YA Spring Fling Interview with Eleanor Beresford
As the blog hop for our epic giveaway comes to a close, I'm welcoming Eleanor Beresford onto the blog to tell us more about her books.
Take it away Eleanor!
Tell us more about your books.
The Scholars and Sorcery series are golden age girls’ boarding school stories set in an alternative mid-20th century world in which elves visited long ago, leaving behind them magical creatures and magical gifts. Each person has at least one gift; people with more than one often show signs of strong elven descent, such as pointed ears, round eyes and unusually coloured hair.
In this world, rescuing an injured pegasus is as important as the big hockey match, and whether you use your magic to get out of detention is an important matter of schoolgirl honour.
They also develop romantic relationships between girls. Early school stories often focused on passionate and romantic friendships between girls, but my book treats it more seriously as true love.
Readers who grew up watching the cartoon Jem and the Holograms in the 1980s might know that it was recently announced that two of the main characters from rival bands, Kimber and Stormer, will be in a relationship in the new comic book reboot. For so many little girls who grew up knowing in their hearts that Kimber and Stormer loved each other as more than friends, but had absolutely no chance of being shown as lesbian onscreen, this has been a really important step forward. Judging from the fanfic out there, a lot of girls also grew up reading school stories and believing that Bill (Wilhelmina) and Clarissa from Malory Towers, Mabel and Aldred from A Fourth Form Friendship, or so many other ‘best friends’ were in love—and knowing they would never really see it on the page. So I always knew that my first full length book would be a school story in which girls fell in love, and it couldn’t be explained away as just best friends.
Tell us something interesting about your main character.
Charley’s magical gift is the ability to sense the emotions of magical creatures, and to project hers in return… and to control them, to some extent, out of pure love. She has her own flame pegasus, Ember, and a Cait Sith (a large magical cat) called Meggs. She also has another magical gift she’s not aware of herself… but that would be telling.
Why do you write YA?
To me the most magical time of life to write and read about is when you are on the verge of becoming an adult. You are still learning who you are going to be, and it’s a time of immense exploration and adventure.
What inspires you?
I have a collection of over a hundred school stories, which were obviously among my major inspirations! I never tire of reading about intense rivalry over the cricket team, or girls stranded at the top of burning towers or by the rising tide. Favourite authors are Angela Brazil, Enid Blyton, Dorita Fairlie-Bruce, Antonia Forest and Dorothea Moore. Some of these books are available as ebooks these days.
I also love the entire genre of magic school/magic university books, both before and after Harry Potter. Most recently, I am anxiously waiting the third volume of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil.
Another inspiration is manga, anime and Japanese light novels, particularly the ‘Class S’ genre that focus on girls at school and their friendships, romantic or otherwise. I would single out Dear Brother and Maria Watches Over Us as inspiration—and Revolutionary Girl Utena, another magical boarding school series, in which a girl prince is torn between a conventional, passive heterosexual role and being drawn to a mysterious princess/witch.
Where can readers find your books?
Pegasi and Prefects, the book being offered in the Spring Fling, is available on all ebook retailers. The sequel, Elves and Escapades, which has just been released, is on Amazon only, as is the novelette Fairies and Felicitations—which is currently free to celebrate the release of Elves.
Thank you so much for stopping by and telling us more about Pegasi and Prefects. :
The YA Spring Fling is open until the 3rd April. To find out more, go here and explore the amazing books on offer. :)