Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lights in the Mine

Lights in the Mine (2002) Post 253 

Lights in the Mine is the story of cautious Tig and his bold sister Jamie, who stay with their grandfather Alfonso Tonelli on his farm. Alfonso is a retired restauranteur who now breeds hereford cattle. He gives the children three rules; stay away from the bulls, don't climb on haybales in the barn, and don't go into the abandoned shale mines. Jamie just has to push the rules and while poking about in the mouth of the biggest mine, she spots something shiny. This proves to be a battery and a small garden fork.
It is Tig who sees the lights in the mine at night. He goes to Jamie who doesn't believe him. By the time she's convinced, Alfonso is awake. He tells the children they may dress and come with him to catch the intruders in the act. This turns out to be two young men illicitly growing mushrooms in the mine.

Tig and Jamie are named after my children. The names are not exact, but Tig was and still sometimes is, my daughter's nickname, and Jamie is the female form of my son's real name. As for the shale parents' farm had old shale mines which did indeed smell of railways, and someone did once want to grow mushrooms in the mine. Meanwhile, Tonelli is the surname of family friends... Alfonso isn't the name I originally chose. It's one the editor thought would be easier to read. The illustrations in the interior are delightful.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

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