JK Rowling eat your heart out – a former Whitby woman has penned her own action-packed magical series inspired by her childhood visits to Goathland.
Writer Helen Cardwell has written the The Elf-Witch Chronicles which follow the adventures of a teenage witch called Amber Blackett.
Born in 1979, Helen has been writing stories and poems since childhood.
She lived in Whitby for a year in 2001 but now resides in Melton Mowbray where she is studying a course in forensic science.
She said: “I have always loved the untamed, almost otherwordly feeling that the moors had.
“I used to come on holiday to Goathland every year and would frequently sneak out of the house we were staying in at six in the morning and go for a walk by myself over the moors or down to the Mallyan Spout waterfall.
“It was like stepping through a portal to a magical world.
“These walks actually provided most of the inspiration for the world of Mysterica where the Elf-Witch Chronicles are set.
“I always knew I would move to Whitby which I did back in 2001.
“Sadly this was at the same time the foot and mouth epidemic hit and after a year I was left with little option but to move back home.
“I made some great friends during my time there, and still frequently visit the area and would move back up to the area tomorrow if I was given the chance.”
After discovering she is the legendary Elf-Witch, Amber is faced with the task of saving Mysterica from the wrath of Prince Brogan as he prepares to unleash his Army of Darkness upon the world.
For now parts one, two and three of The Elf-Witch Chronicles are bound in one huge 612-page book and can be purchased as an e-book or paperback from online stores including Amazon, Tesco, WHSmith and Waterstones.
Helen has a two-year non exclusive contract with her publisher Diadem Books which means she can also work with other publishers and now mainstream publishing agencies are being sought in order to get the book out to a wider audience.
She added: “I can’t believe how well the book has gone down with people both here and in America.
“I keep getting asked if there are any plans to turn the stories into a series of films and for anyone who is interested the answer is not at present but watch this space.
“Things have only got worse since I revealed that there is another part of the story to come as many thought that with how part three of the series ends, that was it.
“Nothing could have been further from the truth.
“Things are far from over for Amber and Myterica.
“Trouble is coming and Amber, along with her friends, will be thrown back into the the thick of things in the fourth part of The Elf-Witch Chronicles which I am currently working on.”
The Elf-Witch Chronicles can be ordered from most traditional bookstores by using the author’s name, book title or the ISBN; 978-0-595-50991-1.
l The Whitby Gazette has teamed up with Helen to give away three signed copies of The Elf-Witch Chronicles to lucky readers – just answer the question below.
What is the name of the heroine in The Elf-Witch Chronicles?
Closing date for entries is 27 January.
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can text to 81800 starting your message with WGTCOMP (text charge 25p plus your standard network charge) or complete the coupon opposite and send it to: Elf-Witch Competition, Whitby Gazette, 17-18 Bridge Street, Whitby, North Yorks, YO22 4BG.
For terms and conditions, see page 24.