have in mind a real actor or actress as I build their history and create their dialogue.

The exception to this rule was with both Tilly and Zack, the main protagonists of our tale. At twelve and thirteen respectively, I didn’t know any particular actress/actor who would fit the bill. I guess I just haven’t seen many movies with children of their age and description in. All this changed, so far as Tilly goes, a week ago.

In my penultimate post I spoke of a young girl with long red hair who approached my table when I was doing a book-signing at the Cribbs Causeway Waterstones. I couldn’t say more about her at the time, but thanks to the tenacity of my publisher Katy Press, I now have her parents’ permission to do so.

Her name is Afra Parsons, she’s eleven years old and she is just how I imagined Tilly when I was creating the character! The only difference being that Tilly has green eyes, whereas Afra’s are a rich brown.

The long red hair is important, by the way, because the series is as much a delving into our real past as it is a fiction. As a backdrop to the mystery in the plot, I’ve created a history of the world that travels back beyond our currently-accepted timelines and traces our ancestry over some 250,000 years. You’ll find out more about that – and about the significance of the red hair – in the coming books, so I won’t spoil the surprise here…

Back to Afra: chatting with her, she told me that acting is one of her favourite hobbies and that she hopes to become an actress one day. Of course, I was hugely excited to hear this. She really is perfect for the role of Tilly. She has what it takes, too: that special glint in the eye, combined with a quiet but assured air that translates into “presence” on screen.

You can see an article that appeared in the press about our meeting here:

It would be wonderful if a film of Tilly’s adventures was made soon, whilst Afra is still at the right age to play her. So, if you happen know anyone – preferably a mega-Hollywood producer! – who might be able to help, please drop my publisher a line at  🙂

Seeing Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys on the big screen would be a dream come true not just for me, but for Afra too!