“Afternoon was beginning to slide into dusk when Ember and Barley made their way back to the barn. The field felt quieter compared to their earlier visit, when it was alive with the buzz of insects. A blackbird sang a sweet solo from a nearby tree – a love song to the setting sun; its melody turned the warm air a rich orange.
‘I’d like to find Otus before we meet with Helen,’ Ember told Barley as they crossed the field. The last light of the day coloured the stone walls of the barn in custard and toffee, whilst the sweet evening scent of the grass drifted up to meet them.
Reaching the barn, Ember opened the door and they both stepped inside. Here the light was softer, blurred around the edges by the gauze of cobwebs that knitted the windows and beams together.
Ember craned her head back, straining to catch sight of the bats. ‘Are they still here Barley?’ she asked.
‘Yes, I can see them,’ Barley replied. He pointed his large black nose towards one of the highest beams to show Ember where the bats were hidden and gave a small ‘woof’ of excitement. ‘I think they are beginning to stir,’ he said and sure enough, a thick area of shadow alongside one of the beams began to move and fragment.”
The extract above comprises a small taster of my new children’s book – the second of the Ember Tor series. I am currently editing the first draft of the book and expect to finish this in the next few weeks. Then it will be onto the artwork.
The Ember Tor series follows on from my first children’s book (Dear Mr Craggs and the Bats of Ten Bells Wood), published back in 2013. The books aim to educate children about the real life problems our wildlife experiences and some of the solutions that can be used to help them out. This draws together my love of storytelling and former work as an ecologist.
A new edition of Ember Tor and the Water Voles of Merry Hill River (the first book in the series), has just been published and will be available online in the next few days.