Years 5 to 9 were thrilled to receive a visit from local author Vashti Hardy who came into school to talk about her newly published novel, ‘Brightstorm’. The visit was an extra-special treat as Vashti is a former Towers teacher and many of the girls remembered her affectionately, in particular her passion for creative writing and her enthusiastic sharing of stories.

Vashti is now a fulltime author and has recently published her first novel: a story of derring-do set in an alternative universe and full of lively characters. The novel has a steampunk vibe and for readers who are not quite ready for Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series, this is an excellent option. It tells the story of twins Arthur and Maudie who set out on a perilous quest to solve the mystery of their father’s disappearance, meeting friends and foes along the way.

Vashti held us all spellbound as she shared some of her Instagram pages that helped inspire her ideas and talked about using real-life examples to bring her fantasy to life; she even shared some of her original sketches and artefacts.

With expectations high, would we be disappointed on reading ‘Brightstorm’? The answer was a resounding ‘NO’! This was a thrilling, heart-pounding page-turner, full of twists and turns. We only hope there are more skyship adventures of twins Arthur and Maudie to come.

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