Today is the third day of #RRBC Pay it Forward week, where it is my pleasure to introduce you to an author who not only writes wonderful books, but spends a lot of his time and energy supporting other authors. Robin often uses his wonderful social media following to help raise awareness of up and coming novels and author promotions. You will regularly find fellow authors promoting Robin’s work, because he in turn, encourages them by spreading the word about their writing.
Author Robin Chambers first got the idea for his latest series of books while walking dogs through the grounds of The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel in Belize, where he and his wife Amy lived from 2008-2011. Having narrowly survived a murder attempt by local thugs, he and Amy returned to the relative safety of the UK and he began writing full-time at the age of 69.
He spent the first 18 years of his life in Bootle on Merseyside. His teaching career was in Inner London schools from 1967-1993. In the 1970s – while Head of English at Hackney Downs School – he wrote stories that were published by Penguin and Granada. He became Head of Clissold Park School in 1979 and was the first head of Stoke Newington School in Hackney (1982-93).
He returned to teaching in 2001 and retired for the second and final time in 2007.
His book “Myrddin’s Heir” challenges as well as entertains – and he wishes it had been available when he was teaching English.
“Gordon Bennett was born on 7th August 1999 with extraordinary powers. Where have those powers come from? Who – or what – is “Zack”…? His mother begins to notice that Gordon is different when he speaks his first words at just 5 months old and that’s before the really strange things begin to happen!
Fun, refreshing and certainly different, A Wizard Of Dreams is Book 1 in The Myrddin’s Heir series by author Robin Chambers. Written at a quick, entertaining pace it’s a potent blend of magical intrigue and adventure and whilst the theme is familiar, Chambers has a unique style of writing that sets his work apart. Much more than a trite fantasy plotline his young protagonist is defined in a realistic and empathetic way that pulls the reader through the story with him, and when Gordon interacts with Zack there is always much to be taken from these well observed exchanges. With well-defined characters, Chambers demonstrates a meticulous eye for detail that makes them instantly identifiable and whilst some are more endearing than others they are all very memorable. Each captured with a distinctive tenor that adds greatly to the thematic undertones of his tale. A tale that not only entertains, but encourages thought and timely reflection.
Original and highly engrossing, A Wizard Of Dreams is a wonderful read throughout and sets the tone for a series that undoubtedly deserves your attention. It is highly recommended.”
Book Viral Author Spotlight review
Key events in childhood indicate Gordon’s powers are getting stronger…
How does he deal with bullies? How about ghosts, fairies and wizards…?
How seriously weird do things get around his eleventh birthday? And what’s his sixteen greats grandmother got to do with it…?
Very few children get to go where he gets to go…
Book 1 ends on 6th September 2010 – Gordon’s first morning in secondary school: when he finds out for certain that he’s not the only one. There’s a girl in the frame…
This story will make you laugh quite a lot, but I warn you that in places it makes me cry…
The Myrddin’s Heir series will challenge you. One of my most important questions, therefore, is: “Are YOU up for the challenge?”
A Wizard of Dreams is a delightful book. It tells the story of young Gordon Bennett and his invisible friend, Zack, as they travel to different worlds, learning important lessons along the way. Gordon, it turns out, is a special boy, with special powers who is destined for great things. I love the dynamic between Gordon and Zack. In many ways they remind me of Calvin and Hobbes, with Zack playing the role of the wise yet young at heart tiger. The mystery surrounding Zack’s true identity is masterfully done. Is he a ghost? An angel? A slice of Gordon’s subconscious? Not even Zack knows, and it’s that uncertainty that adds another wrinkle to an already layered story. (In some ways I hope we never find out)
The writing itself is top-notch. Mr. Chambers does a wonderful job jumping between the real and supernatural, describing everything in a way that can only be termed thoroughly British. As a North American, I love that kind of stuff. It’s like peering through the lens of a familiar yet different camera.
And I can’t forget the little recaps at the end of each chapter. They’re like poetry, and I found myself looking forward to reading each one. That’s one question I would like to ask the author: how did he come up with that? It’s genius.
Finally, there’s the handy glossary in the back. It’s filled with information pertaining to the story, and not just meanings of words. For example, I was pleased to discover what I assumed was an ordinary line in a conversation was a reference to a famous poem. The glossary is filled with such examples, and it left me feeling a wee bit smarter than when I started.
This is a unique book with great characters and a wonderful story and I recommend it to anyone looking for not only a fun read, but an enlightening one as well.
Book 2: “Amazing Grace” chronicles the way in which a girl born on 25th December 1998 plays an increasingly important part in Gordon’s life (and he in hers). Grace can read minds, and she has healing hands…
Could her father really have been a God? How can she have two mums? And what has the most powerful wizard our world has ever known to do with all this?
The answer lies in the Land of the Forever Young (and of the Dead); but they can only get there by leaving their bodies behind…
How will Gordon’s parents react when he tells them the whole truth? How important in the scheme of things are their best friends Nick and Miranda? And quite importantly: how can the four of them help YOU to write really good stories…?
Can the clock be turned both backwards and forwards? And can their guardian angels help Gordon’s dad catch a serial killer…?
Book 2 ends on 27th March 2011 (so they are still in year 7) in a “magical” dell in Wales: where Gordon and Grace aren’t – though their bodies are. And what has Nick just found at the end of a rainbow…?
I hope that this story will make you laugh quite a lot, but I must be honest and tell you that in places it makes me cry…
You will know from reading Book 1 that the Myrddin’s Heir series sets out to challenge you. One of my most important questions therefore remains: “Are YOU still up for the challenge?”
Amazing Grace continues where A Wizard of Dreams left off. Another child with special abilities is introduced, Grace. And like Gordon, Grace has an invisible friend, Zoe. With the addition of these two characters, the story continues to bloom.
There are some darker elements: with Grace’s ability to read minds and Zoe’s ability to travel into the future, the characters are pulled into situations that feel a bit grittier and more present-day than what Gordon had to deal with the first time round. (If that makes sense.)
But that doesn’t detract from the overall story. In fact, it opens a whole new range of possibilities. And with Gordon and Grace’s best friends about to be brought into the supernatural loop, the horizon looks like it’s about to get even bigger.
Looking forward to diving into the next book in the series. 🙂