Sarah Sheard Book Launch
On 16th September 2018, a packed cavern enjoyed a fascinating talk by Brockholes-based Sarah Sheard. We learned about her writing journey, what inspired her to write and also got a glimpse of Rose Holman’s evocative illustrations.
Adventures of the DOVES in the Field of Dreams is Sarah’s first novel, aimed at 11–12 year olds. She talked about deciding to abandon the very first draft, and the pleasure (and pain) of re-writing successive versions, over a period of five years.
Problems she had to solve included: “Too many characters to keep in one’s head; the need to create distinctive voices and mannerisms for each character; the temptation to tackle all the threats facing the world today…” We heard how Sarah distilled these into a readable book – and how hard it was to abandon some characters!
‘The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. Which seeds will you grow there?” Attributed to Buddha, this quote is one of many that introduce each chapter.
Central to the plot is the need for us all to contribute to a sustainable society, which values and protects the environment. We are soon introduced to Daisy, Ella, Vincent and Oscar and the all-important honeybees, not forgetting Stanley the dog, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a hyperactive mutt in Brockholes!
Sarah’s love of gardening is apparent throughout the book. One of the most stunning illustrations is the beehives in the allotment, with gorgeous blossom-laden trees and lush vegetation. Another features the mill clock tower, complete with some rather extraordinary pigeons.
Many of Sarah’s campaigning passions underpin the book – factory farming, indiscriminate use of pesticides, organic cultivation and protection of endangered species.
Likely to appeal to 11–12 year olds with a reading age beyond their years, teenagers, and also I suspect some adults too. The book is available at Fair Trader, priced £9.99.
Many thanks to Sarah and Rose for sharing their creative journey.
Kathryn Sheard, September 2018