This was published in today’s Eastern Daily Press.
BOUDICA’S DAUGHTERS IS A YA PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVENTURE TOLD ON TWO TIMELINES: ONE CONTEMPORARY, THE OTHER IRON AGE. THE STORY IS SET IN THE BRECKLAND, AN ISOLATED AREA OF WEST NORFOLK AND HOME TO THE ICENI TRIBE TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO.
Please Note: to parents and guardians of readers of my Sprite Sister/Cantrip Sister stories – Boudica’s Daughters is not aimed at younger readers. The story is intended for young adult and adult readers. It contains references to drug and alcohol use, sexual violence and bad language.
Fifteen-year old Lilla Harrison knows who she is, but her awkwardness and her psychic power set her apart. Doubted by others, she is the clumsy younger sister to Janey’s ‘swan’. In the sweltering July heat the Harrison family move to Grove End, an old farmhouse deep in Norfolk’s Breckland. Two thousand years ago the area was home to the Iceni tribe and their Warrior Queen, Boudica, who led the rebellion against the occupying Romans in AD 60.
Now, Nighthawks – illegal metal detectorists – are searching the woods at Grove End for Iceni treasure. When Lilla sees the ghosts of Boudica’s daughter, she learns the trees hide an ancient mystery.
Janey’s arrival home brings upset as she reveals her own dark secret. Overwhelmed a sense of failure, she no longer knows who she is or what she wants. Shocked and struggling to cope, her parents try to help but are wrestling with their own feelings.
It is Lilla who must find the strength to help her sister. With Boudica’s daughters as her guides, her journey takes her into the ancient past and tests her sense of self-belief to the limit. Can Lilla save her sister and lay the Iceni bones to rest?
To gain authenticity for the archaeological aspects of the story, Sheridan had the help of Dr John Davies, chief curator, Norfolk Museums Service, and Dr Adrian Marsden, numismatist and finds liaison officer, Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
As judge of the Mal Peet Children’s Award – part of the East Anglian Book Awards 2016 – I was delighted to give the prize for best children’s book to Linda Davies, for her wonderful, imaginative story, Longbow Girl.
Here we are at the end of a lovely awards dinner at Jarrold’s, Norwich, on 3rd November.
This was my second year as a judge on the EABA. My thanks to the Eastern Daily Press, Jarrold’s and Writers’ Centre Norwich.
I’m pleased to have been invited to give a talk to Norwich Writers’ Circle on Tuesday 1st November at Anteros Gallery (The Fishergate Room) at 7.30pm. I will also launch a Circle Competition for the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.
SHERIDAN WINN IS JUDGE FOR THE MAL PEET CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD – PART OF THE EAST ANGLIAN BOOK AWARDS 2016
Her three shortlisted titles are:-
Fenn Halfin and the FearZero by Francesca Armour-Chelu (Walker)
Custom Fast Wheels by Joe Currie (Propolis)
Longbow Girl by Linda Davies (Chicken House)
Sheridan says, ‘The standard of entries was very high this year and it was tough choice. I read some wonderful books and judged these three to be the best.’