A sunny Saturday in ‘Halfway up the Stairs’ bookshop in Greystones

It was wonderful to be back in Greystones in my favourite children’s bookshop Halfway up the Stairs again to celebrate the lovely new edition of my book Safe Harbour with its great new cover by Philip Cullen.   On a sunny day passing all the little boats out sailing, people in swimming in the cove, with a man playing the bagpipes in the stilly sea air was sheer joy and then to find such huge  crowd of amazing young  readers and bookworms  coming along to meet me . It was brilliant as we chatted all about Safe Harbour and why and how I wrote it and about Fairy Hill too. There were lots of books to sign and questions to be answered. Thank you so much to Trish Hennessy and Sarah Webb for organising such a special afternoon and to all my young readers for coming along.

 In Safe Harbour, Sophie and her younger brother Hugh are caught up in the Blitz, with London being pounded night after night by German bombers during World War 11.  When their house and street gets hit their mum is badly injured. As their Dad is away fighting with the British Army Sophie and Hugh are evacuated to Ireland to stay with their Grandfather, a man they have never met and no one ever talks about.  He lives in Greystones in a big old house overlooking the sea. They don’t want to be away from home and their mum and he makes it very clear that he doesn’t want them staying with him either. Soon Sophie is caught up in another war but with her grumpy cross grandfather as the dangers of war begin to edge closer.

I spent so much of my childhood in Greystones, that I knew that it was the perfect place to bring Sophie and Hugh after all they had seen and witnessed. To have them run and play and swim on the beach and cove and harbour and enjoy a freedom that they would never have in London and also to experience the magic of Greystones which never changes. ..