On wednesday 23rd July I was one of a fortunate group of Librarians to be invited to the offices of Bloomsbury Publishers to meet Mary Hoffman (the author of the fantastic Stravaganza series as well as The Falconer’s Knot and many other fabulous books).
We all sat round a table and discussed the Stravaganza series with Mary – how the inspiration for the stories struck, her love for all things Italian and heard her read an extract from the latest book Stravaganza – City of Secrets. We were also fortuante to hear er read the prologue from her latest (as yet unpublished) book set during the time of the Albigensian Crusade – the title escapes me at present but I will add it as soon as I recall it. We were also shown the talismans from each book that she acquired during the writing and used as foci to keep her mind in the project. Mary was also barraged with questions about her books, plans for future titles in the series and Italy. I was interested to discover that her family was close to one of my favourite authors when I was growing up the late Douglas Hill author of Blade of the Poisoner – the first fantasy novel I can recall reading and the Galactic Warlord series starring the last Legionnaire Keill Randor.